Interview with Video Editor Chris Saccullo/iLitter

7:50 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments


Chris Saccullo is an amazing montage maker that has gotten rave reviews from fans and gymnasts alike. Athletes like Nastia Liukin and Jordyn Wieber have contacted him personally because they love his work. Chris does an amazing job of highlighting the careers of gymnasts with the help of the perfect song and the perfect effect. He should be hired for his amazing skills with advertisement. Maybe more people would watch gymnastics throughout the years if he did commercials! Chris has over 145 videos on his account about all different gymnasts and all with a unique style to them. I had the chance to chat with him and here's what I learned.

Tell us about yourself (you can include whatever you want – things like name, age, school/work, sports, hobbies, did you do gymnastics yourself/how far, where you’re from, etc.)

My name is Chris Saccullo and I live in Florida. For work, I'm the owner and operator of a trading card shoppe, licenced in real estate and property management. Hobbies: sneakerhead, bodybuilding, MMA, WWE and basketball fan. I competed gymnastics from 4 till about 12 years of age.

How long have you been making montages?

Since late 2008



How would you describe your style?

I try not to have a particular “style” but rather try and be adventurous and tackle a wide array of editing ideas whether it be a high energy track jam packed with effects, a really theatrical piece telling a story, a promo for an upcoming meet or something funny like a bobble head video or trailer spoof.



What inspired you to make your first montage and what was it about?

I always enjoyed creative outlets and editing is a great way to do that so i wanted to give it a shot. I saw all the spectacular mixes basketball editors like Maxamillion711 (check his channel out) were making and thought Gymnastics deserved that level of production. After messing around and learning things from tutorials for a month or so i made a few videos for Nastia and she really liked them and shared them on twitter, her website, YouTube channel and everywhere. It meant the world to me. She direct messaged me on twitter and told me they put a big smile on her face and to keep making more, so that's what i did to this day! I’ll always be so grateful for her kind words and encouragement, i don’t think i would be where i am today without it. Funny story tho, when she messaged me on twitter i was dumb and didn't realize to check my inbox till 2 weeks later, didn’t even know there WAS an inbox for direct messages on twitter at the time! Dx So i looked like a jerk for awhile not responding but finally did of course.

Beyond that the basketball editors really helped me learn new things and really polish my craft. The youtube gymnastics community of course was a huge help and encouragement as well. TheGymEffect got me up and running with Sony Vegas and found a lot of inspiration in her work as well as so many others like AshleyAKAflipper. [Interview with Ashley can be found here.

Now this is kinda straying off topic of the question but what KEEPS me going is the knowledge that my humble videos I put together in my spare time can really have a positive impact not just on the athletes themselves even it it’s just an extra smile to their day but maybe someone worlds away who might be going through something tough in their lives in need of some encouragement or just something positive. Gymnastics has been such a blessing in my life giving me mental discipline and toughness helping me to succeed later in life. I just want to give back to it as much as I can. With all the garbage in the world today young people need all the positivity they can get and I know that if it wasn’t for gymnastics when I was young I have no idea where i would be today. The good Lord blessed me with the creativity and skill set to edit so I will put it to use as much as I can.

What programs do you use for editing?

Right now I use Sony Vegas Pro 11 for the most part, it’s really streamlined and provides a fast work flow. I’m not a super patient person and if i have an idea i want it to come to fruition as fast as possible and Vegas really helps me crank ideas out. Although I do have a bunch of other programs I will use to achieve certain effects if a particular idea calls for it.



How long does it take you, on average, to make a montage?

Actual sit down editing time is about 5 hours i would say. Most of the work I put into creating an edits happens before I even sit down to grind it out. I’ll formulate how to go about it in my head and just kinda map it out in my mind during the course of the day. I’v always been pretty good at conceptualizing ideas in my mind so when it comes time to bring it to life it happens smoothly. It’s funny cause many years ago I played the original Halo on XBOX competitively at a world class level with the best competition in the world. It demanded a great deal of micro managing information in my head. I think that it really conditioned my mind to be efficient with processing multiple levels of information so I believe it really gave me a great skill set for video editing.

