Ep69: Cobra Kai…Inside the Edit Suite | with Jon Hurtwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg


Have you ever wanted be a fly on the wall in the edit suite of a high profile tv show to see what it’s really like working in the trenches?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get the attention of high profile producers and showrunners so you can build a relationship with them and possibly work on their shows someday?

And if you do land the job working with your dream creators, have you ever wondered what steps you can take to not only do a great job but also build relationships for life so you are always invited to work on future projects?

All these questions are answered (and a lot more) in my interview with Cobra Kai creators and showrunners Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg.

In this episode we have a candid no-topics-off-limits conversation about the realities of editing and collaborating on a show like Cobra Kai. We discuss how in the world the Karate Kid saga ended up becoming a hit series on YouTube of all places, the psychology I used to land myself this job not having any previous relationships with Jon, Josh, or Hayden, and we also dive deep into the creative process on the show including managing the tight schedule, why they insisted on sending hundreds of pages of notes for every cut (and how I prioritized that work with the other obligations in my life…love you guys BTW), and ultimately what showrunners and producers are looking for in potential talent they might hire for future projects.

If you want to work in scripted television or features someday, this is a masterclass on the psychology of networking and building relationships with high profile producers.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How John, Josh, and Hayden pivoted from Harold and Kumar and American Pie to furthering the Karate Kid saga
  • Why now is the perfect time for Cobra Kai to exist
  • “Knowing what you want” as healthy alternative to perfectionism
  • Learning who to trust when being given feedback on your work
  • Adapting to the storytelling language of your showrunners in the edit bay
  • How you should be interviewing your interviewer
  • Adjusting to the unique flow of your creative relationship with new executives
  • Finding the BEST story instead of clinging to ideas just because they’re yours
  • Knowing when it’s healthy for you to throw your creative instincts into the mix
  • Why you should be watching Cobra Kai Season 2!

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Click here to watch Cobra Kai Season 2

Tired of Life Kicking Your Ass? Learn to Fight Back Like a True ‘Cobra Kai’

Our Generous Sponsors:

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Guest Bio:

Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg have been close friends since they were teenagers. Their first collaboration together is YouTube Premium’s runaway hit COBRA KAI, the Karate Kid spinoff series that picks up decades after the original film ends. Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg are the creators and showrunners of the series. They wrote and directed the bulk of the first and second seasons.

Josh Heald is best known for creating and writing the cult classic, Hot Tub Time Machine – for which he earned the inaugural Comedy Award for Best Screenplay – and the sequel, Hot Tub Time Machine 2. He has produced and developed pilots across many networks and platforms.

Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg are the writing/directing/producing team behind New Line Cinema’s Harold & Kumar franchise. They penned Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, which garnered a legion of fans and was launched to immediate cult status. Two sequels followed: 2008’s Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, which became Hurwitz & Schlossberg’s feature directorial debut, and 2011’s A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. In 2012, they wrote and directed American Reunion for Universal Pictures, and worked again for the studio in 2018, producing the hit comedy Blockers.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Elyse Rintelman. The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. Zack helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs overcome procrastination, depression, and creative burnout so they can get sh*t done and achieve the most meaningful goals in their lives...without sacrificing their sanity in the process. If you’re interested in learning how to better manage your time, your energy, and develop ninja-like focus, download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”