Post-Production : Do actors befriend you? by Gary Ploski

Gary Ploski

Do actors befriend you?

While reading Final Cut Pro X: Advanced Editing these two sentences stood out to me as a big ol 'what the truck?' aka o.O moment... "Make no mistake: It's the editor who chooses how an actor's performance plays in each scene. This is why smart actors befriend the editor on their films." As an actor and editor I can honestly say I do not know any actor who has actively done this. Directors, casting directors, producers, writers - yea. But, editors? Have you experienced this 'befriending' at all? Maybe the author thought no actors, who also edit, would read this book.

Gary Ploski

It wasn't my intention to make the statement out to be an absolute because it isn't though I personally hold to the opinion that it should not have been included in the book. That said, it's great to see what you're looking for while editing. The items you noted are more what I would personally imagine an editor looking for while working on a piece.

Justine-Paula Robilliard

No, it is bad practice to have the actors and editing crew mix, this could affect the actors thinking one thing, and the editing crew something else. The actors are paid to perform as per the directors instruction and for no one else, if the actor is thinking about the editor, then they are not fully doing the job for which they are being paid. There might be some reasons for the editor to be on set, of course, smaller jobs demand this, but in the long run, you want the editor to be fresh, not be influenced by the actors.

Rory Ann Chronister

This is mom answering for me, but growing up in a home with an ambassador, we learned diplomatic skills at an early age. My brother and I both enjoy acting so very much that we are thrilled to work with everyone and treat the entire cast and crew with the utmost respect. For if it were not for them, the story would not be told and we could not to present in that magic.

Justine-Paula Robilliard

You have to ask the question, who is more important, the actor or the film? For me it is the story, the film, actors are a dime a dozen, walk down any alley in LA and there are hundreds of desperate actors, what makes the actor good is not the acting, it is the editing, it is how you edit that makes or breaks the talent. Yes the director and editor rely on the actors, but the actors are a mere part of the team, lighting, sound, camera ops, focus pullers, set and costume designers, foley artists, stunt performers, animal wranglers, make up, special effects, catering, and so on...The list grows with each $10k the budget has... There is only so much you can do in post, yes it would help to have decent source to edit, the actors and technical crew have to play a huge role in this, RIRO....rubbish in, rubbish out... If the editor has a fondness towards an actor, this could lead to a false production, in that the editor sells out the story to polish the actor, who might not be all that good, after all the end result is what we all strive for, a good honest well produced production.

J Tom Field

An editor can make a great performance look bad but an actors poor performance can only be improved by the editor by cutting it all together.

Justine-Paula Robilliard

Sorry, RIRO applies here, rubbish in, rubbish out, no matter how good you are, it is simply not possible to chrome a turd!!

Justine-Paula Robilliard

All I am saying, since the commencement of this thread was that I think it is a bad idea, the editor might sacrifice production value for friendship value, it happens, sometimes the actor might not be up to standard, or the director distracted, or wanting to make the talent look better, at the expense of the production. There is a famous interview with the editor of Jaws, that fought Steven Spielberg about how to edit, and in the end, the editor was right, Steven has admitted this in the interview. The actor is a mere part of the whole, what Robin says is correct, that is the function of editing, to take the very best of all material and craft a production/film, using the skills they have to do this.. What is more to the point, we have turned creative into a business, not a good thing, at what point do you draw the line??

Sten Ryason

Interestingly, one of the actors on a film I worked on turned in such an annoying performance that she became the villain of her only scene, rather than the "social magnet" that she was supposed to be. She was still sort of that person, but it only made the other people in the scene seem kind of pretentious for going along with her. Even the director realized it was the right choice after the fact. Part of the problem sprang from the fact that this actor behaved in a highly unprofessional manner, and I think the other cast members' performances were (at least partially) reactions to her bad behavior. I don't know if being friends with the actors would color your decisions. I know that an actor being an ass will definitely produce negative results, either on the set or in the editing suite.

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