Joan began as a first assistant editor on such projects as both of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films. She then moved to the principal editor with 2002’s Oscar winning short film The Accountant and the 2005 feature film, The Quiet. Since then she has worked with Tom Ford twice on A Single Man and Nocturnal Animals. Some of Joan’s additional editing credits include Admission &The Perfect Guy. The Norwich Film Festival is also delighted to welcome Joan as one of our 2017 film judges.
Joan, firstly congratulations on the nomination for a BAFTA in editing at this year’s festival – Nocturnal Animals was an incredible film and offered a master class in editing a variety of different stories. So this leads me nicely on to our first question:
NFF: Working on a project such as Nocturnal Animals must have been quite a demanding and overwhelming process at times. I was wondering how you as an editor manage this process. What is your typical process like when you sit down to edit a scene?
JS: I always have the script in my head, so that I know exactly where this scene falls within the story, and what this scene conveys in relation to what has come before and what will come after, even though none of those scenes have been filmed as yet. Once I receive the dailies for a scene, I re-read the preceding scene, the scene that I’ve received the rushes for, and the scene that follows. Then I watch all of the dailies for the scene and take copious notes, almost exclusively about performance. I make decisions based upon performance as to where I want the scene to go….what moments I want to emphasize….which nuances that an actor is displaying that I want to make sure ends up on the screen. These might be the tiniest of gestures, but they convey everything….often more than the dialogue, at times. Then I dive in! Building and sculpting and making decisions every second. Working and massaging the scene over and over until it is flowing into the narrative, connecting the visuals, and especially, supporting the performances [Read more…]