Sidney Wolinsky Interview: ‘The Shape of Water’ editor

During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), “The Shape of Water” film editor Sidney Wolinsky reveals, I thought it could be interesting, but it looks like a tall order to really pull this off” about reading the script initially. This Cold War era drama directed and co-written by Guillermo Del Toro centers on a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) working as a janitor in a top-secret government lab. She meets and falls in love with a giant fish man (Doug Jones) and helps him escape before he can be dissected by American scientists or Russian spies. The film also stars Michael ShannonRichard JenkinsOctavia Spencer, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

Perhaps the biggest challenge presented was successfully conveying the love story between the woman and the creature. “Not that you don’t see it all the time,” he divulges, “certainly in animated films. But I think that kind of relationship is hard to pull off, because will people believe it?” He continues, “it’s setting yourself a really high bar to get over.”

Yet Wolinsky had the upmost confidence in Del Toro, with whom he previously collaborated with on FX’s “The Strain.” “I just put together what was shot,” he explains. “I don’t wanna minimize what I did, but it was all in the script, and Guillermo just did a masterful job of overseeing an incredible production design, a wonderful DP (Director of Photography), and we just ended up with material that worked.”

Wolinsky won an Emmy for his work on the pilot episode of “Boardwalk Empire” in 2011. He also competed for cutting “The Sopranos” in 2000, 2001, and 2004. He has also worked on “Sons of Anarchy,” “House of Cards,” “Ray Donovan,” “The Man in the High Castle,” and “Power,” as well as the film “Not Fade Away” (2012).

“The Shape of Water” opens in New York on December 1 before expanding on December 8.

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UPLOADED Nov 14, 2017 2:33 pm