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Editor David Gioiella Builds Fashionable Reputation

How does a digital video editor become such a rising fashion star? By Ray Ecke
Editing FashionDavid Gioiella, partner and creative editor at New York-based Northern Lights Post, is hell-bent on making the world a beautiful place. As a hot, highly-demanded cosmetic and beauty editor, he's sculpted spots for such prominent brands as Estee Lauder and Jordache, as well as lent his impeccable style to MTV reality shows such as Cribs and Diary.

It's an admirable niche to have carved. Cosmetic and beauty ads have special demands, and the editing of these spots needs to be just as striking and flawless as the products and spokesmodels represented. It's hard work, but Gioiella takes it in stride, with cuts that appear effortless, seamless, and subtle?and yet always innovative.


So how does one become such a rising fashion star?

For Gioiella, the answer was to start humbly. The day after his graduation from Northwestern University, Gioiella moved to New York, planted himself on the floor of an empty Tribeca loft, and made his first sales calls. It was important to Gioiella and Northern Lights co-founder/editor Mark Littman to start from scratch rather than work their way up the ladder at an established facility -- they wanted to preserve their independence, integrity, and creative vision. They paid their dues, cutting their teeth on broadcast promos and regional spots.

"Throughout this process, we just kept meeting more people, and we eventually started doing a lot of VH1 and MTV programming and promos," Gioiella recalls. "That really opened up the door to the commercial world for us because then we were doing things that were recognizable, interestingly edited, and that brought a different style to the material."

No matter how large or small the account, Gioiella made a habit of offering the unexpected. It is a goal that he still commits to, and his current clients in the ever-changing fashion and beauty world have found such innovation quite attractive.

"I take initiative, and my clients seem to like that - they want to ask me how their footage should look," says Gioiella. "I like to make my edits as seamless as possible, and yet be able to give each spot something visually different. Whether that's cutting things very quickly, using a lot of graphics, or designing a look that nobody imagined, I want clients to feel that they are not getting the expected."

Gioiella's dedication to both style and substance has paid off, making him a highly demanded editor for both fashion-oriented spots and MTV's cutting-edge programming. Gioiella and Northern Lights have been working Estee Lauder for over a year, most recently cutting a commercial for agency Bates USA for the perfume, "Intuition" featuring model, Elizabeth Hurley.

"I've been a cosmetic and beauty director for 20 years, and David reminds me of the good old days before everything got formatted into a rigid system it's nice to work with an editor who is so in tune with new trends and styles and isn't just doing robotic editing," states Bates USA Creative Director Michael Litman. "David was able to interpret what I needed and take it to an extreme. He took a basic technique of dissolves to a whole new level and did things that I didn't even think were possible. He just pushes it."

With such implicit trust comes more responsibility. Gioiella says he is finding himself going beyond creative editing to actually finishing spots in-house.

"I have an uncompressed Avid and a digital-beta deck, and I'm able to do the online and the compositing right here," he explains, adding that most of Northern Light's editors work with Avid Media Composer 1000s. "A lot of times, I'll take After Effects elements and put them together in the uncompressed Avid. That way, I'm able to take the project through one more step."

Gioiella's commitment to excellence and independence has seen Northern Lights through the last six years, from when the company first hung its shingle in Tribeca, to now, when the facility welcomes its many clients into sleek, new Chelsea digs. And despite the considerable experience Gioiella and his staff has gained, they still pride themselves on delivering a fresh, creative vision.

"We've done a lot of work, but we're still young and have unique perspectives and different ways of approaching things," Gioiella concludes. "I think that no matter what we're working on, that's what draws people to us."

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Related Keywords:Digital Video Editing, David Gioiella, Northern Lights Post, cosmetic and beauty editor, spots, Estee Lauder, Jordache, style, MTV, Cribs, Diary

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