Q3 2017

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40 CINEMONTAGE / Q3 2017 by Michael Goldman portraits by Wm. Stetz M usic editor Del Spiva chuckles when asked how he explains the job of a music editor to the uninitiated. For Spiva, explaining the job can be a Socratic experience; he throws challenges at his questioners until they comprehend the nature of his work. "When people say they don't understand what I do, I tell them to think of any song that is maybe three to five minutes long," he explains. "And then, I ask them, 'If you have a scene where you need to use that song for maybe 45 seconds, which part of the song do you use? Where does it start? Where does it end? How does it get from one place to the next? Why did you even use that song to begin with, and why in that particular scene? As a matter of fact, you have a choice of maybe 100,000 songs from which to choose. How do you choose?' "Eventually, they say, 'OK, I'm starting to get it,'" he continues. "There could be 70 places in a given film where those kinds of decisions are going to be made. That helps you see the level of creative work that goes into putting music into a film. Music editors are often the first and literally the last line of defense for any piece of music anywhere in a film." Spiva has been working as a music editor on major feature productions since 2004, after launching his career as an assistant sound editor and then assistant music editor. A periodic collaborator with director Ridley Scott as an assistant music editor and then music editor on three films, Spiva has been busy lately with an eclectic mix of projects, most of them due for release between August and the end of the year. They range from music editor duties on Destin Cretton's The Glass Castle, an August 11 release though Lionsgate, and Dan Gilroy's Roman Israel, Esq., due November 1 from Sony Pictures Entertainment, to serving as additional music editor on Dean Devlin's October 20 release, Geostorm, from Warner Bros. In addition, he was supervising music editor on all 10 episodes of the first season of National Geographic Channel's Genius, which aired earlier this year, and music editor on HBO's limited documentary series The Defiant Ones, which just ran in July. These very different kinds of projects, and the varying ways he collaborates with filmmakers, composers, picture editors and artists like Dr. Dre ("one of my idols"), among many others, have turned him into one of the industry's most prolific "role players," in his words. "As much or as little they need from me, that's what I supply," Spiva offers. Music, Mobility, Mentoring The Del Spiva Experience: Genius. National Geographic Channel

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