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HomeAwardsContender-Steve Rosenblum-Editing-Blood Diamond

Contender-Steve Rosenblum-Editing-Blood Diamond

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As is often the case with Hollywood’s most successful directors and editors, the collaboration between director Edward Zwick and editor Steven Rosenblum has spanned many years—30 in fact—beginning when they were students at the American Film Institute and continuing professionally with episodes of thirtysomething then making the leap to the big screen with the Academy Award winning feature, Glory.Rosenblum and Zwick have always been interested in relationship-based stories—how and why characters behave the way they do—even when those stories are set against big canvases as in their latest project together, Blood Diamond. It’s a love story set in Africa against the backdrop of diamond smuggling, indoctrinated child soldiers and civil strife.Rosenblum explains that directors of Zwick’s caliber usually only make a film every two or three years, so it’s important to select the right project. Because of their ongoing relationship, he is one of about three or four people whose opinions the director depends on when he finds a script of interest. “As an editor, I think of myself as the truth,” says Rosenblum. “When I don’t tell the truth, it always bites me.”The editing process that Rosenblum and Zwick follow relies on the trust developed over years of working together. “He won’t even tell me how he thinks something is going to be cut, because he knows if he tells me, I probably won’t do it that way,” says Rosenblum, of their method of collaborating. “He always lets me fly with it. Then we work together. It’s like a tennis match. Shooting is serving. Putting it together for the first time is whacking it back. Then we start to rally.”Blood Diamond is both a picture with a message and full-scale Hollywood entertainment. No single sequence posed a challenge in the editing, but rather marrying the two different types of movies together was a tightrope walk throughout the picture. Criticism of movies that walk this line usually centers on the perception that the entertainment elements lessen the meaningfulness of the picture. Rosenblum counters, “There is an age-old tradition of Hollywood movies that have political agendas but are entertaining films. The biggest issue is the balancing act. That balancing act here includes how much of a romance is going to be in the movie and how it might detract from the seriousness of the conflict diamond issue and the horror of what happens to these young children who become soldiers.”The film accomplished what it was meant to do,” he concludes. “It is one of those rare pictures that actually brought an issue out into the open. You see what happens in the world, and hopefully, you bring some of that to people’s awareness. That was what I was most satisfied about.”2007: Nominated, Academy Award for best achievement in editing, Blood Diamond. 2004: Won, Golden Satellite Award for best film editing, The Last Samurai. 1996: Nominated, Academy Award for best film editing, Braveheart; Won, ACE Eddie for best edited feature film, Braveheart. 1990: Nominated, Academy Award for best film editing, Glory; Won, ACE Eddie for best edited feature film, Glory. 1989: Won, ACE Eddie for best edited episode from a television series, thirtysomething “Accounts Receivable”; Won, Emmy for outstanding editing for a series – single camera production, thirtysomething “First Day/Last Day.”

Written by Mary Ann Skweres

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