Thursday, 01 February 2024 14:44

From Camcorder to HBO Emmy

Jack Quinn at the 75th Creative Arts Emmy Awards in  Los Angeles. Quinn, who grew up in Saratoga Springs,  was awarded an Emmy for his work on HBO’s “Succession.” Photo provided. Jack Quinn at the 75th Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Quinn, who grew up in Saratoga Springs, was awarded an Emmy for his work on HBO’s “Succession.” Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Jack Quinn grew up on the city’s west side near Saratoga Hospital. The pages of his high school yearbook – Saratoga Springs Class of 2008 – unveil images of the young man’s smiling face alongside a list of pursuits of his teenage years: ski club and SPAC, fun, lacrosse and film club among them. 

“I was always the kid with the video camera,” he says. “It just grew from there.”

Three weeks ago, Quinn walked onto a Los Angeles stage and was presented with an award that recognized the achievements of the kid with the video camera from Saratoga Springs. 

“It was crazy,” says Quinn about attending the 75th Creative Arts Emmy Awards. “Just a wild night.” The images depict a smiling man cradling that most famous of statuettes depicting a winged woman holding an atom. “I watch the Emmys every year and it was a great opportunity to go.” 

Quinn and his team were nominated for and the eventual winners of the Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction Or Reality Series award based on their work with the HBO series “Succession” (Controlling The Narrative).  They faced competition from Saturday Night Live (Presents Behind The Sketch), and The White Lotus (Unpacking The Episode), among others. 

“The night we got to attend was geared toward unscripted shows - a lot of documentary series, a lot of Reality Shows, and our category fell into that because we were nominated for the Inside the Episode series, which is basically a mini-documentary,” Quinn says. The Creative Arts Emmys presentations are among a small handful of events held during the multiple nights of Emmy ceremonies.    

“Jeff Probst - the host of Survivor, was presenting that award. It was funny to see him onstage and to have him hand us the trophy,” Quinn says. “It was a whirlwind night.” 

Quinn was born in 1990 and spent his formative years in Saratoga Springs, leaving for four years to attend classes at SUNY Oswego – where he earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting in 2012 - and returned to Saratoga Springs for a handful of years before heading to Georgia, where he earned a Master of Arts - Film & Television Production, at Savannah College of Art & Design. 

“I was hired right out of school to work for Turner Broadcasting,” Quinn says. He joined HBO in the summer 2021, where he has worked with the shows “Room 104,” and “Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union,” “The Gilded Age,” and the current running series “True Detective: Night Country.” 

“When I started at HBO, season 2 of Succession was wrapping up. When season 3 came around, I told my boss: hey, I really love Succession and I would love to work as much as possible on this show. Thankfully I got the opportunity to do that,” Quinn says. 

“I work for HBO in the marketing department on the corporate side. Within my team we get assigned certain shows to handle the marketing campaign,” he explains.  “We do these little episodic promos - basically a trailer for the next episode. So, after the episode ends it’s: Next Week on Succession… and there are the little trailers we put together. Or, after the episode there will be an Inside the Episode featurette – an interview with the cast and crew, and that’s something my department does as well. That involves us interviewing everyone and putting together these little featurettes for every episode.”

You can find Quinn’s specific editing work on a number of “Succession” Inside The Episode broadcasts as well as in a variety of series trailers. The series, as described by the television network itself: “A bitingly funny drama series exploring themes of power and family through the eyes of an aging media mogul and his four grown children.”   

It is for “Succession: Controlling The Narrative,” that Quinn as producer secured the Creative Arts Emmy award. 

“When season 4 came along, I guess my boss trusted me a little more and we worked closely putting together the interviews – assisted in writing questions for every cast member and crew member who we would interview per episode, and actually worked on a cast interview,” Quinn says. “When it came time to work on the campaign in terms of editing everything together, I got the opportunity to do the most consequential episode featurettes - the Inside the episodes of the season and the series finale.”

How does he approach the work? “When I’m working on those Inside the episode pieces – you watch as many episodes as are available, and you read the scripts. You’re not looking at the finished product, but you’re trying to find as much subtext and drama and identify the most exciting and interesting moments and try to create questions that might give answers that people are interested in,” says Quinn. 

“I’m really glad to be working with HBO because I feel they have the best programming department in the business. They’re really good at picking projects and they give people a considerable budget to work with so I’m always excited to see what HBO gives us next to work with,” says Quinn, who these days calls Brooklyn home. 

It was during his time growing up in Saratoga Springs that Quinn says he came to the realization that the craft of editing - as opposed to shooting or anything else in the realm of videography - was a path he wanted to follow. 

“I grew up messing around with the family camcorder – we had this Sony Handycam that probably most families had at that point – and I just started messing with it, shooting videos with my friends, little skits. I figured out how to edit on my own,” Quinn says. “I got professional software and I had no idea what to do, but eventually I just sort of figured it out.” 

What’s up next? “Right now, I’m wrapping up some work on the series True Detective – which just started a few weeks ago – and the next thing is a show called The Regime, which was given to our team to handle because some of the same people from Succession are producing and writing it, so it’s a good fit.

“I was always the kid with the video camera and luckily, I now have a career in the same field.” 

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