Some years ago, spot editor Yamus (real name Jim Mudra) was working on a PSA spot. The footage involved many children and atmospheres, related his friend and colleague Red Car editor Bob Carr.
After reviewing the footage, Yamus called the copywriter and said he’d found a single 30-second take that was perfect. “You don’t need an editor,” he said. “The magic was captured in this one take.”
Called “the consummate craftsman,” Mr. Mudra died Sept. 3 at the University of Chicago Medical Center after a two-year battle with squamous cell cancer. He was 62.
“In the days when invisible editing was appreciated, he was supreme. He’d look at a spot and discern where the cuts would go,” said Carr, who worked with Mr. Mudra for nearly 30 years, starting when they were the first two employees of the original Optimus, then owned by now-retired Jimmy Smyth.
Smyth said, “In the 30 years I knew Yam, I never heard him raise his voice or get angry. He was a consummate gentleman. He was a funny man whose humor had all of us screaming with laughter when he was on a roll. He added a lot to the character of the company called Optimus. He truly was an original and one of the best.”