Q1 2024

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 63

39 W I N T E R Q 4 I S S U E F E A T U R E personal psychodrama set amid the world of high-octane racing. For Mann, the film is the fulfilment of a long-stated wish to make a cinematic portrait of Ferrari in full: his life, his loves, and his cars. The filmmaker demanded the sort of authenticity for which he had become famous on such earlier triumphs as "Heat" (1995), "The Insider" (1999), and "Ali" (2001). On this film, engine sounds had to be authentic to the cars being de- picted on-camera, and the Italian-inflected English dialogue had to sound realistic but intelligible. All of this, and more, had to be achieved on a schedule far more com- pressed, and a budget considerably more limited, than the filmmaker's large-scale studio pictures. Consequently, Mann assembled a team of post-production pros. Many had worked with Mann in the past — some for decades, others for a shorter period — along with those who were new initiates. Together, they took charge of "Ferrari" in post-pro- duction in much the same way that the pit crew is responsible for a car mid-race: they refueled the film, changed its tires, and assured that, when it prepared to make its rounds on the course of the year's best pictures, it was in tip-top shape. CineMontage recently spoke with some key members of this "pit crew": picture editor Pietro Scalia, ACE; supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Tony Lam- berti; supervising sound editor Bernard Weiser; re-recording mixer Andy Nelson; music editor Paul Apelgren; and production sound mixer Lee Orlo. CineMontage: Pietro, "Ferrari" is your first film with Michael Mann. What interested you about the project? Pietro Scalia: I've known Michael for many years, and over the many years he's been trying to put this movie together, he would contact me. I was very flattered by that. I knew of the project and the long ges- tation of it. Having the opportunity to work with a master, and somebody that I admired for so long, I'm happy that finally it was ready to go. I loved the script, and I had seen the evolution. I was amazed how he was able to crystallize this story so beautifully. CineMontage: How did you work together in putting the picture together? Scalia: One of the things we had to adapt very early on is the communication in the form of notes from Michael. Before he would shoot, he would share all his research and notes. During the shoot, he would note things that he liked, but when we were in Modena [Italy], it was a very tight schedule. He would come in on weekends, but he didn't have much time to review the material. He said, "Just go ahead and follow the notes. We'll review it on the weekends." That gave me the kind of initial freedom to tackle the scenes, having all the information that I needed. Then we would review them on the weekends and, to my surprise, he liked these scenes, which gave me confidence. The real editing part of it with Michael w a s a f te r t h e s h o o t i n I ta l y, w h e n h e returned to L.A. He literally went back to all the dailies, he commented on them, he recorded his reactions — very, very specific. His assistants would transcribe them, and we would get these notes. We created this giant library of notes. That's his process. He has everything catalogued and noted. CineMontage: Are Mann's notes about his favorite takes or moments he likes? Scalia: Exactly that, but also very, very specific. For example, in going through the takes, he noted his preferred takes, but then also the specific sections where he would stop the dailies and give you specific timecodes. He would revisit older cuts, view them again, and sometimes make combinations. It was a continuous fine-tune to remove everything that's in excess. How does this compare to that one? Sometimes we'd have three or four different cuts of the same scene at the same time. There are sequences that I cut 50 times. CineMontage: Tony, you first worked with Michael on "Blackhat" (2015), and you learned about "Ferrari" while working on a director's cut of the earlier film. Tony Lamberti: He had this alternate edit of "Blackhat" that he showed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and on those weekends when I went in to work on it, he had all the materials out for "Ferrari." His offices were filled with these giant poster boards of locations. He had build-sheets for the cars. All the cars that are moving on-screen are actually replicas of the real cars. He had to build them from scratch in order to be able to mount cameras to them and put them through the rigors of production. The real cars are worth tens of millions of dol- lars. I've never worked with a director who just goes so deep into every single detail. Pietro Scalia. Tony Lamberti.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of CineMontage - Q1 2024