Author Topic: How Star Wars was saved in the edit  (Read 4924 times)  

Online Anarchist

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How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« on: February 09, 2018, 10:12:52 AM »
An 18-minute video that highlights the value of editing:


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk</a>


Films differ from books, of course. But the principles of storytelling are consistent.


Side note about George Lucas...



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Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 10:27:34 AM »
A good example of why creators should surround themselves with talented people for specific tasks. For writers, cover artist, editor and/or proofreader, layout, etc. Be the visionary you are and write your story, but if you can't do it all yourself, hire help.

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 10:34:31 AM »
A good example of why creators should surround themselves with talented people for specific tasks. For writers, cover artist, editor and/or proofreader, layout, etc. Be the visionary you are and write your story, but if you can't do it all yourself, hire help.

Absolutely. For me, it also underlines the importance of revision. I know some folks here don't revise, but boy oh boy do I need to.  :-[

Offline Pikko

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 10:47:06 AM »
I don't have time to watch it, but if you Google Marcia Lucas, it's a pretty fascinating read on how her influence is what made Star Wars what it is.

It also explains why the prequels SUCKED SO HARD. lol
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Offline Douglas Milewski

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 11:20:03 AM »
Films are always saved or lost in the editing room. In video, everyone else makes the pieces, but a film editor is the person who takes all those pieces and turns them into a story. I used to follow Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica podcasts, where he showed just how much a story could change in the editing room. They regularly slid scenes around, including into other episodes, in order to get the pacing and impact that they wanted.

The story of Star Wars in the editing room happens with each and every film.
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Offline jlstovall4

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 03:46:06 PM »
Very good. Thanks so much for sharing. As a huge Star Wars fan, filmmaker, and author, I'm blown away by this video.

Offline Kal241

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 04:27:21 PM »
Stories are like bushes: you have to carefully trim and treat them to make them look good and keep them healthy. Too much is as bad as too little, or none at all. You have to be good enough at it in order to know what will still keep the story/bush alive while making it attractive, so you'll probably have invariably harmed a few of them before you get that good.

Interestingly enough, very few people thought Star Wars would ever succeed. Another case of a story that got panned by others for "having no legs," and ended up growing legs so big and strong that it kicked them in the face and broke their jaws. With success.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 04:35:54 PM by Kal241 »

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Offline RightHoJeeves

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 05:41:48 PM »
Neat! I'll have to show my mum this.

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Offline C. Gold

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 02:23:04 AM »
Interestingly enough, very few people thought Star Wars would ever succeed. Another case of a story that got panned by others for "having no legs," and ended up growing legs so big and strong that it kicked them in the face and broke their jaws. With success.
My guess is the people saying that didn't like or watch science fiction and probably dismissed it based on genre. Anyone sitting in the theater through the Star Wars intro who even passably liked science fiction would know this movie was special. At the time that movie came out in theaters, there was nothing approaching it in special effects. We had 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Trek: TOS. So when the huge battle destroyer flew overhead and the bass was so loud it shook the seats -- that was a jaw dropping OMG moment and it never let up throughout the entire film. That movie was so awesome my mom asked if I wanted to see it again! That's not her genre and even she was awed by it. We're so used to special effects now, but at this moment in time, this was a huge breakthrough. There's a reason people watched it 27+ times in the theater and can quote it almost verbatim. Eegadz, I'm showing my age. :P

Of course, that assumes they saw it post edits... :P Edits are a wonderful thing!

Offline Lauren P.

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 03:15:38 AM »
Thank you for this. A fascinating view of the importance of structure, characterisation, pacing, editing, and details, all of which can be applied to writing. 

For my part, I find it essential to revise my work several times before publishing it. The difference between my first draft and the final version is enormous. Sure, revisions take time but I enjoy the polishing and the results.

Offline DIAMONDSINTHESKY

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 03:25:06 AM »
I worked on a film where they shot it in two parts (for various reasons that aren't relevant here) and then they lost one of the actors for the second part, so had to completely re-write the script (My job) so that every piece of footage could work with a new actors brought in for the second shoot. So we had to take the whole thing apart and re-write it around the footage that we had. A total nightmare. I was involved in the edit as well to make sure it worked. Fun times.

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 07:50:44 AM »
Wow! Thanks, Anarchist!

I always assumed I was "rewriting"; now I see I was editing all along!  Jeez, if only I can find some way to get 6 cents a word for all those sections I moved around, and the two I pushed out to the next book!

