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Anthony Minghella on lessons learned from editing his footage

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“…if there was one single lesson to be extracted from the process of cutting The English Patient, it was that I overshoot.  Walter [Murch] gave me a stopwatch after that film, which I could use to time the script of The Talented Mr. Ripley, and clearly I can’t use the stopwatch either, because that film was also wildly overshot.  More thrillingly, it was also the case with Cold Mountain, although the length of the screenplay has crept down from project to project.  It has taught me many things, not least that it’s hard to fight your own sensibility.  But I’ve also learnt that there’s some elaboration that I add to the screenplay when I’m shooting, despite not being conscious of doing anything other than collecting what I’d written down.  I often feel I’m shooting very starkly and I worry that there isn’t enough there.”

–Anthony Minghella, interview from Minghella on Minghella by Timothy Bricknell (emphasis mine)


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