In an in-depth interview with HitFix, famed editor Thelma Schoonmaker talks her long and storied collaboration with Martin Scorsese and the process of cutting down their latest, The Wolf of Wall Street, from a four-hour movie into a three-hour one.
She says, “You know, what happened was five lines in the script mushroomed into a five-minute, brilliantly improvised scene, so the whole thing just blew up. I was very worried and I said to Marty, “There’s no way we can get an hour of this out of this movie,” but we did by just shaving it down slowly. Instead of cutting out scenes, which would have been really devastating, we just shaved things down and did three or four screenings and kept going and kept going and finally we got there. And I would never have believed we would have done it. So it was fortunate because it would’ve been disastrous if we hadn’t. I mean you can’t distribute a four-hour movie.”
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