We recently saw Prey released on Hulu and it ended up being the highest viewed film in the history of the streaming platform on opening weekend. The Amber Midthunder-led Predator film has been met with rave reviews from critics and audiences. I had the chance to chat with Claudia Castello who edited the film.
Ricky Valero: What about the Prey that made you want to edit the project?
Claudia Castello: Being a Brazilian coming from a Latin country with a lot of indigenous influence and being a huge fan of the Predator franchise, I had all the reasons to jump on this project. The script was very good, the characters were interesting, and I loved the idea of combining the franchise with the representation of the Comanche Nation. And “Naru” played by Amber Midthunder got my heart. I love her – and I love the Predator!!
RV: When working with VFX/CGI does it make the editing process harder?
CC: Not so much on this movie because a lot of the VFX were practical and almost all the plates we had for CGI were shot on location, so it was really fun and more organic to edit which I believe shows in the end result. I also had a very efficient and talented team. My first AE and additional editor Alex Oppenheimer, the amazing in-house VFX editor Ben Howdeshell, and every single one in the editing team made a difference on that pipeline.
RV: With the film being an origin story of Predator, did you feel any pressure working on the film?
CC: I felt really excited. It gave me more stamina knowing it would be a Predator from 1719. I didn’t feel pressure.
RV: How was it working with Dan Trachtenberg?
CC: It was amazing. Dan is super collaborative and open to suggestions. The process was very satisfying and I was really happy working with him.
RV: When editing a project, what are the things you are looking for?
CC: The characters and the movie emotional arcs are the first things I look for when I read the script and carry those thoughts throughout editing. Then all the obstacles, turning points, major events, rhythm, story clarity, etc. But what I obsess about the most are those arcs, which are the soul of the movie.
RV: How does it feel to watch back at your work after you have completed it?
CC: It feels good. I am satisfied with my work. I will bring everything I learned from my experience on “Prey” with me to the next project and I will face new challenges and search for the best solutions. That is the beauty of this job.
RV: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
CC: I’ve just started editing the Hulu series by Kapital Entertainment studio “Black Cake” with EP Oprah Winfrey. It is my first opportunity to work as an editor in a real female point of view project from writing, directing, producing, all the way to editing. It’s a beautiful story and I’m very excited about it.
Prey is streaming on Hulu today.