Oscar nominee Tim Squyres on cutting 'Life of Pi'
The partnership between a director and an editor can be one of the longest lasting in Hollywood: just ask Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker, Steven Spielberg and Michael Kahn, and Ang Lee and Tim Squyres.
Squyres has cut 11 of Lee’s 12 movies, the exception being “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). He reaped his first Oscar nomination for Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) -- losing to Stephen Mirrione ("Traffic") -- and contends again for “Life of Pi.” ACE Eddies champ William Goldenberg ("Argo") leads the field for Best Editing with odds of 3/2.
“One of the great things about Ang is he does not make the same movie over and over again,” says Squyres during the video chat with Gold Derby below. “If it weren’t for my relationship with him, I doubt I would’ve edited a comic book superhero movie ('Hulk,' 2003) or a martial arts film ('Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,' 2000). He’s not ready to rest on his laurels yet. He challenges himself and he challenges everybody who works for him. When people work on an Ang Lee film, they tend to do some of the best work they’ve ever done.”
Squyres admits cutting “Life of Pi” presented several challenges beyond the technical ones. “Obviously, with the visual effects and 3D, there’s a lot of technical challenges, but the hardest part of “Life of Pi,” from an editor’s standpoint, were some of the more basic storytelling aspects of it. For a large portion of the film, our main character is lost at sea: he’s not controlling his destiny, he’s not trying to accomplish anything except stay alive. It’s hard to show somebody lost at sea without the audience feeling at some point that we’re drifting.”
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