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Walter Murch and Anthony Minghella on happy accidents during filming

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Murch: “Frequently, accidental things that Anthony [Minghella] discovered during filming suddenly emerge as talismanic and essential, even though at the time of shooting, they are tangential and unplanned.  The English Patient, for example, begins with [a B-camera POV shot] and it ends with another B-camera point-of-view…  I think if at the time of shooting Anthony had tapped the camera operator on the shoulder and said, ‘You’re shooting the beginning of the film’… they might have gotten a little flustered thinking they have to make it more significant.  But all of this gets revealed in the high-pressure cauldron of the editing room. Godard has a great phrase for it: the transformation of chance into destiny.”

Minghella: “This process has been remarkable on Cold Mountain, because we seem to have reduced the material by 50 percent…”

Murch: “More.”

Minghella: “More than 50 percent, without actually touching the vertebrae in any shape or form.”

–Walter Murch, interview from Minghella on Minghella by Timothy Bricknell

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