Hula Post recently provided editorial systems, facilities and support to editor Melissa Kent for her work on Paramount Pictures’ new drama Captive. Kent spent six months editing the film at Hula’s Burbank facility, followed by an additional two weeks on Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood. Hula provided Avid workstations and storage at both sites.
Directed by Jerry Jameson (Last Flight Out) and starring David Oyelowo (Selma) and Kate Mara (House of Cards), Captive centers on Brian Nichols who captured national attention in 2005 when he broke out of a Georgia courthouse after killing a judge and three other people. He subsequently took Ashley Smith, a single mother, hostage and held her for several hours before surrendering to authorities.
The movie tells the story with gripping realism. The first minutes of the film, when Nichols makes his escape, features intense action with almost no dialogue. Much of the rest of the film occurs in Smith’s small apartment where the ratcheting anxiety is heightened by the flowing camerawork of cinematographer Luis David Sansans.
Kent enhanced the dramatic tension with an editorial approach that is deliberate, but understated. “My job is to be responsive to the actors, and David Oyelowo and Kate Mara are amazing,” she explained. “Although playing a killer, David brought a deep humanity to Brian Nichols, and Kate was wonderfully subtle and expressive.”
“The film is very dynamic in the way it was shot. The camerawork is completely hand-held and constantly in motion,” Kent added. “Once Brian takes Ashley hostage in her apartment, the camerawork heightened the frenetic energy of Brian, and contrasted well with the stillness of Ashley.”
Kent noted that the support she received from Hula Post freed her from technical concerns and allowed her to focus on storytelling. “Hula bends over backwards to make the environment very pleasant and conducive to creativity,” she said.
Kent, who reviewed historical records including the 9-1-1 call from the incident as part of her preparation, said that the real-life events were always on her mind. “It’s an intense story and makes for an exciting, compelling movie,” she said, “and is all the more powerful and tragic because it is true.”