"Black Mass" Editor David Rosenbloom Talks Moving Movie Moments

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Matt Mulcahey interviews editor David Rosenbloom (Black Mass, Out of the Furnace) for Filmmaker

On his first job in the industry, Rosenbloom recalls, "When I was 16 I was offered a job by my best friend’s father, who was vice president and general manager of Hanna-Barbera animation. That first job was called track reading. Before any of the animation they would record all the voices and our job was to very slowly and painstakingly go through the 35mm film of the soundtrack and write down on these long pieces of paper called exposure sheets what foot and what frame the letters fell on so the animators could animate the lips and make it look like (the characters) were talking."

On whether he tends to fine cut scenes during principal photography or just create a loose assembly, the editor explains, "It depends on the director. I’ve worked with directors who want to get meticulous and really fine cut stuff while they’re in the process of still shooting, but I feel like the wiser choice is not to do that. As a director, you want to focus on your future, not so much on the past. You want to really be thinking about what you’re going to do the next day and what you’re going to be doing next week. With editing, you spend months and months and months going over the same stuff, but when you’re in production, the director has to get it when (he or she) can get it and I’m aware of that.'"

On how unexpected moments can guide the way for an approach to an entire scene: "'There are moments that strike you, that for me as an editor I see as a kernel of greatness in a scene. In Out of the Furnace there’s a moment in the scene on the bridge (where Zoe Saldana’s character tells Christian Bale she’s pregnant) where (Saldana) holds the back of her hand to her mouth to try to stop from crying. And she did that in one take. When I saw it I said, “This is magic. This is a movie moment.” It was just a brilliant piece of performance and I knew that it was going to be the focal point of how I was going to approach the scene.'" 

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