Dissecting Five Editing Frontrunners

Like cinematography, editing stands out this awards season for the creative ingenuity of five frontrunners: the “continuous take” of Birdman, the 12-year real-time odyssey of Boyhood, the percussive intensity of Whiplashthe parallel machinations of Gone Girl and the enigmatic humanism of The Imitation Game.

1. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu may not want to give away the “continuous take” gag in his extraordinary Birdmanbut he’s achieved the ultimate in POV narrative. And his long-time editors Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione “stitched” Birdman together in a very unique way, compiling an assembly of rehearsal footage before principal photography and cleverly erasing the cuts with the VFX and post teams.

 2. If we thought Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy was bold, the real-time rite of passage of Boyhood is even more ambitious, tapping into life’s disappointments and the culmination of seemingly inconsequential events that shape our lives — for better or worse. We actually get to witness the actors age as the characters do, especially Ellar Coltrane as Mason, seen from age seven to 19. Imagine if François Truffaut made the first two Antoine Doinel movies in such a fashion.
3. Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, a musical Raging Bull, in which drumming becomes as violent as boxing, marks another unique editorial experience. For only his third feature, editor Tom Cross found himself in the trenches for a movie shot in only 19 days about Miles Teller’s ambitious drummer going head to head with J.K. Simmons’ abusive instructor, who puts him through hell to become a musical genius.
Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Editing, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers

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