Q3 2021

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Gotta Dance 'IN THE HEIGHTS' OFFERS AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE – AND THE POST TEAM HAD TO FIND WAYS TO CAPTURE IT By Patrick Z. McGavin "It's almost every editor's dream to cut a musical," Myron Kerstein, ACE, said. "I just knew this was my shot, and I would probably never get another one like this in my career. I had to treat every edit as though it had to be perfect." Kerstein is the editor of Jon M. Chu's "In the Heights," the new film adaptation of the Tony-Award-winning 2008 Broad- way musical by "Hamilton" composer and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. The story tracks the interlocking fortunes of a group of young people living in the largely Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. The film began streaming on HBO Max in June. Kerstein told CineMontage about the intense emotional odyssey of bringing the f ilm together and described the collaborative process involved in making it work. Q You also cut "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018), the previous film by Jon M. Chu. Was your collaboration here a continuation? Myron Kerstein: I think it was an absolute continuation. To some extent i t wa s l i ke a s e q u e l . Th e go o d n ew s i s t h a t w e d e v e l o p e d t r u s t a s a shorthand over the course of making "Crazy Rich Asians." We got to really develop our working methods and refine them further. There was a trust that Jon knew I was going to look at every frame and really dig deep. He could also allow me to make my own version of the movie before he told me what his version was in his head. I could approach the footage in an innocent way. I'm not getting any input. I'm not getting any voices in my head. I could approach the footage I was seeing and make something out of it. Then we could come together and collaborate and tear it all apart again. Jon M. Chu also directed a couple of the "Step Up" films. He clearly had his own style and aesthetic. I loved the "Step Up" movies before I even met Jon. His Justin Bieber doc- umentary ("Justin Bieber's Believe" ( 2 0 1 3 ), e v e n h i s ge n re w o r k , re a l l y informed what he was trying to do on a greater scale. With the dancing, I knew t h e c h o re o g ra p hy w a s i m p o r ta n t . I wasn't there to get in the way of that, even though there are probably more ed- its in this film than any film I've ever done 24 C I N E M O N T A G E F E A T U R E Director Jon M. Chu (far left) and editor Myron Kerstein (second from left) with post team of "In the Heights." P H O T O : C O U R E S T Y M Y R O N K E R S T E I N

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