My Experience Editing the Netflix series GRISELDA

Poster for the Netflix limites series Griselda starring Sofia Vergara

Written by Joaquin Elizondo

January 25, 2024

The highly anticipated Netflix limited series, Griselda, has finally hit our screens, offering a gripping dramatization of the notorious Griselda Blanco’s ascent from Medellín to becoming the feared “Godmother” of Miami’s drug empire.

As one of the three editors credited on this compelling series alongside Kelly Stuyvesant and Chris Cavanagh, my journey with Griselda began in January 2022, taking me through the intricate process of shaping each episode I worked on to captivate audiences worldwide.

Joaquin Elizondo editing the Netflix series GRISELDA at the offices in Santa Monica

Early Connections and Seizing the Opportunity:

My introduction to the world of Griselda dates back to my time working on Narcos: Mexico a couple of years ago. The project caught my attention, and when I learned that Sofia Vergara (renowned for her comedic talent) was set to star in her first dramatic role, I knew I wanted to be part of this transformative endeavor.

Communicating the Desire to Be Involved:

The prospect of Sofia Vergara making her dramatic debut added an extra layer of excitement to Griselda. Recognizing the significance of this shift, I took proactive steps to ensure my involvement in the editing team. In an industry where opportunities are earned through active engagement, expressing my enthusiasm and dedication became crucial. It was a deliberate effort to convey that this was a project I was not just interested in, but passionate about.

Sofia Vergara’s Dramatic Debut:

Sofia Vergara, renowned for her infectious laughter and charm, underwent a remarkable transformation in Griselda. Editing her portrayal of Griselda Blanco’s intricate character in a dramatic light marked a significant professional milestone for me. As part of the editing team alongside Kelly Stuyvesant and Chris Cavanagh, I had the privilege of meticulously crafting each scene to showcase and highlight Sofia’s outstanding performance. This allowed me to explore the nuances of her acting, making her debut an exceptional and standout feature of the series.

Assistant Editor Dynamics:

Within the editing team, Chris Cavanagh, who also served as my assistant editor, played a pivotal role. His collaboration extended to co-editing episode 3 with me, showcasing our seamless working relationship. Additionally, Carlos ‘Charlie’ Viramontes contributed as the other assistant editor, bringing his skills to enhance the overall editing process.

Avid Media Composer timeline of episode 1 of the Netflix series Griselda

Visual Marvels:

Navigating the realm of visual effects for Griselda was a thrilling venture, enriched by the expertise of VFX Supervisor Andrew Ceperley and VFX Editor David Conley. Their creative prowess seamlessly interwove stunning visual elements, elevating key scenes and contributing to the overall cinematic brilliance of the series. Their dedication to perfection played a pivotal role in transforming Griselda into a visually stunning narrative that captivated audiences with its immersive and cinematic allure.

Collaborating with the Director and Producers:

The collaboration extended beyond my role as an editor. Working remotely for the first six months and then transitioning to the office for the remaining six, constant communication with Andi Baiz and executive producers Eric Newman, Doug Miro, and Ingrid Escajeda was pivotal. Daily exchanges of edited scenes and receiving feedback helped shape the narrative cohesively. The process was a testament to the dedication of everyone involved, creating a series that stands out in its execution.

Director Andi Baiz watching a scene from the Netflix limited series GRISELDA

Music and Sound Teams:

Our collaboration extended to the remarkable music and sound teams that played a crucial role in elevating Griselda‘s immersive experience. Emmy and Grammy-winning composer Carlos Rafael Rivera (The Queen’s Gambit, Lessons in Chemistry), music editor Eduardo ‘Gualo’ Jaramillo, and music supervisors Liza Richardson and Marc Mondello crafted a riveting soundtrack that heightened the emotional depth of the series. The exceptional sound team at Soundelux, featuring Wylie Stateman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Anne Jimkes, Austin Roth, and Omar Gonzalez, added the finishing touches that brought Griselda to life.

Doing sound mixing on the Netflix limited series GRISELDA in a studio in Santa Monica


As Griselda unfolds on Netflix, I reflect on the collective effort that went into shaping a narrative inspired by real events. Sofia Vergara’s outstanding performance in the series has turned it into a truly captivating experience. Each member of the team, with their simplicity and dedication, has contributed to the success of Griselda. Here’s hoping that audiences find the same joy in watching it as we found in crafting it!

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