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Pietro Scalia: Editing Masterclass

21 December 2011
An Evening with Editor Pietro Scalia

The BAFTA-winning editor of films such as Gladiator, Good Will Hunting and JFK dissects his own work.

Pietro Scalia has worked with an auspicious list of directors including Bernardo Bertolucci, Sam Raimi, Oliver Stone, Gus Van Sant and Ridley Scott, with whom he has developed a long-term working partnership.

With credits ranging from JFK, The Quick and the Dead and Black Hawk Down to American Gangster, Gladiator and Good Will Hunting, he's become one of the industry's highest regarded editors.

Editing is always about how the psychology of the viewer works. And we can manipulate that. We do it continuously.

In this special masterclass, Scalia used clips of his own films to demonstrate his art: how he resurrected a character based on recycled material after the death of Oliver Reed on the set of Gladiator, how he put together complex action scenes spread over multiple locations for Black Hawk Down, and how the most effective editing tool can be to resist the temptation to make a cut.

Scalia goes on to talk about dealing with multiple formats in the cutting room, the ability of editors to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of an audience and his personal approach to the editing process.