*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
The editor has a unique relationship with the actors. I never try to go on to the set to see the actors out of costume or out of character – and also just not to see the set. I only want to see what there is on screen. Ultimately, that’s all the audience is ever going to see. Everyone else working on the film at that stage is party to everything going on around the filmed scene: how cold it was when that scene was shot; who was mad at whom; who is in love with whom; how quickly something was done; what was standing just to the left of the frame. An editor particularly has to be careful that those things don’t exert a hidden influence on the way the film is constructed, can (and should in my view) remain ignorant of all that stuff – in order to find value where others might not see value, and on the other hand, to diminish the value of certain things that other people see as too important. It’s one o the crucial functions of the editor. To take, as far as it is possible, the view of the audience, who is seeing the film without any knowledge of all the things that went into its construction.
On Editing Actors, by Walter Murch in The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, by Michael Ondaatje
Comments are welcome!
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Salieri wrote a memoir of his own, which his friend Ignacio von Mosel used as the basis for a biography, published in 1827. Salieri’s original document disappeared, but Mosel quoted parts of it. One anecdote is particularly winning. Salieri is recounting the premier, in 1770, of his second opera, “Le Donne Letterate” (“The Learned Woman”). The applause is vigorous, prompting the young composer to follow the audience out into the street, in the hope of soaking up more praise. He overheard a group of operagoers:
“The opera is not bad,” said one. “It pleased me right well,” said a second (that man I could have kissed). “For a pair of beginners, it is no small thing,” said the third. “For my part,” said the fourth, “I found it very tedious.” At these words I struck off into another street for fear of hearing something still worse.
Any creative person who has made the mistake of surreptiously canvassing public opinion will identify with Salieri’s fatal curiosity.
Alex Ross in Salieri’s Revenge in The New Yorker, June 3, 2019
Comments are welcome!