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January 2016

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Page 28 of 53 25 POST JANUARY 2016 O S C A R buzz "David's a storyteller, so he's constantly retelling it to get down the essence of it, and there's a lot of experimentation, and the music's always very important," says Cassidy. The team got 2K scans for dailies and began on Avid 8.3 and later moved to 8.4, using ISIS. "We'd just trade off sections," adds Baumgarten, "and gradually build it up." Sicario was edited by Joe Walker (12 Years a Slave) and the editorial team cut with transcoded Avid DNxHD media us- ing two Avid Media Composer systems. "This was a very carefully considered shoot," reports Walker. "There was lots of prep to work out shots and no over- shooting. Most of the set-ups were in the final cut. They were also lucky with the weather. I cut the initial assembly in LA while they were shooting in New Mexico. The fine cut was done in Montreal with Denis for 10 weeks and then back to LA for the final post. The edit really came together easily because of all the prep. Roger has to be one of our generation's greatest cinematographers. Not only are his shots fantastic, but he really under- stands sequence building. Ninety percent of the time the editorial team consisted of my long-time first assistant Javier [Marcheselli] and me. Our main focus during the edit was controlling the deli- cate balance, because our central char- acter is passive. One of the constructs that came out of the edit was to create more of the drone elements. We had a lot of helicopter aerials of the desert, so it helped to build these up as drone shots. Javier is very good with temp visual effects and I'm good with sound design, so we'd split up duties that way." An interesting aspect to Sicario is the sparseness of the musical score, in favor of sound design. Says Walker, "I didn't want to tell the audience what to think only by the music. It's part of the com- posite. I try to cut without a temp score, because you have to know when it's only the music that drives the emotion. I'll even turn the sound down to cut a lot as a silent movie, so that I can feel the rhythm visually. Then sound effects add another layer and finally music. In Sicario, I made use of a lot of walkie-talkie sounds to fill in spaces — almost like a score." Composer Johann Johannsson (Prisoners, The Theory of Everything, Foxcatcher) was "thrilled to get a clean output without someone else's precon- ceived temp score, because it allowed him to start with a clean palette." For Brooklyn, the story of Eilis, a young Irish immigrant in the '50s, di- rector John Crowley wanted to cast an Irish actress, to keep it as authentic as possible, and quickly settled on Saoirse Ronan (Oscar nommed for Atonement) for her ability to portray and communi- cate a great deal while appearing to do very little, which was essential for the role. Shot in Ireland, Montreal and New York, it was edited in Dublin, Montreal and London by Jake Roberts who start- ed in documentaries and TV episodic editing before working on The Riot Club and a short film with Steve McQueen, called Kanye West: All Day. "Initially I was cutting in Dublin and they were shooting in County Wexford, which is a two-hour train ride south, so I was separate from the production," he reports. "I was given the dailies on a 24-hour delay. Some directors like to see the assemblies at the end of every day, but John'd look at them at the end of the week so he wasn't obsessively trying to keep track of what I was doing. I was left to my own devices during the eight-week shoot." Roberts cut on an Avid with ISIS stor- age. "Over the course of the production I had three assistants due to all the mov- ing around, but only ever one at a time. Once in London we just had two stations on it and were cutting in a facilities house called Molinare, where we were also doing our grading. What was fabulous about it was that they would allow us to project the movie in their huge grading theater on a weekly basis. It made so much difference because when you see the film with scale, the rhythms of the film, the places you make the cut, are quite different." All sound was by sound designer Glen Freemantle and his team at Sound 24, who won the Oscar for Gravity. Adds Roberts, "I can't take credit for the sound that was ultimately used but the gen- eral conceit was usually something we created in the edit. I love sound design. I try and do as much of it as I can, even at a really early stage. I have a big sound effects library and even on the first day of a rough cut, I will start playing around with atmospheres and effects. One of the things I remember about sound was that after we shot in Montreal there was something kind of viscerally missing from the film and we couldn't figure out what it was. Then it came to us: American voices. We did a lot of work re-record- ing American actors and placing those accents around Eilis, just to hear as many authentic accents as possible." Post played a big role in a few places "where we needed to make it seem more summery," he adds. "We definitely added some saturation and warmth to some scenes in Ireland, where it was meant to be the height of summer and we were shooting it in April and it was unbeliev- ably cold. So we did a bit of color correction on that one to warm it up." Will Sicario crash the Oscar party with a nomination for DP Roger Deakins?

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