Fitness & Editing Hollywood Blockbusters with Alan Bell, ACE
COW Library : Fitness in Post : Alan E. Bell : Fitness & Editing Hollywood Blockbusters with Alan Bell, ACE
Alan E. Bell, ACE, first joined Creative COW in 2003, posting on forums including Avid, Apple Final Cut Pro, The Art of the Edit, Indie Film & Documentary, and more. He’s edited some of the most acclaimed and popular films in the intervening years since then, including fan favorite (500) Days of Summer, most recently, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and parts 1 and 2 of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.
Alan also wrote a fantastic article for us about his work on The Amazing Spider-man (2012), Editor Alan Edward Bell, ACE on The Amazing Spider-Man.
In addition to his membership in the American Cinema Editors (ACE), Alan was invited to join the editing branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 2014 as, yep, one of the guys who votes on the Oscars.
Not that we’ll take credit for Alan’s success, mind you. Before he started posting in Creative COW, Alan’s credits included A Few Good Men and The Green Mile. To see more of his credits, be sure to check out Alan's profile at IMDb.
Over the years in the COW, he passed along a whole lot of very practical advice for every kind of work, as well as some insights that are still very much applicable.
In my experience I shy away from people who seem to be tool based. I'm an editor and I can cut on any system. The interviews I've had with those types and the jobs I've landed from folks like this have shown me that they tend to be looking for a pair of hands and not and editor.
On Editing Style
I think each and every film is different, and to hold yourself down with rules is a mistake. On some films, the editing should be invisible. On others, editing can act as another character in the movie. We can take the viewer from scene to scene smoothly or slap them across the face if we want.
On Watching Your Own Work
Here are some tricks I use to keep a fresh perspective on my sequences, especially when I've been working on them for a while and putting them through different versions.
Knowing When to Cut
I like to let the footage tell me when I need to cut away and why. A typical Dialogue scene is usually cut a certain why because of what the actors are saying. It's always more powerful to see someone say something than have it play on the person listening. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. In fact there are very few rules, because it’s ultimately a matter of tastes.
Alan recently sat down with Zack Arnold of Fitness in Post to discuss the current state of the post-production industry from a health & wellness perspective. He and Zack also discuss Alan’s background as an athlete before he got into editing, and his fitness regime in the edit suite. Alan even talks about the ways that his commitment to fitness has improved him as an editor, but also as a husband and father.
Their conversation also covers the kinds of financial decisions that can affect your health, while talking about whether the long hours we work are even worth it. Spoiler alert: Yes, but you’ll be interested to hear Alan’s thoughts on why.
So take a listen to Fitness in Post: Editing Hollywood Blockbusters with Alan Bell, ACE.
Our thanks, as always, to Zack Arnold at Fitness in Post. And be sure to check out the Fitness in Post forum here at Creative COW!