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Podcast 206: Giving Thanks To Film Editors, Part 1

Month-long tribute starts with Tatiana S. Riegel

Photo credit: Universal

In the Coen Brothers' film "Hail, Caesar," Francis McDormand played film editor C.C. Calhoun.

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Join me in a three-part tribute to film editors. Most people can name a film's director and maybe even its writer, cinematographer or composer but far fewer can name editors. But film editors can alter performances, determine pace, and affect cinematic storytelling in so many ways. To kick off this three-part series is Tatiana S. Riegel, Oscar-nominated editor of "I, ... Read more →

Aired: November 18, 2020 | Transcript

Cinema Junkie begins a three-part tribute to the art and craft of film editing with Tatiana S. Riegel, Oscar-nominated editor for "I, Tonya."

Frances McDormand had one brilliant scene in "Hail. Caesar" as chain-smoking film editor C.C. Calhoun who handles an upright Moviola like Mario Andretti handles a Formula One race car ... until her scarf gets caught in the gears and nearly chokes her. But she takes it all in stride.

The thing to note is that the film is set in the 1950s and depicts a woman running the studio’s editing department. Editing is one of the few craft categories where women dominated from the very beginning of the film industry. This was in part because in the early days of filmmaking editing was seen as an extension of the work of a script girl or continuity person, and was considered something akin to clerical work that required organizational skills more than creative or artistic flair. But as filmmaking quickly advanced editing proved to be a key part of the creative process and women had an early foot in the door and proved their worth to remain a significant part of the editing workforce.

For this podcast, I speak with one of today's best female editors, Tattiana S. Riegel. She kicks off a trio of podcasts that explore the art and craft of film editing.

Last month the Comic-Con Museum asked me to host a panel for its SAM Storytelling Across Media program. I spoke with three editors but only got to use a fraction of my interviews for the hour-long online panel. I am now thrilled to get to post the full interviews here on my podcast.

As someone who spends much of my time editing, I thought November, the month for giving thanks, was the perfect time to pay tribute to these artists that generally go unrecognized by audiences. Most people can name directors and even the occasional cinematographer or composer. But not many people can rattle off a list of the best film editors and even fewer have a true appreciation for what an editor does.

But hopefully that will all change after you listen to these editors explain what it takes to be a good editor.

Riegel, editor of "I, Tonya," "Lars and the Real Girl" and "The Way Way Back" kicks off the podcast trilogy. Joining me for the next one will be Stephen Mirrione who has worked repeatedly with Steven Soderbergh and Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

Then I close the series with Paul Machliss who has cut Edgar Wright’s "Baby Driver," "The World’s End," and "Scott Pilgrim Vs the World."

Thanks to ACE (American Cinema Editors) for helping with the interviews.

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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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