A film trailer is designed to intrigue, to reveal enough information that the audience is compelled to find out the whole story. This is especially true of the trailer cut by partner/editor Jay Friedkin of Union Editorial for Cracked Up, the new documentary feature from director Michelle Esrick (Mark Juergens and Adam Yaffe edited the film). The doc sets out to solve a mystery of sorts and to understand the impact childhood trauma can have over a lifetime; its subject is award-winning actor, comedian, master impressionist and Saturday Night Live star, Darrell Hammond. Cracked Up debuted November 14 on the closing night of the 2018 DOC NYC film festival. In a recent CNNi interview, Esrick explained of the movie’s storytelling, “Darrell had to suffer not knowing what happened to him for 40 years...I wanted the film to be like a mystery...because it was a mystery to him.”

Friedkin first collaborated with Esrick on the trailer for 2009’s Saint Misbehavin': The Wavy Gravy Movie, an upbeat, inspiring exploration of Hugh Romney, aka Wavy Gravy, unofficial MC of the Woodstock festival, a hippie icon, activist, clown, and even a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor. “The two projects could not have been more different,” observed Friedkin, who received an Oscar nomination (alongside Marcus D'Arcy) for his work on Babe. “Where Saint Misbehavin’ studies a brilliantly funny and politically astute character, Cracked Up is about trauma suffered by a child. I had to watch the film a couple of times to see if I could do it.” While cutting the trailer involved deep immersion into painful subject matter, Friedkin noted that “Darrell’s brutal honesty is really inspiring. There are scenes where he’s just laying it on the line for people. You can see Darrell realized how important this film would be to many, many people.”

For Friedkin, it’s not difficult to see why luminaries such as Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker lent their considerable influence to the project. “Unlike a lot of TV exposés, the point wasn’t drug abuse or going crazy, but what was at the root of it,” Friedkin concluded. “This is about mental injury, as opposed to mental illness. And this movie asks, ‘What happened, and how do you heal?’”

In addition to Friedkin, whose recent spot projects include work for Ram and 21 web shorts for UBER (R/GA), Union staffers who worked on Cracked Up were mixer Milos Zivkovic and online editor Carolyn Woods.  

About Union
Union Editorial has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and London, where it maintains an alliance with Marshall Street Editors. The company also develops and produces original content through its Union Entertainment Group banner. Other Union companies include Resolution, a visual effects boutique specializing in commercials, features and gaming.

Union is presided over by Partner/Managing Director Michael Raimondi in LA, Partner/Executive Producer Caryn Maclean in NY and Executive Producer Vicki Russell in Austin. The Union roster is comprised of Partner/Editors Jim Haygood, Einar, Jay Friedkin, Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez, Christjan Jordan, and editors Christopher Huth, Nicholas Wayman-Harris, Rachael Waxler, Daniel Luna, Jason Lucas, Kevin Ray, Laura Milstein, Eric Argiro, Karen Kourtessis, Zach Kashkett, Andrew Doga, Paul Plew, Teddy Gersten, Jinx Godfrey, Ben Longland and Nico Alba as well as select projects with Tim Thornton-Allen, Matt Chesse, John Mayes, Spencer Ferszt and the Marshall Street roster.