Thibodeau gets the keys to Montreal edit biz

In 1994, Montreal spot editor Yvann Thibodeau expressed an interest in editing to the director he was assisting. The director, looking to support his young ad, introduced him to the editor on the project, Gaetan Huot....

In 1994, Montreal spot editor Yvann Thibodeau expressed an interest in editing to the director he was assisting. The director, looking to support his young ad, introduced him to the editor on the project, Gaetan Huot.

‘We met and spoke for about an hour,’ Thibodeau says of his first meeting with Huot. ‘And he had a good feeling. He gave me the key to his office and the code to the alarm system and said, ‘Just show up and show me what you can do.’ ‘

Thibodeau spent a month editing for practice at Huot’s shop before going on to volunteer to cut psas to further develop his reel. ‘And after that, it just rolled on commercial-wise,’ he says.

Thibodeau, who operates freelance, does most of his spot-cutting at Montreal edit houses Splice and Bureau de Poste, although he says he works ‘almost everywhere in town.’

According to the young editor, there are certain directors who have been coming to him with their uncut spots since the launch of his career in 1994. ‘I still work with them, as long as I am available. But I always take into consideration, if I get a call, if it’s somebody that I haven’t worked with before – the more [variety] the better. Every director has his style and works differently, different techniques and work edicts. And if you work with a lot of them, then obviously you can have a better idea of everything,’ Thibodeau explains.

In the six years since Thibodeau began, he has noticed several changes to the spot-cutting business. Chief among the changes is the fact that ‘everybody’s expecting something close to final, when they show up in the edit room, because the technology has advanced so much. I can remember having full approval on certain commercials where we didn’t even key the blue or green screen. You just had to imagine everything.’

In terms of the business in Montreal, Thibodeau says ‘there is a lot happening since the Americans started to come to town. Obviously, that has taken a lot of the senior editors back on either features or long series, which has given room for a lot of younger people to come in and take a bigger place.’

Thibodeau, who has edited ‘more than 600 spots,’ has cut commercials for such large clients as Nike, McDonald’s and Volkswagen. Although most of his work is local (60% of his work is in English), a full Coke campaign he cut last year ‘went national.’

In future, the 27-year-old Thibodeau would like to get more work outside Montreal and delve deeper into the art of editing long form. Despite his ambition, Thibodeau says he always comes back to commercials, simply because he ‘still likes doing it.’ *