Sunday, October 02, 2005

Editing Seminars

The beauty of L.A. is that there is always something that is film related going on somewhere, whether it is people filming, premiers, screenings you name it. The latest thing I got to attend was two editing seminars that are part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s series on The Art of Editing. I read about this event happening and I knew that I had to make sure I attended at least one of the four seminars. This was my window of opportunity to hear my heroes of the trade speak and discuss their works.
The first seminar I attended was titled “ The Editor/Director Relationship.” The panel included John Singelton (boyz in the hood, four brothers, 2fast 2 furious) and his editor Bruce Cannon. The two other members of the panel were Garry Marhsall ( pretty woman, runaway bride, princess diaries) and his editor Bruce Green.
The seminar was very insightful and was able to explain the importance of the editor/director relationship, the importance of trust , and as gary marshall said, the importance of eating the same food so you can order from the same place.
All of this is important considering the fact that after shooting the film, ( which takes about 30-50 days….depending on size) the director retreats to the editing room and he is there alone with the editor in this dark room for the next couple of months, shaping the film they thought they had shot. So you can imagine the importance of this relationship in one of the last stages of making a film. Many directors start working with an editor and establish this strong bond and keep on working with them for as long as they can. Some partnerships are now famous and have proved their effectiveness. Scorcese and Thelma Shoonmaker, Spielberg and Kahn, Minghella and Murch,Tarrantino and Sally Menke , Marc Forester and Matt Chesse. So one can see that this could be one of the more important relationships a director has to establish and most probably maintain.
The seminar was full of anecdotes and stories of the cutting room. The guests also showed some clips and talked about their decisions and approaches.

The next seminar was just a treat for us, the guests were amazing, the line up included Anne Coates ( lawrence of arabia), a legend in the art of editing, Alan Heim, Neil Travis and Michael Tronick.
The title of the seminar was Anatomy of a Cut. The editors shoed some of their favorite moments and discussed them in a detailed fashion, focusing on decisions and how they feel the cuts contributed to the whole movie. It would just be too much to start discussing all of this here, but I can say that it was an incredible learning experience for me to hear these editors speak, these invisible warriors as someone called them. All of this is preparation for when I get my chance to cut a feature film one day.

Viva L.A….and the academy.


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