How do you find your inspiration for subject matter and music?

Well it’s easy finding inspiration in all the amazing gymnasts of the world and their stories but I just keep an ear open for new music and ideas from things like movie trailers, promos on WWE , basketball mixes and even commercials.

What has been your favorite montage you made and why?

Watch here or below:


I would have to say my video titled “EVER” about the 2008 Olympic Team is my favourite. That team was so captivating and got me back into following gymnastics after being disconnected from the sport for so many years. I had missed the previous Olympics due to Hurricane Charley sweeping through my hometown at the time. Nastia said it made her shed some tears so i’m really glad she enjoyed reflecting on the amazing team she was apart of. Also, I could listen to that song all day, one of my favourite tracks, a gorgeous song for a gorgeous team.

Do your family and friends know that you make montages? What do they think of it?

Yep, they are all really supportive. Most of them are totally lost when it comes to knowing about the actual sport but it’s great to share with them and say that the athletes it was about enjoyed it or how it put a smile on their face.

What’s your favorite montage made by someone else and why?

Back in like late '08 I think, when Nastia use to do her “Nastia’s choice” competition for montages, TheGymEffect made one with Circus that won and it really inspired me to try out editing right away

What would you say to those just starting to make montages?

Just keep having fun with it, stay eager to learn new things and share positivity with all your mind and heart. You have a fun and rewarding opportunity to be an ambassador of the great sport of gymnastics through music and visuals and can have a positive impact on someone worlds away even the athletes themselves! Expose your self to as many tutorials as you can and be confidant that you can learn them! If anyone out there needs some help feel free to drop me a message on youtube.

Do you work for WOGA?

I don’t. Awhile back they noticed some of my work and asked if i would like to help with various projects and of course i was thrilled to help. So every once in awhile i get the privilege of helping out with various projects.
[I asked this question because Chris has produced videos advertising WOGA events and WOGA athletes. A few of the comments ask if Chris' video will be on TV. Someday! Watch one for the 2012 WOGA Classic here.]


Blitz
Favorite music: Deftones
Favorite TV show: right now I love to watch “Tanked” on Animal Planet, love the creativity on that show and of course i’m a pro wrestling fan so WWE
Favorite movie: any movie with Steven Seagal
Favorite 2 gymnasts: Nastia and Musty
Favorite event to watch: asymmetric bars and high bar
Favorite floor exercise to watch: Victoria Moors
Favorite 2 countries: USA and Russia
Favorite gymnastics moment: Nastia’s AA gold with anthem playing

Arabian Punch Front Favorites:
1. Why I think Chris should do advertisement for gymnastics events - his video for the 2012 American Cup featuring Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, and John Orozco. Watch here
2. McKayla Maroney. Born to be a Star.
3. Jordyn Wieber - Wild One. Jordyn tweeted that she loved this one. It's an excellent song and might also make you a little teary considering how Jordyn's 2012 went.
4. Alicia Sacramone - Beneath the Winter Snow - This video shows Alicia's misses in Beijing but also highlights her comeback and personality. Rewatching it, I remembered how much I love Alicia and her smile and how her character and personality will be missed.

Chris has also made a few Olympic videos already. There's a beautiful one of Aliya Mustafina and another one of Aliya and Aly Raisman's romance (Raistafina)! This one is on team USA and gives me chills. Watch it here or below.



Thank you Chris for blessing us with your editing skills. Your talent is amazing and you're also super helpful to all the other video editors. Thanks for sharing your talents with us and for allowing me to interview you. Can't wait for the next few montages!

Check out CSaccullo:
Like CSaccullo Edits on facebook
iLitter on youtube
CSaccullo on twitter

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