Jeff Reilly scores KO with Emmy for Editing

By John Rice
Ask Jeff Reilly about his reaction
to winning a Sports Emmy for editing and he pauses, then admits “I
was stunned.” Reilly, Editor/Producer at
Televersemedia in Connecticut, was honored at last week’s award ceremony
for his work on ESPN’s “Ali’s 65”, the last of a three-part
project about Muhammad Ali. Reilly was also nominated last
year for his editing of “Ali Rap,” the first contribution to the
The one-hour “Ali’s 65”
is a tribute to Ali presented on his 65th birthday, and the
25th anniversary of his final professional fight. The program debuted on ESPN in January 2007 and features ‘never before
told stories’ from Spike Lee, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Ali’s
brother Rahman Ali and Ed Bradley in his final interview.
Working with producer Johnson
McKelvy, who Reilly calls “a terrific filmmaker,” the two crafted
a story about both the athlete and the individual. “There aren’t
many characters as magnamous as [Ali],” says Reilly. “The challenge
was trying to show the fighter, and show the man.”
The program was off-lined on
Avid Express Pro in standard definition, and finished in 720P using
Avid DS Nitris.
For Reilly, the project was
one of pride and discovery. “I always admired him as a
fighter,” he admits. “But, I really didn’t know that much
about him as a man. He became much more impressive to me. I really admired his tenacity in everything.”
In cutting the show, Reilly
says “pacing and rhythm and tone to me are the most important things
when it comes to editing. I usually can’t stop tweaking things
until I’m completely happy. I tried to capture the essence of
Ali’s personality and incorporate that into the editing and pacing
of the documentary.”

Televersemedia’s Principal,
Jeff Taylor, who also served as Supervising Producer on the project
praises Reilly and his award. “It’s great to see the industry
recognize Jeff’s talent,” he says. “He is truly a talented

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