Hank Corwin interview: ‘Don’t Look Up’ editor
“It may be the most challenging movie I’ve ever cut,” Oscar-nominated editor Hank Corwin admits about carefully threading the needle on a film where its tone shifts from uproarious comedy to scathing satire and ultimately melancholy and remorse. “It’s a comedy until it isn’t,” Corwin declares. “I mean, this movie is really hard to define and I think, for some people that might have been a little bit problematic because it is hard to define what is this.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
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“Don’t Look Up” is writer/director Adam McKay‘s latest all-star satire, which he co-wrote with journalist David Sirota. It stars Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as two astronomers who discover that a giant comet is careening toward Earth.
As they attempt in vain to warn humanity about the approaching extinction event, the world around them either doesn’t believe them or simply doesn’t care. As an allegory for humanity’s failure to reckon with the burgeoning global climate crisis, the Netflix dark comedy is a scathing and often hilarious rebuke of the role of government and the media in fostering worldwide neglect and complacency.
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“Trying to trying to find the tone was perhaps the most challenging part of this movie,” Corwin explains when discussing the film’s tonal shifts. “As you can imagine, it was a moving target, as I knew and Adam knew where we wanted to end up,” he says.
“It was trial and error, we would put the movie in front of an audience and if the first oval office scene was too funny, then the movie felt flat,” he reveals about the many nuanced permutations of the film that he presented to his director. “When we when we got to those precious last two and a half reels, the poignancy just didn’t impact well, so it was just a matter of discipline and pulling stuff out and putting stuff in,” he says.