For 2012 Auburn graduate Anna Larson, moving to California wasn’t just the next step in her post-college career. It was the only step.
“I knew that I wanted to cut trailers, but there’s not been a lot of opportunity for this outside LA and New York,” Larson said. “It was a really big decision and it was kind of a terrifying decision, I had never lived out of the South before, but it was something that I needed to try and it’s worked out pretty well so far.”
Larson landed at Workshop Creative, a motion picture marketing company in West Hollywood that has put out trailers for some of the biggest movies and TV shows of the 2000s.
Bad Grandpa, Captain Phillips, This Is The End and Zero Dark Thirty are among the most recent theatrical trailers to have come out of Workshop Creative.
As a production assistant, Larson is on a team that assembles trailers commissioned by the marketing departments of production studios like Warner Brothers, Fox, and Sony.
“Its a very long process back and forth where its like ‘we didn’t like this joke, we wanted different shots here, we can’t reveal that aspect of the film,” Larson said. “And you keep tweaking it until you end up with your finished product.”
In only her second year on the job, Larson began attracting attention from some of the company’s more veteran editors.
“At the time… it was hard to get editors because everybody was busy,” said Susan Adams, a senior editor at Workshop Creative. “I took a chance on her on a couple projects to see if she could do it because I noticed that she actually has quite a bit of talent, and she just did a great job.”
Adams worked with Larson on online and home entertainment trailers on projects like Bad Grandpa before turning her loose on the animated trailer for Son of Batman.
It was her first film trailer and her first animated feature, and Larson jumped at the chance.
“Once I started working here at Workshop, the producers and other editors helped me begin to develop a style of my own,” Larson said. “To take a movie or an episode that no one else has seen yet and try to catch someone’s attention, to try and draw them in so they’ll want to see it, too. It’s such a fun challenge.”
Larson had to assemble Son of Batman in the chunks sent to her, not in the order that the film was written. Sometimes they’d be out of order, with no dialogue, or just scenes buried in the movie.
“I presented [multiple versions] to the client and they picked hers,” Adams said. “So of course once that happened she’s the busiest assistant editor that we have.”
The film is set to release later this year, but the trailer went up January 30, earning instant blog buzz thanks to rave reviews on The Nerdist, TV Guide, and IGN to name a few.
“To have the opportunity to do that was really exciting,” Larson said. “I’m still an assistant, so being able to cut a trailer is a really big deal for me. It’s an animated trailer so it was kind of a different process from doing a live action film but it was a really good time.”
Versatility across genres and story lines, a trait Larson picked up when she used to cut trailers downloaded from the internet in the studio for Auburn’s student-run Eagle Eye News, is something industry execs look for, Adams said.
“It’s hard because you have to work with some of the big shots in this industry and it can be very tense,” Adams said, “But at the same time she was able to keep editing and still keep her good spirits about her. She’s really a thrill to have around, everyone’s very lucky to have her here.”
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