Pietro Scalia: Editing Is the Moment of Creation

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Category Five Studios chats with Oscar-winning editor Pietro Scalia (JFK, The Martian) about his career and cutting philosophies.

"If you ask a lot of directors, they will tell you that they do enjoy being in the cutting room because that’s really a safe haven," Scalia says. "It’s safe in there to try things out, to not worry about the time and the complications on the set. Being on the set is very, very hard. You’re always fighting time and logistics. You have to maneuver and orchestrate hundreds and hundreds of people to get the shots done. The cutting room is calm. It’s a calm environment. It gets intense but it should be an environment where you’re free to be creative and feel safe in trying things out and making mistakes. But at the same time it’s also a very, I think it’s a special and magical place. Very few people actually get to see it because it is the moment where you really make the film come alive. It’s a moment of creation. I mean, yes, you have all the material, all the takes, but when you remove all the artifice from the material and you put the scene together, and the performances, and you start making these characters become real and they actually evoke certain emotions, it’s a wonderful place to be...It’s an intimate space between the director and an editor."

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