The unsung heroes of filmmaking…

That would be the editors and sound designers. Without them, you have no movie; it is in the editing process that the content of the film takes a narrative shape, and the film is given a visual rhythm. It’s also where the acting takes shape, believe it or not. As Murch says in the book, his choices of what takes to include are what created the nuance and subtleties in an actors performance. There is a reason why Javier Bardem thanked the Coen brothers “not using all of those takes where I really sucked”; many people seem to forget that scenes are filmed in multiple takes and then subjected to the editing process. A performance doesn’t just spring from an actor all at once and flow continuously and consistently. It takes work, it takes careful trial and error; as Murch pointed out he would often include takes where the actors were struggling to remember their lines because they projected genuine emotion rather than the artifice of typical acting emotion. It’s interesting to note that Stanley Kubrick edited his own films, as do the Coen brothers. They (like Murch) saw the editing and sound desgin process as the most beautiful aspect of making the film; everything took shape like a symphony, and the film became fully realized.


~ by frankmc5 on September 24, 2009.

4 Responses to “The unsung heroes of filmmaking…”

  1. It’s very interesting that you mentioned Kubrick in your post because I just mentioned him in a response to another blog. I think that Murch and Kubrick were definitely cut from the same cloth and both have had very illustrious careers. I don’t know if you have ever seen “2001: A Space Odyssey”, but that is a great example of some of Kubrick’s finest work. Check it out if you are desperate for some time to kill.

  2. I’ve most definitely seen 2001, if I hadn’t I would have no right to call myself a film lover 😉

    You’re right about Kubrick and Murch being cut from the same cloth, especially in their masterful precision of sound design and visuals editing.

  3. I very much agree with your post. I never thought Javier Bardem could suck in No Country for Old Men, but I guess that’s why an editor’s job is so important. I think this book really opened my eyes to seeing things like that.

  4. Yeah. I think that was so cool when you said that in class today. Like I don’t think people take the time to realize how poorly actors can be at their jobs sometimes. Like everyone has off days and it’s really the editor of the film that can make them look all around awesome. They pick just the right takes for everything and that’s really what makes a movie. They should definitely get more credit for what they do!

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