Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story editor Stephanie Filo has explained how she worked to ensure that the show depicted the titular villain as just that — a villain.
Evan Peters starred as the infamous cannibalistic serial killer in the controversial show, which told the story of his horrible crimes from the point of view from his victims. Filo worked tirelessly in her role as an editor to avoid painting Dahmer in a sympathetic light, and therefore softening the horrific nature of what he did.
In a new interview with Variety, Filo discussed how she managed this task, first explaining that many of the angles and scenes were shot from a wide perspective: “You could see what’s happening and take things in as they’re happening.”
Filo felt particular pressure with the season’s eighth episode when the victim impact statements were being read. Filo said that she spent days working on the scene in order to ensure that she was being respectful to everyone involved.
“I finally tackled it once I was in the right headspace for it, and that’s how a lot of cutting this series felt,” Filo said, explaining that she even left that particular scene for a while, worked on other scenes, and then came back to that vital scene with a clear head.
Filo then explained how she used intercutting of multiple scenes to capture the right pace and tone for the Ryan Murphy show, citing the Christms dinner scene in episode four as one example.
“That used to play as one full scene, but it felt too heavy on their family dynamic,” Filo said. She then began to cut scenes of him in his Army days, arriving from college, and then arriving back, and was satisfied with the end result.
“That intercutting and seeing the weird things he’s been up to helped give context to the horrific things that were happening instead of having a guy just hanging out with his parents.”
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available now on Netflix.