We recently spoke with world-renowned Film and TV Editor, Eddie Hamilton, who worked on making the cuts for Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation. He discusses using Avid Media Composer and facing his own impossible mission of working with a revised deadline, which was moved up five months. Eddie is also known for his work on Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2 and many more.
Q: Why did you choose to edit with Avid Media Composer? Pros/Cons?
A: Avid Media Composer is the best system for collaborating on a large scale movie with a team of people all working with the same media and project. Avid's media management is terrific, you can move projects and media from the shared storage of the cutting room to a standalone laptop on set and nothing goes offline. It has great tools for VFX compositing, sound mixing and color correction so you can deliver a sequence which plays back like a finished movie. It is also hugely customizable so you can make it work exactly how you want. My system is tricked out and allows me to cut as fast as I can think.
Q: What was your biggest challenge with this movie and how did you overcome it?
A: The biggest challenge on Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation was delivering the film five months earlier than originally planned. My entire cutting room team worked tirelessly to ensure the process went professionally and smoothly and Paramount gave us the resources we needed when we needed them so we could push forward to the finish line on time. Tom Cruise as producer and Chris McQuarrie as writer director are good friends and worked very closely together with me in the cutting room to refine the edit as quickly as possible after the shoot so we could turn VFX shots over to Double Negative and start watching the movie with an audience to see how it played, so we could learn from the feedback and continuously improve our film storytelling. Although we were all under enormous pressure, we thrived on the challenge and the movie is probably all the better for it.
Q: What other production equipment did you and the team use for this film?
A: We used Avid Media Composer exclusively in the cutting rooms, apart from the music and sound editing teams who used Pro Tools.
Q: How have you been able to work on such amazing films? What's next for you?
A: I love my job and have dreamed of working in the film industry since I was seven years old. I stay enthusiastic and intensely focused on my films from the first day of principal photography to the last day of post, and never take anything for granted. Every day is different and the technology is constantly evolving. I love storytelling and technology and editing is the craft that allows the best combination of the two. Next for me is Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman sequel (which is going to be fantastic).
Q: What advice would you give production professionals for finding success in this industry?
A: Arrive early, stay late, work hard, stay cheerful, and do any job you are asked to do, however menial, to the absolute best of your ability with good humour. Always check your work so you're completely confident it is correct, one screw-up will be remembered much longer than many days of great work. The film industry is one place where mistakes often cost a lot of money to put right, so do everything in your power to do the job right first time.
Q: What piece of advice were you given early on in your career that you still follow to this day?
A: Always do your best work every day, smile, and when the going gets tough, look around yourself and remember how lucky you are to be working in such a creative industry.
For more advice about editing, check out www.eddiehamilton.com