"Rogue One" editors reveal how they massively changed Jyn's intro and the third act

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I didn't know the idea of hacking other movies apart and splicing them together was an actual, legit process in order to get an idea of the pacing. Really interesting, but also feels convoluted and unethical.

John Gilroy is an enigma, he edited both Suicide Squad and Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler is one of the most beautifully edited films of the decade, reminiscent of the gritty work of editors in the 1970s. Suicide Squad is one of the most poorly edited films I have seen. Does it have to do with lousy the material he had to work with?

We all know that reshoots happened with "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" We also know that Gareth Edwards got pushed aside to make way for screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who got payed more than $5 Million for them. You don't get payed that much for just rewrites. Make no mistake about it, he was part of the film-making process. 

The editors of "Rogue One" spoke to Yahoo and have given us the most insightful interview yet about what happened.

For more on the production mess of "Rogue One" click HERE

You can read the full Yahoo piece.

Jyn's intro and the third act were massively changed

John Gilroy: The scene with Cassian’s introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also Jyn [Jyn Erso, the reluctant leader of the film, played by Felicity Jones], how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.


Colin Goudie: The point with the opening scenes that John was just describing was that the introductions in the opening scene, in the prologue, was always the same. Jyn’s just a little girl, so when you see her as an adult what you saw initially was her in a meeting. That’s not a nice introduction.
So having her in prison and then a prison break out, with Cassian on a mission… everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting.
They got there eventually in the film, but this way we came in on the ground running, which was better.


"Wargames" and "Aliens" were influences on the pacing

Colin Goudie: The sequence of them breaking into the vault I was ripping the big door closing in ‘Wargames’ to work out how long does a vault door take to close.
So that’s what I did and that was three months work to do that and that had captions at the bottom which explained the action that was going to be taking place, and two thirds of the screen was filled with the concept art that had already been done and one quarter, the bottom corner, was the little movie clip to give you how long that scene would actually take.
Then I used dialogue from other movies to give you a sense of how long it would take in other films for someone to be interrogated. So for instance, when Jyn gets interrogated at the beginning of the film by the Rebel council, I used the scene where Ripley gets interrogated in ‘Aliens.’
So you get an idea of what movies usually do.

There is no extended cut
Colin Goudie: [The assembly] was not much longer than the finished film. I think the first assembly was not far off actual release length. Maybe 10 minutes longer? I genuinely can’t remember because that was nearly a year ago now. There’s no mythical four hour cut, it doesn’t exist.

...but there's a handful of deleted scenes
Colin Goudie: There’s a handful that if people see them they’ll be like ‘oh that’s interesting’, but I don’t think there’s anything whereby you’d be like ‘why did they cut that out?

Transition wipes were used to match the original ‘Star Wars.’
I think we used all those original wipes and we temped [a temporary soundtrack] it with John Williams as well, and it would feel right. Like when we did the original story reels, I was using footage from other movies, so having those wipes and having the John Williams score helped with making the hodgepodge of shots I’d put together feel like what we were aiming for.
Once we actually got in everything we’d shot, we no longer needed those things and I was initially sad to see the transitions go, but then when I watch the final film, I don’t miss them, because it feels like a different beast.
It feels familiar but at the same time fresh.
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