Backstage Interview: FILM EDITING

Backstage Interview: FILM EDITING

INTERVIEW WITH: Joe Walker

FILM: "DUNE"

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          Q.    One of the themes, since Dune has done so well with all the

                craft awards, is this theme of collaboration and Denis being

                the team leader, so speak on that for me. The sound team has

                already talked about working with you and the coordination with

                VFX.

                        So how was this for you?  How was this different than

                other editing experiences?  Can you speak to that heightened

                sense of collaboration?

          A.    (Joe Walker) Well, you know, we are all, like, a well-rehearsed

                band that plays together and have played together many times.

                And, you know, the sound team and I worked together on Blade

                Runner, obviously, and Hans Zimmer and I go back to -- 1998 was

                the first time we worked together, on the last -- the last

                thing he did at the BBC.

                In fact, as a little note, I remember somebody saying that he

                overspent by about 450 pounds on the string sessions in London,

                and they said he may never work at the BBC ever again.  That

                was back in 1988.  So well done, Hans, for your Oscar tonight.

                Denis is an amazing leader and an incredibly skilled and

                trusted director who comes with tremendous specificity, I would

                say. He comes along with such a plan that it is my joy to be

                able to, kind of, interpret what his plan was but also to say,

                hey, have you ever thought of doing this?

                And he pays me the enormous compliment of sometimes loving what

                I do and it remaining in the film. So I love working with Denis

                and his team.

                Does anybody want to ask me about what it is like, as an irony,

                that, as an editor, my speech was edited tonight? Anybody --

                nobody interested in that? Who wants that one? I will give it

                to 201. Thank you, my friend. It was -- it went down well, I

                thought, the speech.

                And yet, I just saw it go out, and they cut the beginning and

                the middle and the end of it. And that's an irony. We all stand

                together in the Academy with equal strength, and I feel

                strongly that that was a disservice to our eight categories

                that were not televised live.

                We understand the pressures on the Academy, financially, but

                also I think we all stand together. The original statue of the

                Oscar has five reels.  You have five circles that represent the

                five branches of the academy as they started, and they are of

                equal size and strength.

                So, Mr. 201, thank you for your question that I answered for

                you.

          Q.    So we all know that the editing process is creating another

                movie. Did you put your touch during the editing, or you just

                worked on what the director wants from the movie, because every

                editor has his own touches.  And congratulations for your

                Oscars.

          A.    (Joe Walker) Thank you, MTV Lebanon, for that question.  And

                I'm here to tell you that it is an enormously collaborative

                process, and Denis gives me inspiration and love and wills me

                on to make the best edit of his material that I possibly can

                provide him.

                And that, many times, involves my stamp. Indeed, I am even a

                narrator in the film, so there we go. I am quite a part of the

                film. Thank you for your question.

          Q.    Congratulations. So well deserved. What was your favorite shot

                from the film?

          A.    (Joe Walker) Thank you for that question. I really love a

                moment in the film where they're preparing to leave Caladan,

                their home for all their lives, to go to a desert planet.

                And there's a moment where Oscar Isaac's Leto Atreides puts his

                hand on Rebecca Ferguson's neck, Lady Jessica's neck.  And it's

                a moment of reassurance, and it speaks volumes to me way more

                than piles of dialogue.  Scene after scene, couldn't have

                expressed the love and trust between two people better than

                that image.

                And I thought it was like many of Denis' very arresting films.

                They're full of very cinematic, very sensual images, whether it

                is a hand in the water, or the hand in the sand, or the hand on

                the back of a neck.

                It is something that reaches to us and makes us want to go to

                cinemas and see films with our fellow human beings after a

                long, terrible pandemic. So thank you for that question.

          Q.    What does this win mean to you, and was there anybody that you

                wanted to thank that you didn't get the chance to when you were

                accepting your Oscar?

          A.    (Joe Walker) They really -- you know, most of all, Denis. You

                know, I said to him (speaking French), which is -- you know, it

                is quite a compliment to him to speak French to him, because he

                spends most of his time ribbing me for being like you, Jazz,

                English.

                So I'm very happy to have thanked him. And my speech tonight

                was about my kids and about how the Academy has really

                basically helped me on the slippery slopes of fatherhood.

                If -- for those that don't know the speech I gave, I basically

                was saying that, in the hands of a very skilled 17-year-old,

                the words "Oscar-nominated" can be used as an insult. And my

                daughter once said to me in the middle of an argument, "It's

                all very well for you, Oscar-nominated Joe Walker."

                And so thank you for the upgrade. That was my main thank you.

                Thank you. Okay. Thank you very much.

Acceptance speech transcripts for the 94th Academy Awards are created by a team of transcribers in real time and with minimal editing, for the benefit of the press on the night. They may contain omissions and errors, especially in the spelling of names. Clips of winner acceptance speeches may be found on oscar.com.

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