Matthew Friedman (‘Palm Springs’ editor): Telling ‘the story of soul crushing repetition; not inflict’ it [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“I am the person who has seen the movie literally the most times in the entire world,” declares Matthew Friedman of “Palm Springs.” For our exclusive webchat (watch the video above), the editor continues, “It’s funny. You don’t get sick of individual scenes. As I look at those scenes they change over time. It’s not really the same scene all the way through.”

In “Palm Springs,” Nyles (Andy Samberg) is a wedding guest who has to live the same day forever with Sarah (Cristin Milioti). Friedman edited the film and explains, “The time loop stuff gives you latitude as an editor to take a lot of liberties. We were trying to tell the story of soul crushing repetition; not inflict soul crushing repetition. It’s a fine difference. Every time that loop resets if we had shown literally everything again and again it would have been a horrible movie. We paid a lot of attention to stuff to make sure the movie never dragged for the audience the way it dragged for the characters living inside of it.”

He confesses that “the trickiest scene had nothing to do with the time loop. It was the campfire scene. It’s the heart of the movie and where the two of them connect. In the script it was a much longer scene. What we found was Andy and Cristin, through their acting, had already given us all of that information about their life philosophy. We did not need them to tell us. We had already seen it and it was so clear. So, we had to figure out how to get the middle of that scene out. But it was written very smartly, one thing led to the next. So taking a chunk out of the middle was not easy. And what they were saying was really interesting. It was hard on that level to lose that stuff.”

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