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February 2015

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Page 23 of 51 22 POST FEBRUARY 2015 ilm editor Gary D. Roach has been working with director Clint Eastwood and fellow editor Joel Cox for 19 years. He began as an apprentice on 1997's Absolute Power, and then became an assistant on Eastwood's next show. "I was doing fi lm dailies and all the Avid work, and moved up," Roach recalls. "I was fortunate enough to sit behind Joel and Clint, and go to Clint's facility when they would do Clint's cut. I sat be- hind them for almost 10 years and then Clint told Joel, 'It was time for Gary to start editing.' It never really worked out until editing Flags of Our Fathers (2006). Clint said, 'I am going to start shooting Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) and I want Gary to edit it.'" That was the beginning, Roach recalls. Cox went on to complete Flags of Our Fathers, and later joined Roach on Let- ters From Iwo Jima. The two have been collaborating as editors ever since. "We work well together because I know Joel's style and what Clint likes." Working from Eastwood's Malpaso Productions in Burbank, the pair spent time in 2014 cutting Warner Bros.' crit- ically-acclaimed fi lm American Sniper, which looks at the military career of Chris Kyle, who is considered the most lethal sniper in United States military history, having killed more than 160 enemy tar- gets. Bradley Cooper portrays Kyle, with Sienna Miller acting as his wife. The fi lm shows the tough decisions Kyle is faced with while performing his duties and trying to protect his fellow soldiers. On the day Post spoke with Roach, the Academy had just announced its 2014 nominees. American Sniper re- ceived six Oscar nominations: Editing (Roach and Cox), Best Picture (Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, pro- ducers), Actor (Bradley Cooper), Sound Editing (Alan Robert Murray and Bub As- man), Sound Mixing (John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin), and Screenplay (Jason Hall). Roach and Cox were also nominated for the A.C.E. Eddie Award in the Film (Dramatic) category. American Sniper was shot on Arri's Alexa. Roach says that Eastwood typical- ly employs a single camera, but this fi lm was a bit diff erent. "Clint usually shoots with one cam- era," Roach notes. "There [were] multiple cameras in this show, more so than other shows. They needed to capture all the ac- tion scenes, the war and the battle. Also, Rob Lorenz, who's one of the producers, went out as a second unit and shot a lot of the stuff for the last battle scene." Roach and Cox worked from East- wood's facility, which has Avid NLEs and Unity storage. While they were not quite able to keep up with each day's camera footage, they were able to deliver a cut within a week of the director completing the shoot. "Every fi lm that I have edited has been on the Avid, and I think it's the best system for lots of reasons," notes Roach. "Clint bought the systems years ago and the Unity. We don't travel with Clint, which is weird for this industry. We stay in Bur- bank. They ship the dailies to us and we get it cut. Maybe once a week we'll send Clint a DVD or QuickTime to see where we are at and how things are going. He usually doesn't make any changes to what we are doing until after he's done shooting and we sit down with him." By Roach's calculation, American Sniper incorporates approximately 800 visual eff ects, many involving muzzle fl ashes from riffl es and bullet ricochets. "In the last battle scene of the movie, there's a huge visual eff ects scene be- cause a sand storm hits the building that they are on in the middle of the battle," he notes. "The sand is taking over, so every shot is a visual eff ects shot." Five visual eff ects houses contributed to the fi lm, and some of the shots didn't arrive until the day before the fi nal mix. Roach says the way the fi lm captures the moments of intensity and the look in Bradley Cooper's eyes is what stands out to him. "It was very hard for him, at moments, to do what he had to do. Cap- turing that, I think, was unique." As far as the most dynamic scene — and there are many — he points to the fi lm's fi nal battle. "The last battle scene, with all of the footage that we got, and the massive battle that they went through, and the helicopter… I would say the last battle is one of the most intense scenes." AMERICAN SNIPER BY MARC LOFTUS CUTTING CLINT EASTWOOD'S OSCAR- NOMINATED WAR DRAMA F Editors (L-R) Roach and Cox have been collaborating for close to 20 years. EDIT THIS

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