Mad Max: Fury Road


The dialogue script (3,666 words).

         Miller recruited his wife, Margaret Sixel, to edit the film, as he felt she could make it stand out from other action films. Sixel had 480 hours of footage to edit; watching it took three months. The film contains about 2,700 cuts of its entire running length, which is equivalent to 22.5 cuts per minute compared to The Road Warrior’s 1,200 cuts of its 90-minute running time equivalent to 13.33 cuts per minute. The frame rate was also manipulated. “Something like 50 or 60 percent of the film is not running at 24 frames a second, which is the traditional frame rate,” said Seale. “It’ll be running below 24 frames because George, if he couldn’t understand what was happening in the shot, he slowed it down until you could. Or if it was too well understood, he’d shorten it or he’d speed it up back towards 24. His manipulation of every shot in that movie is intense.”

– Wikipedia,  from Wired, Campaign Brief, Cinefex, Vanity Fair, The Sydney Morning Herald, Miami Herald, HitFix. 

Editing awards, Mad Max – Fury Road:

AACTA Award for Best Editing
Academy Award for Best Film Editing
ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic
BAFTA Award for Best Editing
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Editing
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Editing
Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Editing
EDA Award for Best Editing
FCCA Award for Best Editing
Gold Derby Award for Best Film Editing
Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Film Editing
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Editing
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Editing
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film Editing
St. Louis Film Critics Association for Best Film Editing
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Editing

YouTube BTS for the soundtrack by JunkieXL

Junkie XL

Shaun of the Dead

From the New Yorker review:

There is one scene in “Shaun of the Dead” that tells you more, in a couple of minutes, than any movie I have seen this year. It is a Sunday morning on a quiet London street, and Shaun (Simon Pegg) leaves his house, walks to the corner shop, buys a Diet Coke and an ice cream, and goes back home. That’s it. A few details snag your attention: a smashed windshield, the yelp of a car alarm, torn sacks of trash, and a guy who shambles toward Shaun and stretches out his arms, but, still, nothing out of the ordinary. What Shaun doesn’t yet realize is that the dead have returned to life and are stalking the streets, that civil society has crumbled, and that the man reaching for him is not begging but trying to gorge on human flesh. “No, I haven’t got any change,” Shaun says, brushing him aside, and that’s the comic miracle of the sequence, which was shot in a single take. Go down most London streets any day and there will indeed be spilled garbage and a hole in a car window, with the occasional drunk or junkie, routing for help or cash. If Shaun fails to notice that England is swarming with zombies, it’s because England is like that all the time.

Shaun of the Dead: An Oral History:

These days, the idea of a zombie romantic comedy directed by Baby Driver filmmaker Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost seems like horror-fan catnip. But when Wright and Pegg first conceived of 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, it was the longest of shots. Wright had almost no track record as a director, Pegg and Frost were unknown outside the U.K., and the concept of a comedic love story inspired by the gore-filled universe of director George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead franchise appeared downright perverse. “It really was quite unusual at the time,” says Kate Ashfield, the film’s female lead. “They called it a ‘rom-zom-com.’ You think: ‘I’ve never heard of one of those before.’


And …

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

           What happened to your hand?
           I got hit in the mirror.
                          (TAKEN ABACK)
           Really. How'd that happen?
           I lost my temper at myself.

The editor of the film, Andrew Weisblum, is frequently nominated for editing awards, including Moonrise Kingdom. Apparently the strength of the (in)famous beach dancing scene is entirely a creation of the editing process:

Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom is a love story, but convincing the audience that the 12-year-old protagonists were, in fact, falling in love was a challenge. Weisblum says of the young leads, “My impression is that they didn’t have any particular interest in each other.” He carefully sculpted their performances in the edit, piecing together audio from multiple takes (including recorded rehearsals), and using music and visual stylistics to heighten the feeling. In one scene, standing at the edge of the lake where they are camped out, the young runaways play a French pop song on a toy record player, dance in their underwear, and have their first kiss. Anderson had planned to let the scene play out awkwardly in a master shot, but it wasn’t working, so the camera crew “ran around handheld,” getting close-ups and shots from every which way. In the end, Weisblum says, he used “every angle to shape it…and two thirds of the dialogue is not from the day.” His thinking in the editing room was, “It’s this incredibly strange, crazy scene, so let’s just embrace how bizarre it is.” The result is a surreal set piece that plays like a lost flashback from Pierrot le Fou, and captures all the discomfort and tenderness of first love.

Moonrise Kingdom uses both J  cuts and L cut to tighten the editing and enhance the emotionality of scenes. At about 5:20 in this long tutorial on using the Precision Editor is how to do both cuts in iMovie:

Ghost Dog


Over at io9, an overview of Ghost Dog. It’s a good article; the comments range widely, but some are insightful.

More reviews/critical pieces on Ghost Dog (Top Critics at Rotten Tomatoes is always a good place to start when you’re trying to find out how a film was received; try Ebert, McCarthy, Hoberman, Zacharek).


Nerve did a “top ten” Jim Jarmusch films article a couple of years ago. Good distillations of his most famous films, with hat tips to his use of Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Tom Waits, and The RZA. Includes Night on Earth, which features the peerless Italian comedian Roberto Benigni in the funniest 25-minute taxi ride ever. Does not include Only Lovers Left Alive, the Tilda Swinton / Tom Hiddleston vampire film from 2013.

And if you ever got into The Wire (Barack Obama’s favorite TV series), Jamie Hector, who plays the ruthless Marlo Stanfield, got his start in Ghost Dog as “Gangster in Red.”