A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

On the Attributes of a Good Editor

MH: Decisiveness. Confidence. Being able to
set your ego aside, because an editor doesn’t always get stroked
a lot. Most things you hear are criticisms. So you need to have
a thick skin and not take things personally. That’s a crucial thing
for an editor to learn. 

On Learning Through Watching

MH: I think that it’s always good to look at
other films and just try to see what they’ve done. I think you can
learn a lot, even subconsciously, about timing and rhythm and that
kid of thing. 

On the Director-Editor Collaboration

MH: One of the big things with Ron is collaboration:
he needs it, wants it and requires it. He’s not the kind of director
who dictates everything. He is the kind of director who wants input
from as many people as possible, and he’s very good at evaluating
the input.

DH: I like that fact that, and maybe it’s a
part of getting older and more self-confident, I can be totally
honest. Even outside of my work with Ron, there is a way to just
be honest that’s not argumentative or demeaning. 

On the Importance of Seeing the Script

DH: We start early on in the process; over
the years Ron has had us read early drafts of the scripts and give
general notes on it. Then, as new drafts are written we might give
ever more specific notes on what we feel needs to change, or what
isn’t working.

On Digital Technology

MH: AVID has made me more willing to experiment.
You take more chances because nothing is locked in. You can do as
many versions as you want, so you can try a lot of things. You stumble
on good ideas in a way that you never would have before.

DH: It’s also a bit of a Pandora’s box, too,
because you can get so many versions going that you can get blinded
by it.

On Maturing as an Editor

DH: I’ve learned to see what I’m working on
in the context of the overall movie. I can remember earlier on in
my career when it came time to cut out my scenes, you take it personally,
’You can’t lose that scene!’, and you start fighting for the scene
instead of considering the movie as a whole and where it fits, or
doesn’t fit. I mean, if the director is willing to lose a scene
and sees it as necessary to cut it, then what are you fighting for?
If it’s not necessary, be willing to realize that and move on. And
still be willing to give a strong point of view when you do not
agree. Definitely be honest.