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The Rise of Skywalker's Biggest Sin

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by Use the Falchion, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Just wanted to follow up for anyone who may have read this and been curious.

    I was right about the podcast name.
    Here's her podcast interview. It's SUPER interesting and VERY highly suggested. We RARELY get this kind of detail about the behind-the-scenes mechanics of the production...especially in regards to editing. Star Wars has always had above average documentaries and interviews regarding special effects and visual effects.
    We're all very familiar with Dennis Muren, Ralph McQuarrie, et. al., but we don't really get much in terms of an inside peak into the world of EDITING Star Wars and what that's like.

    So...here you go.

    http://theroughcutpod.com/star-wars/

    And because such hidden people have a special place in my heart for being so overlooked.
    Here's a couple pictures of her to personalize her with.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #61 Jayson, Jun 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  2. Trev

    Trev Rebel Official

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    Ah, that’s really interesting. I’m trying to remember where I read that she had felt more pressure to get everything done for this film. I know J.J. and Chris had talked pretty extensively about the difficulties of working on this film under a tighter deadline than what was given for the previous two films, and honestly, especially considering that it was the end of the trilogy and they had to start from scratch after Carrie’s passing, I really think Disney should’ve pushed the release date back even more than what they did. Again, I’m saying this as someone who enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker, but I feel like the film would’ve benefitted from it a bit. I wouldn’t want to be J.J. in that situation –– trying to write the finale to the Star Wars saga from scratch after any previously existing ideas for it had to be scratched, and having to work the entire script around the limited footage they had of Carrie, has got to be one of the most daunting tasks any filmmaker could undertake.

    I do remember hearing about the editing on set, though. I wonder if part of that was because of the extensive work they had to do with lighting and set design to make the scenes with Leia work? I know it was an extremely tedious process to make the small amount of footage they had of her work, and based on the behind-the-scenes documentary we got with the home release of The Rise of Skywalker, I kind of got the impression that at least some (if not most) of the Leia stuff was filmed pretty early on. It looked like some of the scenes between Rey and Leia were shot within the first few days of filming.

    Yeah, I certainly don’t think any “J.J. cut” would be anything like the Snyder Cut for Justice League or anything like that. If anything, there’s probably just deleted scenes and stuff that were removed –– although I wonder how much of it was cut out, and why none of it was included on the home release of the film. But I do recall Daisy mentioning how the ending of the film was changed slightly, and a few of the other cast members (Dominic Monaghan and somebody else –– possibly Greg Grunberg?) talked about how much ended up being cut from the film that they’d hoped would see the light of day at some point.

    Honestly, what it comes down to is that I’d gladly take more Star Wars any day, and I think The Rise of Skywalker definitely could’ve benefitted from a 3+ hour runtime –– probably more than Endgame needed its lengthy runtime, to be honest.
     
  3. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Yes, there was added pressure - definitely.
    I was just meaning to convey that from what Brandon was saying, she was pretty cavalier about it.
    She's someone who is better to hear than read. A lot of the value of what she's saying comes off in how she says it much more than what she's saying alone.
    For example, yes, it was tight, but she also sees editing as being like that kind of world anyway ... which...to be honest, if you listen to enough editors in the industry talk - and I'm not talking about the epic top end like Walter Murch who get to do whatever they want - chaos, a lack of time, and frustration and impossible asks are totally normal for the job. You should hear what television editors talk about. lol. There's a lot of swearing going on in those cases - especially in the "reality TV" section. Those editors are amaaaazing and piiiiiiissed off a lot. lol

    Anyway, yeah. She was short-changed, but she sees it as something which provoked innovation and energy.
    From the documentary of the BTS stuff, it looks like everyone took that approach, tbh.

    The main reason Brandon was editing on set was so that she could grab Abrams faster and get the footage faster.
    Usually there's a lot of delay when you add it all up, just in file transfers from set to editor, and then there's the delay in getting meetings between editor and director and showing volumes of scenes and taking notes, and then going back and editing, and then reshowing, then getting more footage at the same time and etc... It's a bit of a zoo tbh.

    But with being on set, Brandon was piped directly into the footage coming out right away, and Abrams was RIGHT there and as soon as she had a cut of the shots, she could grab him between reset and he could say "Yes, that's good. Let's change that to this." etc.... and then run back to shooting while she edited the changes.

    So there's a ton of dropped footage, but it's something like imagine a wood chipper on set just rapidly chewing through the footage right then and just getting a near final cut right on set.
    That's what was going on.
    Let's not forget Stefan was also editing, so they were double-teaming this thing on set. If I recall correctly, they were also doing this in the second unit as well a bit (I believe mostly Stefan would jump on that, but sometimes Brandon would and Stefan would be with Abrams).

    From the sound of it, to be honest...it sounded friggen awesome.

    So the main reason for the move was speed, originally, and it was Brandon's idea.

    As to the timeline...I don't think they could afford to change it more.
    Studios have a conveyor belt of titles going on. You can delay a bit, but not much.
    If you do, then you throw everything off and you have a vacuum on one quarterly, and a traffic jam on another that you now have to shuffle around.
    Then there's all of the deals that get lined up in prep that cost tons of money. For example, back in the ROTJ days, right? Lucas lined up a 350 thousand dollar deal with United Airlines for free travel for the production in exchange for being included in the credits and having a United promotional on the screening - such things are very often time sensitive.
    There's just a ton of business stuff that's not easily dismissed that go along with a movie far beyond just the basic mechanics of making a film, and it's not all just "money grubbing" evil mentality type stuff. Sure, there's always that part of any business, but a vast majority of it isn't that at all. It's perfectly reasonable motives that to ignore would be quite unreasonable and kind of a**h**e to dismiss as validly required to attend to.

    Film making is, after all, actually a job.


    Yeah, again...there's a pile of extra footage and it will likely eventually come out.
    We all know there's going to be 50 billion releases of these films as time goes by. That's always the case with Star Wars films anyway.

    And yeah, things definitely got swung around several different ways, but it's more like switching out Lego blocks than changing the trajectory of a spacecraft.
    The set up they had in play with how Brandon set things up is just jaw dropping.
    The digital piling and filing of footage is just amazeballs. I would LOVE to see her Avid project for this ... not even the footage in it; just the structure and workflow.
    From how she's talked about things, it sounds friggen amazingly genius the way she was carouseling and flowing.

    I think she accidentally invented something like the film equivalent of free-style-rapping on this film, and it's Bad A##.

    I hope it catches on in the future because her style of doing this in this way (this on-set modular model) is going to be SUPER compatible with the new unreal vfx system that Mandalorian is currently using.

    Once that catches on to being more mainstream, if Brandon, or someone who adopts her approach, runs into that set...holy s***balls. Buckle up.
    Like...good god man - the modularity of film making will just explode.

    Honestly, I think the challenge that TROS probably faced in production is what more will start to face as this more on-set modular mode of film making takes over (in both vfx and editing), and that's coping with having too many options compared to what you're used to. Kind of like when the industry had to get used to vfx back when it first settled into mainstream at full speed and we had an overload of pointless vfx everywhere for a bit.

    I think we're going to have an overload of films that have weird arrangements to their story's for a bit while everyone plays with on-the-fly spin-n-shoot & slice-n-dice modality.

    We're actually finally just about to reach Lucas' vision from the early 80's of what film could become, and it's going to be a wild ride with many messes until folks relearn how to go about things. :)

    Anyway - rambleoff.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #63 Jayson, Jun 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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