Blu Murray Q&A: ‘Sully’ editor
“People wanted to see this movie, especially for New York. It was a moment in their history where there could have been a tragedy, but there wasn’t,” says “Sully” editor Blu Murray about why the film resonated so much with audiences when it was released this fall. “It’s a story where everything goes right. You have a pilot who trained his whole life for this moment. He did what he believed to be instinctively right and saved everyone.” Murray was part of a “Meet the Experts” panel presented by Gold Derby at the Landmark Theater in L.A. on Nov. 22 to spotlight great achievements in crafts.
“Sully” tells the true story of the 2009 event known as “The Miracle on the Hudson,” in which a US Airways flight suffered catastrophic engine failure immediately after taking off. But instead of ending in disaster, all 155 passengers and crew members survived after pilot Chesley Sullenberger (played in the film by Tom Hanks) successfully accomplished an emergency water landing in the Hudson River.
Director Clint Eastwood took on this story, and after years of working as an assistant editor on his films Murray finally moved into the lead editor’s chair. “He doesn’t shoot as much as some people shoot, but he loves to be there with actors,” Murray revealed of Eastwood’s process. “And he’s there in that moment with one camera for most scenes. When he feels he has the moments he wanted to capture, he’ll say, ‘Alright, that’s enough of that,’ and we’ll move on. When you have Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart, one take might do it.”
Murray’s credits as an assistant editor include Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006), “Gran Torino” (2008), “Invictus” (2009) and “American Sniper” (2014), among others. He only has one other feature film credit as a lead editor, the 2012 comedy “Divorce Invitation,” but “Sully” wasn’t bad for a second try — Murray has already been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Film Editing for his effort.