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February 2016

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Page 22 of 51 21 POST FEBRUARY 2016 O S C A R buzz their faces. He goes to extreme lengths to make it feel as real as it possibly could be. Those characters are all built be Neal Scanlan and they are as real as they were in the original." MARKEY: "I don't really try to impose a style on the material. My approach is kind of always the same. Looking through the dailies and looking for pieces that really speak to me where I feel what the character is feeling or just the moments that really speak to me, where I feel the actor is the most invested that he can be. I try to bring those together into the scene and I do always try to create a kind point of view for the scene and a guide, a way the viewer feels guided through the scene by a single point of view. But that's the way I always cut. The only stylistic thing that we changed for this was using the soft wipes, which was used in the original films. Other than that I just don't think we did anything different from what we've always done." You've all worked together before, does that make it easier when you're going to start a new project? MARKEY: "I think it's absolutely an advantage and there's also a shared sensibility that is invaluable. We all have the same goal. It's just so different when you start working with somebody else. You just don't know if you share the same sensibility about what is important in filmmaking. For us, I think it's always the emotion of the character. I remem- ber JJ saying, 'It's the peeps, it's the people that matter the most.' (laughs) Of course you want to make an excit- ing film. You want the action scenes to be fun and the sense of adventure to be grand and delightful, but what it really comes down to in the end are the characters. Also, JJ can say three words about a scene and I know exactly what he's not getting from the scene that he wants and that just doesn't happen with somebody that you haven't worked with for a long time." BRANDON: "Thankfully, we can skip over the 'getting-to-know-you,' part which can be awkward at times. And he does this to me all the time, and I know he does this to Mary Jo, he'll just walk out and go, 'Just make it work' (laughs). And him saying that, you're like, 'I got it.'" MARKEY: "Also, the fact that Maryann and I have known each other for such a long time, the trust between us is really valuable. Nobody is playing it close to the vest in our cutting room. We just share our ideas very openly and freely and we're very comfortable with each other. There's not a competition between us — it's all for the good of the film. It just makes for a really nice environment." Were there any technical challenges on this film? BRANDON: "Aside from the massive responsibility to all the fans? (laughs) It definitely had its challenges, not really any different than other films we cut; or that I've cut." MARKEY: "In a weird way, the fact that we couldn't really show it to an audience. So the feedback that we got was kind of all friends and family and internal and un- til we actually saw it at the premiere, we didn't see it with an audience. We didn't know how people would really react and until the day it opened, we didn't see it with a paying audience. So that was a lit- tle challenging. We had a limited amount of feedback. Sometimes you just have to go with your instinct." Is there a key sequence related to the editing that stood out for you? MARKEY: "I have certain ones that I real- ly like and I'm sure Maryann does. I was really happy with the dialogue between Finn and Poe, when they're in the fighter escaping from the First Order. I just love that dialogue between them and the way they were with each other. And you see Finn starting to understand what it's like to be a free person and the bonding that happens when Poe gives him his new name. That dialogue for me just turned out great." BRANDON: "For me, there were several — Maz being a character who was CG, so we had to really work her out and that was a hard one because there was no character there. That's a real example of the film dictating what the character needed to be. All of us spoke endlessly about what she should talk about until we came to the conclusion that it really needed to be a moment for Finn to express himself. At one point, she was more magical, strong with the force, through all these iterations until she became that solid person who we just had to adore her. I think she was really successful. "But I think ultimately, was the part of the film when Rey goes to get the lightsa- ber and she has what we used to call the 'Forceback,' although that term has no relevance. JJ shot a bunch of stuff for it and all he kept saying to me was, 'It's like a bad dream, like an acid trip. At the end, I just want you to be really afraid.' It ended up being a sound driven thing which was the best thing I could come up with and I'm really proud of it — I think it works, I think it is scary. But it was the bane of my existence for a long time." Are you happy with the final film? BRANDON: "It's hard not to be." MARKEY: "I am. How can you ask for a better response?" For the full interview, visit The editing style captured the spirit of the original films, including their 'soft wipes.'

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