The biggest challenge was the amount of footage. “We had 33 miles of film. That’s a lot of film to go through and make choices on in very little time,” reveals the native of Reigate, England. “The difficulty was working out what you were going to leave out. David [Lean] said that once. What makes a really good editor is what they leave out of a film.” A much celebrated transition is the one of a lighted match to a sunrise. “It was in the script as a dissolve, but we saw it cut together before we had the optical delivered. We looked at the job and said, ‘My, God it worked fantastic!’ We tried taking a frame off here and there. David said to me in the end, ‘That’s nearly perfect. Take it away and make it perfect.’ I literally took two frames off of the outgoing scene and that’s the way it is today. It wasn’t a momentous thing to us. It was only when somebody rang me at three o’clock in the morning from Australia to ask me what I was thinking about when I did that cut; I said, ‘I didn’t have any idea.’ Several direct cuts like that were originally my idea because David hadn’t seen the La Nouvelle Vague French direct cutting. I got him to see a couple of films. He loved it and did it even better. We didn’t over do it. We had so much footage I could have cut another whole film of Lawrence. That is a challenge because you have to go through it so carefully to make sure you don’t miss any golden moments. We cut out a mirage scene just before we finished the film and I was sad because I’d always liked it. I think if you’re going to sit through three hours and forty minutes you can sit through three hours and forty-two minutes.”
Congratulations to thechosenjuan for winning this week’s Trivia Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who entered—this was the most answered week in the history of Trivia Tuesday!! Thanks for playing! I’ll be adding more prizes in the upcoming weeks so keep entering!
Questions & Answers
1. What is the only word spoken in Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie?
—“Non,” spoken by Marcel Marceau
2. Which character in which film doesn’t think “Buddy Holly is much of a waiter”?
—Vincent Vega (John Travolta) in Pulp Fiction
3. In The Big Lebowski, The Dude is warned to stay out of what Southern California city?
4. What is Drew Barrymore making to eat in the opening scene of Scream?
5. What subject does Ben Stein teach in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?