Jacob Carty: The talent behind the scenes

Sofia Hara, A&E Editor

Despite the large setbacks COVID-19 has created, the North Theatre has continued to produce shows, now on a virtual platform. While every production has been a coordinated effort between the cast and crew, none of the shows would have been made possible without Jacob Carty. 

Carty is a senior who serves as the Chief of Sound and Lighting for North’s theatre department but during the current time he serves as the head video editor for productions. Before the pandemic, Carty was in charge of managing the theater’s technical equipment, focusing mainly on sound. During a production Carty would coordinate with the show’s production staff and ensure the equipment was set up correctly to serve the vision of their production. Alongside managing equipment, Carty was in charge of sound mixing for full productions, presentations, and assemblies.  Many of his responsibilities however have changed this year.

“As a result of still needing to create performance art while distance learning, the focus of the tech team has shifted from live performance work to video preparation and editing. For the projects we’ve been working on throughout quarantine, my process begins with collaborating with the directors to understand their vision. After actors film their parts and send them to me, it’s just a matter of putting them in order, followed by polishing, adding any B-roll sound or footage, and then adding graphics and text [depending on the production],” said Carty. 

Carty has edited most projects in theatre this year, including Ghostwalk, The Laramie Project, and One Acts, which are streaming on February 12th. Carty has even been offered opportunities to edit online productions for a few companies in the area in addition to North’s productions, including editing productions for Riverside Children’s Theatre. While he has overseen the editing of various projects, most of the time Carty works alone. 

“There are parts I find more enjoyable than others. There are tedious moments, especially making sure I have all the footage from the actors and assembling it all in the first place. However nothing beats being able to view your final product taking shape after hours or days of culminating work,” said Carty.

Carty often is given a limited amount of time to edit these productions which is sometimes due to actors turning in their footage late, or having a small window of work to begin with. 

“Video editing is a demanding process, not only in the amount of time it takes to produce even a small portion of a final product but also on my equipment as well. I don’t have the best system at home to edit with, and dealing with projects that can exceed 2 hours or so with all their media assets is a daunting task for my computer at home,” said Carty. 

To elaborate, editing a 3 minute video can take up to 4 hours. This is because the process includes sound mixing (removing outside noise, making sure the sound quality is optimal, etc.), clipping videos together, and other miscellaneous additions like adding graphics or filters. 

While video editing is a “daunting process,” Carty has allowed the theatre department to continue on through the pandemic and keep the spirit of performing alive.