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HomeAwardsAward Contender-Stephen Mirrione, Good Night and Good Luck

Award Contender-Stephen Mirrione, Good Night and Good Luck

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In Good Night, and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney, David Strathairn portrays legendary CBS television journalist Edward R. Murrow taking on Senator Joseph McCarthy of the Senate’s Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations in the 1950s. Murrow’s antagonist, plus other characters in the film, are not portrayed by actors but depicted through archival footage. For editor Stephen Mirrione, getting these characters to interact with the actors on screen was a unique editorial experience.This is the second outing for Mirrione with Clooney; he edited Clooney’s directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. “George briefly mentioned the documentary feel he wanted the film to have,” said Mirrione. George and [producer/co-writer] Grant Heslov had already done a tremendous job paring down the See It Now shows to fit within the structure of the narrative. All of the archival footage is actually playing ‘live’ within those scenes on practical monitors. We didn’t go back in later and add it digitally. Because of this, I really had to rely on the timing and choreography created on the set.“George told me he wanted me to think of the sound from the archival footage like it is our musical score. That really gave me a great deal of freedom when approaching the scenes with lots of archival material. In some cases I took separate scenes and tied them together using the archival footage.”Cutting on Avid systems, Mirrione also increased the intimacy of the film as it progressed. “I wanted to change the relationship the viewer had with the characters—to move from being a fly on the wall to being one of the gang to being inside Murrow’s head.“My first assistant editor Doug Crise was a great help,” adds Mirrione. “We used the Dailies-On-Demand system for our HD dailies. Even with the tight 30-day schedule we were able to hit the ground running the day after production wrapped with a pretty close cut already in place.”

Written by Kathy Anderson

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