Thelma Schoonmaker: the legendary editor who has been behind the success of Martin Scorsese’s films for over fourty years, is a female force to be reckoned with. So I decided to give her the respect she deserves and dedicate a blog post to some of her key quotes that have helped to inspire me as of recently:

  1. When asked how it was that such a nice lady could edit Scorsese’s violent gangster pictures, Thelma replied with a smile: “Ah, but they aren’t violent until I’ve edited them.”
  2. “I think that women have a particular ability to work with strong directors. They can collaborate. Maybe there’s less of an ego battle.”
  3.  “You get to contribute so significantly in the editing room because you shape the movie and the performances”
  4. “I’m not a person who believes in the great difference between women and men as editors. But I do think that quality is key. We’re very good at organizing and discipline and patience, and patience is 50 per cent of editing. You have to keep banging away at something until you get it to work. I think women are maybe better at that.”
  5. “You help the director bring all the hard work of those who made the film to fruition. You give their work rhythm and pace and sometimes adjust the structure to make the film work – to make it start to flow up there on the screen. And then it’s very rewarding after a year’s work to see people react to what you’ve done in the theater.”
  6. “I read the script just once and then forget it. I just deal with what I see every day on the screen and whether I believe it and understand it.”
  7. “People expect artists to be too normal, I think. I’ve been around enough of them now to see that they’re very extraordinary human beings who behave differently than ordinary human beings. If they weren’t as sensitive as they are they wouldn’t be great artists. They are not the same as us. People should just learn to accept that.”
  8. “From MTV on, the speed of editing has increased, and that is now entering into narrative editing. People are not relying on good shots to tell the story, and I don’t think you can sustain that kind of cutting for the full length of a film.”
  9. “Everybody hated ‘Casino’. They would say, ‘It’s not ‘Goodfellas’. That’s right. It’s not. It’s Las Vegas. It’s not ‘Goodfellas’. And now everybody loves ‘Casino’. Now it’s a big cult film. ‘Raging Bull’ was a disaster and wasn’t recognized for 10 years. ‘The King of Comedy’ was a disaster, now everybody loves ‘The King of Comedy’. This happened to so many of [Martin Scorsese] our films.”

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson