Editing Inception

How to edit a $200 million dollar movie

Here is an in-depth interview from Studio Daily with film editor Lee Smith and assistant editor John Lee discussing their workflow and creative process for Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Interestingly Smith and Lee cut on both a host of Avid’s and a Steinbeck flat-bed simultaneously, so that rough cuts could be viewed on projected 35mm film.

F&V: Some editors have told me that’s been the biggest technological advancement of the last few years – because full-fledged editing can be done on a laptop it’s very freeing.

JL: Yeah, but it’s also a bad thing. When you’re traveling, you may fly to London or wherever and it’s, “Can you do that scene while you’re on the way?” And it’s like, “No, I was thinking of eating peanuts and watching a movie.”

LS: The other big problem for us on this film, and any of the Chris Nolan films, is that security is so tight. What we can do on a laptop is very limited – just a half-dozen shots. He won’t let the film be carried on a laptop [because] it’s such an easy thing to have stolen or lose. “

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