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 08:21:46 AM »
Thanks for the link  :)
This is fantastic both as fan history and as story/editing instructional.
It also explains the travesty of the prequels. He divorced Marcia in 1983, right after Return of the Jedi and 16 years before the first appalling slap in the face to fandom (Phantom Menace), and tackled the prequels without what was, apparently, her rather brilliant incite.
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Offline C. Gold

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 09:09:47 AM »
I've actually run across this before a while back, but this is a timely reminder because I have a friend who has a friend (who's uncle's cousin's... :P) who is writing a screenplay and the script is doing exactly what Lucas did at the start--flip, flip, flip, flip. I've got to send him this link.

Offline kw3000

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2018, 10:42:31 AM »
If only Marcia Lucas had been around for 'The Last Jedi'.

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2018, 04:09:12 PM »
If only Marcia Lucas had been around for 'The Last Jedi'.

Or the prequels.

Offline kw3000

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2018, 05:34:28 PM »

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Offline Max 007

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2018, 06:08:50 PM »
I worked on a film where they shot it in two parts (for various reasons that aren't relevant here) and then they lost one of the actors for the second part, so had to completely re-write the script (My job) so that every piece of footage could work with a new actors brought in for the second shoot. So we had to take the whole thing apart and re-write it around the footage that we had. A total nightmare. I was involved in the edit as well to make sure it worked. Fun times.

OMG!  That could have been hell!  Depends on how much footage you had and if they had the ending footage. I would imagine with a two part the rule is "Always shoot enough and DO GET THE ENDING FIRST." 

That way you at least have a chance of pulling off a rewrite like that if you had to.

Thanks for sharing.  Interesting.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 06:41:02 PM by Picky Android »

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 09:16:26 PM »
Thanks for posting that, Anarchist.  :)

For anyone who's interested in this topic, I recommend The Secret History of Star Wars.  Fascinating stuff. 
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Offline Jena H

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2018, 05:35:42 AM »
Thanks for posting that, Anarchist.  :)

For anyone who's interested in this topic, I recommend The Secret History of Star Wars.  Fascinating stuff.

**Warning:  OT content**  This book has great reviews, and relatively decent ranking at the moment (i.e., not in the millions, probably since there has been a Star Wars movie out recently).  But I wonder what people on this board would think if someone posted that cover here, looking for feedback.  Since, you know, covers can make or break a book, and all.   ::)  8)   

**I now return you to the topic of Star Wars and the edit process.  And even though I haven't read all the books or watched all the videos/articles posted here, I have to wonder:  isn't what happened with Star Wars a relatively common thing in the movie business?  I've heard of lots of films that go through test screenings and get changed or re-shot to fix this or that or some other thing.  Or did Star Wars really get changed so drastically, more so than most other films??
Jena

Offline Accord64

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2018, 06:19:40 AM »
Or the prequels.

I wonder if even the best editor could've saved the prequels from Hayden Christensen.  ;D

Great post. This movie had a profound effect on me when I first saw it in June 1977. Like many, I had never seen anything like it.

Quote
There's a reason people watched it 27+ times in the theater and can quote it almost verbatim.

Yep, I was one of those.  :-[

     
 

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2018, 07:55:01 AM »
I wonder if even the best editor could've saved the prequels from Hayden Christensen.  ;D
 
lol yep. That'd be a tall order for even the brilliant editorial crew of the original.
Combined with the appalling story-telling in the prequels, it would be impossible. Anakin was a self-absorbed jerk from the start and had gone full psychopath WAY before he fully "turned to the darkside". Slaughters an entire village and Padme soothes him with "Aw, it's ok Anakin. I know you only slaughtered them because you were feeling angsty. You just need some lovin'. A little sexy time will keep those nasty ol' corpses from hurting your feelings." Of course, then he slaughters a daycare of kids and Padme and Obi-wan are still imploring him to not "go to the darkside". That ship had long sailed and made port... disembarked, canvassed the neighborhood, found a nice little 3-2 split-level, and put a down payment on it.
 The entire prequel trilogy was not only bad but morally confused as h#@!
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Offline Simply_J

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2018, 10:08:32 AM »
An 18-minute video that highlights the value of editing:


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk</a>


Films differ from books, of course. But the principles of storytelling are consistent.


Side note about George Lucas...




Thanks for sharing, this is a great learning experience.

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2018, 10:57:52 AM »
I wonder if even the best editor could've saved the prequels from Hayden Christensen.  ;D

Great post. This movie had a profound effect on me when I first saw it in June 1977. Like many, I had never seen anything like it.

Yep, I was one of those.  :-[

   

He's the reason I won't ever watch the prequels again. Shudder

I saw the original in the theater in '77. There was nothing to compare it to. When I took my grandson and his friend to see TFA, he said, "is this what it felt like to see Star Wars when it first came out?" So many generations that didn't have that experience.

 one more comment. Treadwell?!?


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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2018, 11:32:07 AM »
Hadn't seen that before. Great stuff! Thanks for sharing it.

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