As an Old Millennial, I am just discovering the really great work that some awesome writers are doing on YouTube. Previously I dismissed it as a realm of vloggers and fan theorists, and while there are plenty of those, there are also people doing really insightful and interesting work on film. I aim to bring you more of these as I discover them.
In this first installment, I am focusing on videos about Star Wars. Getting a deeper analysis on a film that many of us know so well is a valuable tool to better understand filmmaking techniques. And that’s why RocketJump’s “How Star Wars Was Saved in the Edit” is worth your time. The rough cut of Star Wars was not great, but by rearranging entire sequences, the film became the classic we know today (and earned the editing team of Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, and Richard Chew an Oscar for their efforts).
Check out the video:
“The Beginning: Making Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace” is an achievement in editing in its own right. A documentary in the style of “observational cinema,” it is a well-edited series of ‘fly on the wall’ glimpses into the production of the first prequel. From casting to design to filmmaking challenges, this documentary (originally bonus material on the disc releases of Phantom Menace) is an amazing insight into the good and the bad of George Lucas’ directing and writing of these films. Groundbreaking technology, budgets, casting, sound design, are all featured, and this glimpse into a production of this size is a rare thing. It is also for the viewer to try to piece together when those making the film knew where the trouble spots were:
And finally, the Star Wars Holiday Special. Infamous to the point where the reputation of the special itself actually oversells its quality. I don’t think it is possible for a sober human being to make it through the entire thing without fast forwarding. It could be edited down to a (still bad) but watchable 30-40 minutes, but the entire thing is just the worst mix of boring and incomprehensible. Luckily, Yesterworld Entertainment has provided a documentary that uses plenty of the source material to help you experience this mystifying document, but also provides great context on how this thing came to exist in the first place.
Author: Ryan Silberstein
Ryan spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area, and his nights
as a mysterious caped vigilante saving his city from the disease that is crime watching movies. He lives on a diet consisting of film, comic books, experimental beer, black coffee, and those big metal historical markers around town. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.