With J.J. Abrams back behind the camera for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, details on the final installment of the Skywalker are scarce. We still don’t have many details about the movie beyond the first teaser trailer and the recent influx of details from the extensive Vanity Fair cover story. But now we know that the film has taken J.J. Abrams out of his comfort zone a little bit by doing something he’s not accustomed to on the film’s set.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker editor Maryann Brandon recently revealed that she was cutting part of the movie on set while it was still being shot. This is something Abrams has never done before, but this time it was almost required due to the post-production time crunch caused by the film’s shooting schedule.
Speaking with Express (via ComicBook), Maryann Brandon explained the situation with editing on set:
“When we did The Force Awakens, we started in May and we finished shooting in October, and we were out [the following] Christmas. For this film, we didn’t start until August, so we weren’t done until February shooting – so we have four months less time, and it’s a very big film. So I convinced J.J. to let me cut on the set. He was like, ‘No, we never do that.’”
If they stopped shooting in February, and the movie comes out in December, that’s a short amount of time to turn around what will end up being one of the largest blockbuster movies of the year. It’s probably for the best that J.J. Abrams gave in to letting Brandon edit on the set, especially since it ended up making things easier for the reshoots that will need to be done. Brandon explained how editing on set made things easier for her and also for Abrams:
“I had the [director of photography] right there to ask questions. If I needed a shot, or if J.J. decided we needed another shot, we would set up in a corner and get a green screen shot of something. Getting to know the cast and having them be comfortable with me, it was a really great way to understand what they were going through.”
Editing on set can also make it easy to see what’s working and what isn’t when it’s all cut together. Being able to pick up shots while the sets and actors are still in place is significantly easier than waiting to see what they need in the editing room. Of course, there will likely still be moments that need reworking after an entire cut is assembled, but that’s just how the editing process works.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is on track to hit theaters December 20, 2019, and hopefully we’ll be seeing some new footage sooner than later. We’re not sure if it’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con or The D23 Expo, but there should be something new before the end of the summer.
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