'John Wick: Chapter 2' Editor Uses Wider Shots to Convey That the Action is Real
Jonny Elwyn speaks to editor Evan Schiff about cutting John Wick: Chapter 2.
"Cutting action is certainly a skill, but a lot of it just comes down to feeling out the right timing," says Schiff. "As the editor you get the benefit that most action is shot in very short pieces, and without many takes per setup, so your choices in any given moment start off fairly limited, even if the sequence itself is long. Since one of the things that resonated with audiences in the first John Wick was how clean and visible all the action was, we followed the same practice with John Wick 2. Before I started cutting my first bit of action on this film, [director Chad Stahelski] and I discussed some general rules about staying on wider shots and holding on them longer than you see in many other action movies. This communicates to the audience that the action is real, that it is Keanu himself doing it, and that we are not hiding anything with fast edits and shaky camera work.
"It’s very important in a John Wick film to be spot on with your fight choreography and gun fu," he adds, "so we always made sure that we found the best throw, the best movement, or the best reload and paired it with the best angle to see it from."