Editor Stacy Peterson on Nike, Klay Thompson, and the Wild Roller Coaster of Sports
Stacy Peterson, an editor at Cut+Run, has a gift for finding the authentic and emotional core of every film she edits. She is a thoughtful observer who is able to translate nuanced perspectives into compelling stories. She is drawn to projects that focus on dynamic and original narratives, uplift underrepresented voices, and document life in an honest way. This can be seen in her award-winning work for Gillette "Your Best Never Comes Easy," short films for the Nike "Dream Crazier" series, as well as empowering Pride films for Equinox and Pantene.
In 2020, Stacy was shortlisted for the Shots Americas Editor of the Year award and received praise across multiple platforms for her Klay Thompson short film for Kaiser Permanente, "Above the Waves" including a Clio for Film Craft.
Stacy moved to New York to start her editing career shortly after graduating with a film degree from Northwestern University. She is a proud member of Free the Work and over the years has collaborated with directors Floyd Russ of Tool, Savanah Leaf of Park Pictures, Elle Ginter of Sanctuary, as well as agencies Wieden+Kennedy, Townhouse, Anomaly, Droga5 and Translation.
We spoke to Stacy for our Time-Out series, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and shows, and their love of sports generally.
Stacy, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in a very small town in Wisconsin. Now I live in Queens, New York. The two locations are as different from each other as you can get. I much prefer the city.
Your earliest sports memory.
Playing baseball in the middle of the street with neighborhood kids. One time I had the brilliant idea to slide head-first ... over asphalt and pebbles. I ended up with a palm full of stitches.
Your favorite sports teams.
Tragically, my favorite team is the Miami Dolphins. Growing up, I loved watching Dan Marino play. I was obsessed. Over the years the fandom stuck, and now I'm trapped! I also love the WNBA. I'm a New York Liberty fan, but I'll watch any of the teams. The energy of the league is fun, and the players are so charismatic and talented. I could watch any game, any time.
Your favorite athlete.
I'm not sure I have one. Don't get me wrong, there are many athletes who I admire and love to watch play—Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Stephen Curry, Candace Parker, Arike Ogunbowale—but I'm typically more interested in a team or a sport in general, or I'll find myself getting swept up in specific stories rather than a singular person.
Your favorite sports show or podcast.
During the NFL season, I used to love listening to the Yahoo Sports NFL podcast with Terez Paylor and Charles Robinson, but sadly Mr. Paylor passed away. From all accounts, he was a wonderful man. His energy, wit and humor on the podcast were addictive. I'm now searching for a replacement NFL podcast that hits that perfect balance of sharp insight and great humor, but I haven't found the right one yet.
Your favorite sports movie.
There are several admittedly cheesy ones from the '90s that I still love, like The Mighty Ducks series, The Sandlot and Little Giants. Field of Dreams will always make me cry. A League of Their Own is infinitely re-watchable.
More broadly, I love how sports movies can tap into so many different emotions. They can be funny, stirring, uplifting, devastating, or all of the above. And that's part of the appeal of sports in general, right? As a fan or a player, you experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. It lends itself perfectly to cinema.
A recent project you're proud of.
I edited a short film for Kaiser Permanente called "Above the Waves," which highlighted Klay Thompson's recovery from his ACL injury. It was a big undertaking, having to weave the story together between stylized shot footage, interviews and archival. I loved the angle the film took—focusing more on the psychological aspects of recovery vs. a stereotypical "triumphant return" story. The creative team from Translation were a blast to work with, and the director, Floyd Russ, is someone with whom I collaborate a lot. Over the years we've developed a good shorthand with each other, and he often brings me the most challenging and creatively satisfying projects. This particular film was the perfect combination of great footage, great team and interesting story.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
The recent Nike ad "You Can't Stop Us" has really stuck in my head as an editor. It is so deceptively simple: a center-frame split-screen with matched action. In reality, they mixed real footage with shot footage, did an immense amount of prep work, as well as an immense amount of post work with editing, tracking and roto. Though I'm not personally privy to their behind-the-scenes process, I'm sure it took a great deal of patience and collaboration and a willingness to experiment. The end result looks so clean and straightforward, but I'm in awe of the collective effort it must have taken to achieve that result.
What sports can do that nothing else can.
I mentioned it in a previous answer, but there is nothing else on earth that can send you on such a roller coaster of emotions. Within a 10-second span of time, you might go from extreme anxiety to despair to manic euphoria. I remember several years ago, the Dolphins were playing the Patriots in a tight game. It happened to be my wife's birthday, and she gamely agreed to suffer through the misery of my Miami Dolphins mood swings. They lost the lead with hardly any time left, and I was certain it was going to be yet another disappointing Dolphins loss. I stomped around the living room, sulking and pouting, debated turning off the TV, when on the very last play of the game, the classic endless-laterals situation actually worked out and they scored a touchdown with zero seconds left on the clock. Suddenly I was screaming, kicking my legs, sprinting around in circles like a child. I'll always remember the announcer call. "Gronkowski didn't have the angle!!"
Sports! They're wild.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.
My wife thinks I have a novel buried somewhere inside of me, so perhaps writing that.