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Filmmaking from the Inside-Out

Lesson 8 of 10

Collaboration with Editors


Filmmaking from the Inside-Out

Lesson 8 of 10

Collaboration with Editors


Lesson Info

Collaboration with Editors

This is sort of where it gets good and I say that because this is more rarefied air the domain of the editor and the domain of even the cinematographer is a more private domain you know, I think the social the social realities of being an actor and filmmaker pretty pretty on the table let's talk about your perspective on first editing how much editing have you been involved in whether it's you know visually or giving notes or and what's your take on the editorial process of these of your experience? First of all, I love music and I was editing in my own way even though I didn't know it from a kid like I used to put together pictures and music and have a little slide shows guess what amenity you know I had no idea I didn't you know what chris when it first started acting no clue about what the editing process was but I was really again just surprisingly lucky my first job in show business was I was hired to dub screams for a movie called the last temptation of christ and so I came in th...

ey were, you know, doing looping I had no idea what that means eighty are it's you know, additional dialogue recording behind the scenes so my first introduction was actually the editing process meeting film a schoonmaker meeting editor's meeting I had no idea so they literally were in fact first people I met in show business I met velma and her team of editors and so I think that from then we're you know working with with marty he loves editing on goodfellas he you know invited me to watch them at it together so I think that I always had a natural love of it anyway musicality about editing and learned of course you know everything almost in the world you can learn from film and marty and again one of the great things about velma's you know there are no rules with her when I was doing my first some of my first films I did I did of short movie and I had I had a wrong island again rookie mistake anybody can do this the eye line was off so my editor classically trained you can't use this the eye line is off and you know film a looked at it like a good doctor she goes it's five two seconds you know and so that sort of boldness when later on where you run into problems you maybe have something that's a little bit out of focus you know you can you know use your judgment with your editor but get again about using what you can use what you can't use again I've said this before I can't stand when somebody it'll never cut there is just literally no such thing it does help to b o c d I think to be an editor because I'm when I added, uh, you know, my web siri's easy to assemble oh my god, I would lay in bad going and then I'll put this here and I was like, I couldn't wait to get, you know, to the editing room and have all my little puppets, you know, to put together nobody it's like you and your editor putting together something and it's a really incredible process and again, like another tip, always have extra room for editing. It just always takes away a little bit longer to finesse something then you think, you know, edit, show it to people get notes, go back I mean, if that's your opportunity to get really good notes from people about is the story working right? Right now, it's not an interesting perspective you've had as a performer when jack nicholson won the oscar for I think it was good as it gets, he actually thanked his editor on stage, and he once said that the one person an actor needs to be friends with on a set is the editor. And when I hear that quote, I think of how much editing affects performance effects of the sense of like takes hold this disparate information and creates the performance, what about that your reflection on that when you see your finished work and finished film form do you ever think of while the editing it's really well edited? I mean, how much how sensitive are you to the editing of your perform? I'm of course extremely sensitive to it that's why I always try to get as many takes is possible because I know that the editor wants choices right that's going to be his biggest battle he's going to go well, I only have two takes of this thing, you know? So I just try to give them a lot of opportunities you may want to do this you may want to shoot it again not so much like I don't need ten takes of the same thing, but I find that if you want that visual variety, you know a two shot ah wide shot you know, all these things that you may cut into a close up, you know, change the angle up a little bit that's another classic thing I learned from marty, you know, you know, just moving in a little bit you're you know, that just creates a visual variety so that it's not over, you know, master over over those air, the hardest thing you know, they're hard to edit because you don't have a lot of, you know stuff to do then there's also long takes for me personally as a director I love I love long take people talking would imagine, is an actor. You do, too, because you're allowed, you're full rhythm as an actor, acting in a long take. Yeah, I love it, but again, the pressure is three out again. All right, three, four people in a frame gotta go. If one person screw something up, you know it doesn't work, you mercy, that's, something again, where you're a director. You better make sure if you really hurt, set on that, too. You know, you've got to make sure you have it, because you will not there's, nothing worse than having to cut up what would have been a long, beautiful take in internet in your room and there's to me, there's, just something, uh, it takes the audience somewhere. You're a long walk and talk, you know, it's really, really nice person about it. It's just glides, and, eventually, sentiment.

Class Description

Where exactly does a filmmaker’s responsibility end and an actor’s begin? Filmmaking requires an abundance of creative collaboration and parsing out who is responsible what is a surprisingly complicated endeavor. In Filmmaking from the Inside-Out, Illeana Douglas will share strategies and insights that improve communication for those working on both sides of the camera.

Illeana has a unique vantage point. Her grandfather is the OSCAR® award-winning actor, Melvyn Douglas and she has worked extensively as an actor, director, and producer alongside some of the giants in the industry, including: filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant and Robert Redford; and actors Robert De Niro, Ralph Fiennes, and Nicole Kidman. In this class, Illeana will help both actors and filmmakers develop a better understanding of their own unique roles and how they can work together to capture the best-possible performance, in-camera. You’ll learn:

  • The precise definition of “filmmaker” and what they are responsible for
  • What the actor is expected to bring to a production
  • Customizable approaches for improving communication on set
  • Techniques for capturing performance on camera

Nearly every filmmaker and actor grapples with some level of insecurity and wants to feel more confident about their work. In this class, you’ll learn strategies for improving your craft and communicating about your unique contributions with your fellow creative collaborators.

Whether you are a filmmaker or actor, you’ll learn tangible and craft-based approaches to making constructive decisions and capturing the best work on set and in the camera.

Special Guests:

  • Anastas Michos, Cinematographer 
  • Bill Pankow, Editor 
  • Neil LaBute, Writer/Director



A great insight from a veteran of Hollywood on her perspective, thoughts, ideas and genuine feeling of what each individual can gain from simply believing in yourself and your abilities. Ms. Douglas and special guests took time to give us as much useful information as possible in a very tough business of film making. Hope to have such courses again.

Laura Latimer

A great class with perfect insights. Thank you.

a Creativelive Student

This was a fascinating and useful course. Ms. Douglas' views on the craft of filmmaking helped me better understand it.