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What would you ask a superstar feature film editor?

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Marc Brak
What would you ask a superstar feature film editor?
on Jan 6, 2008 at 4:33:03 pm

I have been given the opportunity to write a (long!) interview about the craft of editing with one of Europe's top feature film editors! Talk about a learning experience!

The audience for the interview are filmmakers and students of filmmaking, so I really want to delve into the craft and ask a lot of practical questions, like

- when you start editing, do you stick to the script and the storyboard, or do you start interpreting right away?

- Do you cut to music or without sound? How does sound influence your cutting?

- What's a scene you are particularly proud of and how did you cut it?

- Are there rules for editing certain types of scenes (i.e. comedy, dialogue, action) that you like to follow - or like to break? Examples?

- What kind of gear do you use?

- What have you learned about editing that they don't tell you in filmschool?

Et cetera.

Now my question to all of you is: What would you ask a leading feature film editor?. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

I cannot yet say too much about the subject of this interview or the medium it will appear in, but questions used will of course be credited!

Screw it, let's do it!

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grinner hester
Re: What would you ask a superstar feature film editor?
on Jan 6, 2008 at 5:14:36 pm

do you use the force?
I'd love to know how often insticts are followed more than the script.

Do you sneak your own cut on the side?
Satisfaction is why we do this gig. Just wondering what kind of stash the average A flick editor has.

Do you cut in your sleep?
we all do but it's always fun to hear examples from others.

Your favorite kind of director?
do you take charge or are you a media procerssor?

can you watch tv or other movies?
without going crazy or driving your wife crazy?

are you a closet director like the rest of us?

whats your favorite flavor to cut?

what made you become an editor?
(and don't let em tell ya they aspired to be one... editors are editors becuase somone paid em to edit as they climbed ladders and it stuck. ;)

whats your toll prefrences?

hows the big switch from avid going?

will you miss Avid?

ok, will yu miss the old Avid?

when was the last time you said "sure, I can work saturday." when you meant "hell, no, man."

do get a lump in your throat every time you watch a movie (any movie) at the theatre because in a far off thought that will be your movie up there one day?

what are yur personal thoughts of the union?

what was the last gig you passed on and why?

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Mark Raudonis
Re: What would you ask a superstar feature film editor?
on Jan 6, 2008 at 6:32:14 pm

If you haven't already, you should read Walter Murch's book: "In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing". Google it. It's available on Amazon.

This is perhaps the most intelligent, articulate and thoughtful look at the editorial process I've every read. You can then ask your "superstar" how their approach differs from Walter's.


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Mark Suszko
Re: What would you ask a superstar feature film editor?
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:45:22 pm

What do you watch for fun, and can you turn off your editing sensibilities long enough to enjoy it on it's own terms? That is, are you a fun or annoying person to see a movie with?

Name a film you would love to have the chance to re-cut, give some sense of what you'd try to do differently and why.

What kinds of things inspire you. Do you have any personal rituals, or maybe a creative exercise you do to get your head in the right mood before you start?

Without naming names, what was the worst editing experience you ever had, and why? What did you learn from that?

What are the three most common mistakes you see beginning editors make?

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Rocco Forte
Re: What would you ask a superstar feature film editor?
on Jan 8, 2008 at 11:41:48 pm

I'd ask to hear examples of critical mistakes made by directors and what they did to rectify these mistakes. I'd also be curious to know if they think they'd be a better film maker if they had access to tools such as iMovie and Youtube when they were young.

What do they think of people coming into the edit room, who are not the director, such as actors and writers? (What do you do with all the opinions?)

And - what the hell - what's the most amount of money they made on a project?!! And who was the client?!! ;o)

Enjoy the meeting.

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Mike Cohen
Re: What would you ask a superstar feature film editor?
on Feb 12, 2008 at 1:58:58 am

Another fascinating book is "When the shooting stops, the editing begins." The author talks about saving the careers of Woody Allen and William Friedkin, whose first movies were utter disasters after the first cut.

I would ask:

What do you do about editor's block. When no matter how you look at it, you can't cut a scene and be happy with it.

By the same token, what if you are unenthused about a project, but it pays the bills, how do you get into it.

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