The Editing of Gravity [several sources]

Different videos and excerpts of articles related to the editing of Gravity. 

1) BenTravers at Indiewire:

Remember those beautiful long, uncut sequences? They used hundreds of edits. 
Perhaps the most shocking element of the entire night came when Sanger stood up to illustrate how the editing of "Gravity" wasn't nearly as simple as stitching together a few dozen lengthy scenes. Sangor showed a few screengrabs of his editing timeline, and they were packed to the gills with cut after cut. Plenty of sound levels came into play as well, but there were at least nine different tracks layered on top of one another with more edits than appeared possible inserted in each one. "To give you another example of what a strange and unique production this was, I was on the film 14 months before we started shooting. The reason for that was we had to put together an edit. Initially, we were just flushing out ideas, and we were taking the storyboards and cutting the storyboards together with some dialogue and just trying to get an idea of how the sequences and scenes would go together. Before we knew it, we were taking the storyboarded scenes and giving them to the animators who would then put together a very rough pre-vis, to try to tell the story better than with the board. At this stage, we had dialogue in there. I was playing George Clooney's character and my assistant was playing Sandra Bullock's character, and we were editing dialogue. [...] We had to be careful to keep up with each other because we were all working at the same time. We were blocking the movie in advance of the shoot. [...] The shots were so complex, everybody in pre-production needed to use the cut as the basis for calculating the logistics behind the shoot."

"70 percent of the movie is made up of 17 shots." 
 As illustrated above, it wasn't that there was less editing going on in "Gravity." There was a different kind of editing. Webbert tried to explain further. "Just to give everyone an idea, typical movies these days have 2,000 shots in them. This one had about 350. The opening shot is nearly 30 minutes long, and 70 percent of the movie is made up of 17 shots. It's not just one opening shot. It's a lot of long shots."

Read more: How'd They Do That? 10 Secrets of 'Gravity' Exposed at AMPAS Event Honoring the Film's Tech Wizards

2) Creative Planet Network: Cutting Sound and Video with Avid on 'Gravity'

3) Roger Field at Arabian Business:

What are the major challenges of editing films in your opinion? 
The big challenge is telling the story. Your job as an editor is to tell the story in the way the director originally envisaged and there are often an infinite different ways you could tell that story given those raw materials. So what the challenge really comes down to is using those raw materials to best tell the story in the way the director envisaged. The story or the ultimate vision of the film can change as you’re going along, so it’s not necessary to become too restricted by your own initial thoughts, but also to allow the story to grow as well and nurture it as it’s growing.

Read more: Five Minutes with: Mark Sanger, Oscar-winning editor of Gravity

4) Twain Richardson interviewed Mark Sanger at Frame of Referene:

 Give us a run through of your editing process Editing is story-telling. 
 The process is different on any project but always driven by the script and the Director’s vision. There are always technical challenges on any film, the key is to never let these outweigh the process of telling the story. The story evolves from the moment the cameras first turn-over. That is part of the thrill of editing. So from a practical point of view it is always good to keep every take, performance and option freely available and to hand. It means the Director always has the flexibility and confidence to shape the story into it’s very best possible form.

Read the complete interview: [Frame of Reference] with Academy Award winning Editor Mark Sanger

5) Nikki Baughan at Movie Scope:

You previously worked as VFX editor on films like TroyChildren of MenSweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland. How did those experiences help when itcame to editing Gravity?
I think that from a technical standpoint, it was crucial to Alfonso that he found a collaborator who could not only cut the movie but also understand visual effects and the mechanics of a visual effects facility. My background, and that of my team, encompassed all of these. This harks back to what I was saying about the importance of having a broad understanding of all departments.
Tim Webber, our VFX supervisor, and I already knew each other from Children of Men and we built a process pipeline that became a symbiosis of the two departments. Nevertheless, the nature of the film meant that we were constantly refining this process to accommodate the technical requirements as they evolved. You must appreciate that none of us knew how we would do any of this at the beginning. Traditionally during production, editorial is led by the work of the other departments. I think it’s fair to say that, in conjunction with visual effects, the reverse was true onGravity.
Alfonso Cuaron is your co-editor on the film; can you describe your collaborative process with him, and how long were you involved on the project?
I joined during pre-production; long before the film was green-lit, long before we had a cast and long before any of us had any idea how we would achieve the task that Alfonso and [co-writer] Jonas [Cuaron] had presented on the page. I left almost three years later, as we cut the end roller onto the finished product on the sound mixing stage.
Creatively, Alfonso likes to have a palette of tools that he can dip in and out of as the film grows in his mind—which can be disconcertingly fast. The script was our Bible but the dialogue could evolve minute-by-minute. As could the visuals. Alfonso would think of a change to a shot on the way in to work, would arrive and implement that change with VFX, then walk across the road to me to see how the change had affected the edit. Creatively, because his films are perfectly constructed, the tiniest lighting or blocking change to a shot would often dictate hours—sometimes days—of re-editing the rest of the scene to ensure it had been appropriately balanced to match.
Read the complete interview: http://www.moviescopemag.com/featured-editorial/behind-the-scenes-of-gravity-with-editor-mark-sanger/

Podcast: http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HynHM0ss

6) Tom Grieve at Tusk Journal:

It’s become a bit of a cliché to compare a film to a rollercoaster, but if any film deserves the comparison then it is Gravity. How challenging was it to find that perfect pace and rhythm?  
We never set out to make it a rollercoaster as such, just to try and tell a good story. This process was certainly a challenge in that we were locking ourselves closely into an animated version of the cut prior to any shooting taking place, which would in turn drive the production process. This meant that once it was shot, we had to find new ways to shape and adjust the pace of the film as a whole, because although we had some amazing performances to work with, the nature of the shoot ruled out much coverage.   So a lot of work had been achieved during the blocking of scenes in Editorial prior to shoot, but these then needed to be refined and sometimes re-timed and re-shaped in post-production with the help of some very patient members of the Visual Effects team!

Read the complete Interview: http://tuskjournal.com/online-features/2014/6/4/interview-mark-sanger
Gravity co-Editor and Oscar Winner Mark Sanger Explains His Craft and Style

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