Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for April 14th, 2012

Walter Murch on an editor’s detachment

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When you’re watching a film [as an editor], somebody has to deal with the film in complete ignorance of how it actually got made, because that is the way it is going to be seen. I try to keep myself as removed as possible, because I’m the ombudsman of the audience, looking out for their best interests. If you are the director and it took you an incredible amount of time and anguish to get a particular shot, you might invest that shot with more importance than it really has. It has to carry the burden of the effort that it took to get it. On the other hand, if I as the editor am not aware of that burden, I might look at the shot and think there’s nothing special about it. And occasionally I might be right. On the other hand, a shot that was grabbed just before lunch when everyone was having an argument: the director might dismiss it. Whereas I would say, “Ooh, in the right context, this shot could be magical.”

Walter Murch, to David Thomson in The Believer

Written by nevalalee

April 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

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