The scene that terrifies the editor – The Hollywood Reporter

Working on the bend genre Everything Anywhere All At Once means editor Paul Rogers must move from comedy to action, science fiction to drama, while following Oscar-nominated Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn, a struggling Chinese-American woman runs her laundromat and completes an IRS audit when she gets caught up in a case. An adventure finds her traveling through space. But Rogers admits that throughout this complex editing process, his overall approach most closely resembles the character drama.

“The action sequences and the crazy big montages are almost like a kind of fun entertainment that breaks away from the real business of the family drama and makes it emotionally connected,” he said. That’s not to say the action wasn’t a huge challenge in editing Daniels’ film, which was released by A24 and currently nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including visuals, direction, screenplay and writing. best practice.

Rogers also had to make sure that the interstellar jumps didn’t distract the viewer; To do that, filmmakers have relied on different genres of film, including the use of music, aspect ratios, color correction, and editorial style. “You can watch a Lifetime movie about a troubled marriage in one universe,” he notes, “and then you can have matrix treatment in another universe. Those kinds of stories are really helpful in tying us together in these different universes.”

Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) in a Matrix style scene

Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) in a Matrix style scene

Courtesy of Allyson Riggs/A24

When cutting the first part of the film, he also had to lay out the rules of the multiverse for the viewer to understand so that he could be increasingly bold in his editing choices, jumping to new universes at times. in just a few seconds. “There’s a lot of groundwork that has to be laid,” says Rogers. “Much of that foundation was laid in the script, but we definitely spent a lot of time editing.” As the story is told through Evelyn’s eyes, he emphasizes that keeping up with Yeoh’s performance is also a huge strength. “She was so attentive to where she was at any given moment that if you just followed Evelyn and her eyes, you knew what was going on and you knew where she was about to go. emotional side.”

The film comes to an end when Evelyn and her daughter, Joy (Oscar Nominee Stephanie Hsu), finally confront and make peace in the laundry parking lot. “When I saw the footage, I knew it was a really tough scene emotionally for Stephanie and Michelle to shoot,” Rogers said. They just let it all out, and it was incredibly emotional to see the footage. I feel a lot of pressure to do right with what they have given us.” Sometimes during the making of a film, he noticed, one can look at powerful daily newspapers, but then “it loses something. [in the final film]. And I was terrified of that happening with this scene. So he spent a lot of time not only cutting, but also editing and reviewing all the footage — “just making sure I got that shot right.”

Duong Tu Quynh's performance created a world where fingers are made of sausages.

Duong Tu Quynh’s performance created a world where fingers are made of sausages.

Courtesy of A24

That included showing the audience the mother and daughter finally listening to each other through Yeoh and Hsu’s outstanding performance. “It feels like a really powerful thing to watch them really take in what the other person is feeling and what the other person is saying,” says Rogers. “You can see Evelyn finally seeing her daughter, and you can see Joy finally seeing her mother. I think that’s a strong statement for the end of the movie.

This story first appeared in the February 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to sign up.

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