The films of Christopher Nolan are mostly acclaimed by the public and the critics. But it is also known that their frames tend to be complex and many times difficult to understand for the spectators. Lee Smith has worked for years editing several films of Nolan that meet this feature as it can be ‘Origin’ or ‘Interstellar’.
In an interview with WTOP News, Smith has spoken of these multiple collaborations with Nolan that have marked his career. The editor has admitted the difficulty to make the final cut understandable: “Chris makes movies very complicated, and I believe that my job in the process is to make them as understandable as possible. There is nothing worse than a film in which the audience is losing so much that you get disappointed“, Smith says according to IndieWire.
“The secret that we have tried to always do with their films, ‘Source’, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘El truco final (The prestige)’, is be faithful to the original idea of Chris but never get to the point where you’re sitting there as the audience and you abusive excluded”.
Smith says that his work is perfected after the first impressions the public, but that never fits with the sole purpose of pleasing the public, but it’s about keeping the vision of the director: “Those movies are very well adjusted. Some people get caught every little detail. Others do not understand them to nothing, but still love them“.
The editor australian won the Oscar for Best Editing for ‘Dunkerque’ in 2018 and has worked in ‘1917’ Sam Mendes. The tape that won him that prize of the Academy was one of the most complicated: “There was a lot of juxtaposition of scenes. There were many changes with the things in the air. We had to move, add, and delete where you dunk them so that the audience were not totally bewildered“.
In ‘1917’, Smith was in charge of making it appear that the movie had been filmed in one take, when in reality it is the product of the union of many shots: “Sam and I agreed we never would say how many cuts there actually. We didn’t know one hundred percent if this would work, so that some of these unions have set us the creeps. There are many tricks in the film. That is all that I can say”.
Heath Ledger in ‘The dark knight’
Lee Smith was the editor of ‘The Dark Knight’ and his work became even more complex by the unexpected death of actor Heath Ledger, who played the Joker: “It was terribly sad. He was an actor so brilliant and gave us so much in that role… It was a great loss”.
Smith explains that the death of the actor came about 12 weeks after the end of the shoot. Heath Ledger, received posthumously awarded the Oscar for Best supporting Actor in 2008.