Unreal Nature

June 4, 2015

Designed to Be Edited

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:42 am

… all the stuff that’s done outside the editing room is really designed to be edited.

This first is from the interview with Bill Pankow in First Cut: Conversations with Film Editors by Gabriella Oldham (1992):

[ … ]

… As an editor, you have several tools to work with. One is your mind, one is the film you’re given, and another is the audience’s imagination. Perhaps that’s the most powerful tool you can use in film, the audience’s imagination and emotion. When you imply something, you often lead them to a point beyond which the images they conjure in their minds are more powerful than what you show them.

The following is from Oldham’s interview with Paul Hirsch:

[ … ]

… all the stuff that’s done outside the editing room is really designed to be edited. The amount of work that goes into the script, the set, the costumes, the lighting, the shooting, the acting, all of that is devoted to accumulating the raw materials that go into the editing room as dailies. Dailies are unwatchable, except if you’re being paid to do it, and they come out to be the movie that you are willing to pay to see! So that transformation of boring, unedited film into something that is an emotional experience is what happens in the editing room.

[ … ]

Can you watch your own films?

It’s very painful just because I’ve seen them so many times. See, when they come out to the public, fresh and new, to me they’re dead. A film is sort of like a living, breathing organism as long as you can make changes to it. Once the negative is cut, the film is mixed, the optical track is married to the picture negative and you have a composite print, which is the way the public sees it, then to me it’s a mummified corpse! It’s no longer alive, it’s an artifact that has no life. It’s just a thing and I can’t watch it. It’s unbearable. And this is the cruel trick that the film gods play on the worshipers at the shrine!

My most recent previous post from Oldham’s book is here.

-Julie

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