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“Initially George was adamant that we edit the action sequences silently – no sound effects, no music. The rhythm of the visuals has to work as best it can before being enhanced by sound and music. No hiding allowed. This also allows you to focus very intensely purely on the visuals and not be distracted by temp sound.  Once we have milked the picture edit, then great attention is paid to sound and how it can enhance the storytelling. It​’s not only in the high impact scenes but in the more subtle scenes for which sound adds another vital dimension. In the scene where Max meets the girls and the subsequent fight sequence, sound designer David White put a huge amount of work into the chain effects, the water effects and other Max ‘headspace’ sounds. The soundtrack knits the shots together and amplifies the whole immersive experience.”

Margaret Sixel on editing Mad Max: Fury Road (via a fantastic interview by The Screen Blog)


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“Editing this film was tough because there’s very little dialogue, which is how scenes are structured, so the options are endless. It was a relief to find a scene with dialogue. You cut them in a day. It’s ridiculously easy.”

Margaret Sixel on editing Mad Max: Fury Road

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George Miller’s POV Shots

A truck driver's POV on a barren desert mountain.

Screenshot from Rishi Kaneria’s supercut of Mad Max POV shots.

Filmmaker Rishi Kaneria put together this supercut of POV shots from the original Mad Max trilogy.  It’s a pretty red-hot editing job in its own right – I’ve probably watched it a dozen times for that combination of catchy mashup and ultraviolence – but it also shows how visceral and effective George Miller’s POV shots are for making the viewer part of the action.

What I haven’t seen anyone mention is how clear this supercut makes the genre differences between all the Mad Max films.  That’s a great trick George Miller pulled – there’s pretty clearly one eye and one aesthetic behind all these films, but they’re just as clearly not the same genre of action film.  Especially that first one: it’s got more  in common visually with Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout than it does, say, Beyond Thunderdome.

Click through and take a look. Continue reading

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Behind the Scenes on Mad Max: Fury Road

Filming a car chase in the desert for Mad Max: Fury Road.

One of the glorious things about Mad Max: Fury Road was that it showed old-school movie-making can still kick ass and take names – not just keeping up with the CGI Joneses, but a shot over the bow before it surged forward and made the rest of the blockbuster field eat its wake.

This eighteen-minute compilation of raw footage from Mad Max: Fury Road shows just how much of the effects were done live.  It’s pretty exciting stuff, even without any cleanup or CGI.  Don’t get me wrong, CGI’s an art form, and can be a really beautiful one.  But there’s still a real freshness and immediacy to practical effects, and an incredible amount of skill goes into building and executing these effects.

See below for the full video. Continue reading