Hula Post Production provided editorial systems and support to Selma, the new film from Paramount Pictures, Pathé and Harpo Films and director Ava DuVernay. The movie chronicles the historic civil rights march led by Martin Luther King, Jr. in Alabama in 1965. The film, which stars David Oyelowo as King, is currently nominated for two Academy Awards: best picture and best original song.
Hula Post Production initially supplied Avid Media Composer systems and Avid Unity shared storage to editor Spencer Averick and his crew while they were working on location in Atlanta, where principal photography for the film was completed. Later, Hula set up identical editorial facilities on the lot at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood. Hula provided round-the-clock technical support at both sites.
Selma marks Averick’s ninth collaboration with DuVernay. He first worked with the director on her 2008 documentary This Is the Life. Reflecting on Selma, Averick said that telling a story based on recent historical events carries special responsibilities. “We felt a great obligation to get the story right,” he said. “We knew that there were a lot of people who were in the movement who were going to see this film.”
Averick added that the editorial team faced a tight schedule. They had just six months from the start of production to deliver a finished film.
Support provided by Hula Post Production’s technical crew helped to alleviate some of the pressure. “It gave me peace of mind to know that everything was going to be okay,” Averick recalled. “If a technical issue arose, Hula was there right away. And they checked in with us periodically to make sure things were running smoothly.”
Having worked together on many projects, DuVernay and Averick have developed a comfortable creative rapport. In Selma, Averick said, their goal was to create a film that was more than a history lesson and provided unique insights into the people who shaped the events. “We get inside the heads of the characters,” he explained. “It’s an epic story, but it’s also a personal story.”
Describing his editorial style, Averick added, “The pace is methodical. I like to spend time in each moment. If I don’t need to make a cut, I won’t. This gives the audience time to soak it in and lends to a more realistic scene.”