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Editing

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Richard Pearson’s body of work defies any easy categorization or niche. The features he has cut, beginning with the comedy Bowfinger, range from light fare like the Muppets from Space, and Blades of Glory to the drama of United 93, Safe House and The Accountant. Then there’s the bevy of franchise tentpoles he’s worked on, like The Bourne Supremacy, Quantum of Solace, Men in Black II, Iron Man 2 and the MonsterVerse entries Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island.
When we talked with Richard about his work, he acknowledged just how extensive his body of work is: “I’ve been fortunate to delve into childhood fantasies, from dealing with the space program to comic book adventures and the Bond movies, which I loved seeing as a kid. Going on the set of Bond for the first time was pretty cool and made me feel like, ‘I’m ten years old again!’”

At a foundational level, editors are specialists in what feels right. We’ve had countless conversations with post-production professionals who all say similar things like, “You have to go with your gut” or “It just needs to feel right.” Editors are trained in the art of operating at a subliminal level and drawing it up to the surface.

“We all watch TV. We’ve all watched tens of thousands of hours of footage and videos,” Editor Alex Morrison told us. “After a while, your mind starts to get used to what looks nice and feels good. Editing is more about understanding what feels good, knowing why, and then making it happen.”

And knowing why may be the biggest differentiator between an editor and a great editor. In his work with Stept Studios on an Oakley spot announcing their partnership with the NFL, Alex had to dive deeply into small moments that paid off big, moments that had to feel right to the viewer without them even noticing. It’s a tricky business, one that Alex has learned firsthand.

Steve Jobs has an astute quote about getting things right: “Details matter.” While it may not be the most radical thing he ever said, it’s surely one of the truest things he said. In filmmaking, it applies nicely. Whether it’s on-set or in post-production, attention to detail can take your project from good to great, letting the viewer know that they’re in not just capable hands, but caring hands.

For Directors Heidi Berg and Felix Soletic, attention to detail was everything when they started dreaming up the dream-like title sequence for Netflix’s The Politician. It’s an eery, fantastical, and entrancing sequence packed with little details the viewer may or may not understand. But, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.

In a way, title sequences serve an entirely different purpose than the introduction of a show. They’re most likely compared to a book’s forward, where an outsider offers a rich, unexpected perspective on a work of art. It’s tangentially related but exists in a parallel universe.

For Directors Heidi Berg and Felix Soletic, along with Editor Doron Dor, they live for this moment, the opportunity to give the audience a glimpse into something deeper than plot and storylines. In their work on Ratched, they’re giving viewers a glimpse into madness.

There’s a moment in any creative career when you stop trying to fight the unknown and learn to embrace it. It doesn’t make things less scary, but you also lean into that fear, making peace with it. It’s a huge moment and once you get to that point, you can unlock your true creative potential. 

Just take editor Carla Luffe, for example. She got a headstart on this realization by learning to love the most difficult parts of her job which, in turn, makes them a little bit easier. 

“It’s a love and hate relationship. It’s so intense and it’s so multilayered because it never ends. You’ll never be satisfied with what you’re doing,” she told us. “But that’s also the beauty of it, in a way. I think I love it, but I was also scared of it and hated it at times.”

Richard Pearson’s body of work defies any easy categorization or niche. The features he has cut, beginning with the comedy Bowfinger, range from light fare like the Muppets from Space, and Blades of Glory to the drama of United 93, Safe House and The Accountant. Then there’s the bevy of franchise tentpoles he’s worked on, like The Bourne Supremacy, Quantum of Solace, Men in Black II, Iron Man 2 and the MonsterVerse entries Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island.
When we talked with Richard about his work, he acknowledged just how extensive his body of work is: “I’ve been fortunate to delve into childhood fantasies, from dealing with the space program to comic book adventures and the Bond movies, which I loved seeing as a kid. Going on the set of Bond for the first time was pretty cool and made me feel like, ‘I’m ten years old again!’”

Richard Pearson’s body of work defies any easy categorization or niche. The features he has cut, beginning with the comedy Bowfinger, range from light fare like the Muppets from Space, and Blades of Glory to the drama of United 93, Safe House and The Accountant. Then there’s the bevy of franchise tentpoles he’s worked on, like The Bourne Supremacy, Quantum of Solace, Men in Black II, Iron Man 2 and the MonsterVerse entries Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island.
When we talked with Richard about his work, he acknowledged just how extensive his body of work is: “I’ve been fortunate to delve into childhood fantasies, from dealing with the space program to comic book adventures and the Bond movies, which I loved seeing as a kid. Going on the set of Bond for the first time was pretty cool and made me feel like, ‘I’m ten years old again!’”

When pressed to explain the surprise success of Alan Alda’s 1981 comedy-drama The Four Seasons — which debuted amid a heavy-hitting summer lineup featuring 007, Superman, and King Arthur — a studio executive allegedly dismissed the slice-of-life tale as a ‘non-recurring phenomena.’ As if by its very uniqueness, the film didn’t merit further consideration. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. In recent years, sleeper hits defying easy pigeonholing have become increasingly common, earning considerable accolades in the process.

“I don’t do nine-to-five.” Mikkel declared to us. “I’m not the usual editor. If I sign on, it becomes ‘The Project’. Every day, even weekends. That gives me the time to try different things, peeling away until I find the balance and simplicity that lets us talk to the audience.”

Nielsen is as dedicated to the project as he is his craft. Having already amassed significant credits with Madame Bovary and Beasts of No Nation, Nielsen was recently awarded a BAFTA for his work on Sound of Metal, as well as winning a Critic’s Choice award for best editing. And to top it all off, the film is currently nominated for a 2021 Academy Award for Best Picture.

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