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HomeAwardsContender – Editor Jeremiah O'Driscoll, Flight

Contender – Editor Jeremiah O’Driscoll, Flight

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Jeremiah O’Driscoll

Director Robert Zemekis has returned to live action with the contained, but powerful, character-based drama, Flight, a story about an alcohol and drug addicted pilot whose extraordinary flying skills save his passengers from almost certain death when his plane malfunctions and crashes. The success of the story hinges on the performance of Denzel Washington. The Oscar-winning actor does not disappoint with his complex and nuanced characterization. That performance formed the basis for the editing of the film by Jeremiah O’Driscoll.

“The interesting thing about Denzel, he has this real rhythm to everything he does,” said O’Driscoll. “I had to figure out how to treat it. Once I finally got the hang of it, it was one of those things where you just say, please don’t let me mess up.”

“Denzel is one of the few real absolute movie stars. I’ve been lucky to work with, I’ve been really spoiled.

Denzel Washington portrays a complex hero in Flight.

O’Driscoll first worked with Zemekis on Death Becomes Her when he took an apprentice position with editor Arthur Schmidt so he could assist “someone great and learn the craft.”  At the time, editing was still being done on film, so he was always in the room putting reels up for Schmidt on the three interlocking Kems that the editor used. He kept the director’s notes for Schmidt, so over the years he learned Zemekis’ filmmaking and cinematic “language.”

O’Driscoll worked with Schmidt for 11 years and first got an opportunity to edit for Zemekis when the director asked him to do some cutting on Contact. Schmidt would always give a constructive critique of his editing, so O’Driscoll laughs that he “really got a PhD course working with Artie and Bob.” He was credited as associate editor on Castaway and when Schmidt semi-retired, O’Driscoll went on to putting together the storyboard animatic and eventually editing The Polar Express.

“By the time we got into the motion capture world and I was the guy sitting in the hot seat, I would say, ‘Bob wouldn’t do that. Bob doesn’t put together a scene like that.’ So I kind of know the short cuts,” O’Driscoll explained. “That’s really useful when you have the luxury of a relationship that goes back for years. A lot of times Bob doesn’t need to tell me what to do because I know what he has in mind.”

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