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January/February 2024

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Page 5 of 39 4 POST JAN/FEB 2024 BITS & PIECES: OSCARS PAST LIVES' EDITOR KEITH FRAASE BY MARC LOFTUS First-time filmmaker Celine Song's feature Past Lives is Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Original Screenplay. Editor Keith Fraase (pictured below) says that once he read the script, he was extremely interested in coming onboard to cut the project, which was shot over five weeks in New York City and South Korea. "The script was so strong and had such a clear voice," he recalls. "And, [Celine] had in-hand so firmly what she wanted to say." Fraase got involved in late 2021, with produc- tion taking place into 2022 and the film ultimately premiering at Sundance in early 2023. The feature was shot on 35mm film, so he was approximate- ly two days behind with the dailies, which his assistant would sync with audio for him to edit in an Avid system. Initially, he worked from his home in Westchester, with Song coming by for sessions, and then moved to Company 3 in New York City once shooting wrapped. The film begins by introducing the audience to Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), two elementary school students in Korea, who have feelings for each other. After Nora's family emi- grates to North America, the two are separated for a dozen years before reconnecting online. Years later they meet in-person in New York City, where Nora is now married to Arthur (John Magaro), leaving both Nora and Hae Sung to question their choices and paths. While the first act is set in Korea, and much of the second act intercuts between New York and Korea, the Korean sections of the film were shot last. All of the New York scenes — where the later part of the film takes place — were shot first. In fact, Fraase says it was the Statue of Liberty scene that he received to work on first. "I love the style of shooting that they did on that," Fraase recalls. "It really energized me." Fraase sees a handful of scenes as being high- lights of the film, one in particular is the Madison Square Park scene, where Hae Sung is waiting to meet Nora for the first time since they were children. The camera stays focused on the perfor- mance, as he nervously awaits her arrival. "We wanted every edit to have meaning…so the idea behind holding on a shot was a challenge. With Hae Sung, (we're) starting to feel anxious. You don't want to cut away because you want that tension to build. If you put a cut in there, it's going to deflate that moment a little bit." FINNEAS O'CONNELL ON CREATING BARBIE''S OSCAR-NOMINATED SONG BY MARC LOFTUS Warner Bros.' Barbie received eight Oscar nominations for the 96 th annual Aca- demy Awards, including two in the "Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)" category. "What Was I Made For?" features music and lyrics written and performed by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell. O'Connell (pictured, right) says that when recording started, the goal was to keep the recorded sound as similar to the original voice memo as possible. "We mic'd up the upright piano that I have in my studio," he recalls. "I just have a stereo set of mics…Billie sang her vocals into a Telefunken 251 micro- phone, and then she comp'ed it herself, and then we built kind of everything around those two tracks." O'Connell adds that he's very fond of the song's structure too. "It separates the kind of idea of 'hook' from 'chorus,' because I think the cho- rus of this song is: 'I don't know how to feel, but I wanna try. I don't know how to feel, but someday, I might,' but the hook of this song is: 'What was I made for,' and that happens at the end of each part of the verse."

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