The Excellent Taste of Everybody: Bob Ducsay on Modifying Glass Onion: A Knives Out Thriller

Author/director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig are again for the sequel to “Knives Out,” and so is editor Bob Ducsay. In an interview with, Ducsay talked about a few of the challenges of modifying a movie to depart in sufficient clues so on the second time via audiences will say, “Ah, that’s what I ought to have been taking a look at!”

I feel you had the toughest job of anyone within the film. Placing all of the items collectively so we see what you need us to see however not what you don’t need us to see, have to be an actual problem.

I would say I had the most effective job of the film as a result of it is a lot enjoyable, particularly on a movie like this. It’s a complication; the style is a complication since you wish to give the viewers fact in order that they’re really getting info that will be useful to them in the event that they knew that it was after they have been watching it.

What you allow within the movie and what you are taking out is typically a problem. Rian wrote an unbelievably lovely screenplay that solves a whole lot of these issues up entrance, however there are numerous, many gadgets that you just make a whole lot of judgment calls on and a whole lot of changes. What we tried to do within the movie was give the viewers completely essentially the most info we may presumably give them with out ruining the film for them. That is a problem, and that is a trick. However it’s additionally what made it such a enjoyable film to edit as a result of one of many methods of my job is pretending I am the viewers member, though I do know every little thing that occurs. You attempt to make judgments. “What do I do know? What do I feel?” Issues that I learn about making motion pictures, you must convey all these issues into consideration within the hopes that you’re really understanding what the viewers is getting at any specific time. However truthfully, it is a lot enjoyable to do this.

I’m going to maintain this spoiler-free, however I feel it is honest to say that the movie has some repeated scenes seen from a unique perspective and a few repeated scenes. How do you strategy that?

Once more, it actually begins with the screenplay and what the screenplay establishes. As a result of clearly, when Rian was writing the film, he was serious about all these similar issues that we then put a microscope on in post-production. However this “Rashomon” state of affairs that this film permits for, it is extraordinarily thrilling. Since you’re simply making an attempt to determine how far you’ll be able to go with out giving the viewers an excessive amount of so the entire thing collapses.

On the way in which house, they’ll go, “Oh, that is it.”

Proper, precisely. As a result of that is the delight too, proper? In the event you have been to look at the film a second time, you’ll see what you missed. And a few issues are superb, the issues that that I feel that we thought would work. And it seems they do, that the viewers does not decide up on it. And it is not a trick. [laughs] Properly, it’s a little bit. It is like a magician. It is like we all know you are wanting right here, we’re not deliberately misdirecting you, however we all know you are wanting right here so it is exhausting so that you can see this. It is good. It is nice. After I see a film like this, I am delighted as effectively, as a result of it is a lot enjoyable to see it a second time and see what’s actually happening.

At what level did you come into the movie?

I begin on the very starting of manufacturing. I used to be on location with the film in Greece. They shoot day one and I’ve that materials day two, so I begin placing the film collectively straight away. About two weeks after we completed capturing, there’s a model of the film. It is nonetheless very tough, in fact, however it’s the film. It’s a model of the film, I ought to say. And clearly, many extra months of modifying go into it after that time, together with the consequences. Though I’ll inform you that the film is totally watchable with out the environmental work. In different phrases, the environmental work is extraordinarily additive as a result of it is such an thrilling place to be. You actually wish to be there. It is an uncommon place the place the film is ready. I’ve labored on a whole lot of motion pictures the place the visible results are fully obligatory to grasp what is going on on, nevertheless it’s not the case right here.

Is it typical so that you can be concerned so quickly?

It is fairly frequent in characteristic movies. And it has been very uncommon that I have not gone on location with the films. Typically for budgetary causes, it is tough to take any additional crew, together with editorial. You are able to do it. It is not like it could’t work. However the factor is, is that the shut proximity of the image editor is extraordinarily useful to the manufacturing due to the immediacy. All of us realized throughout the pandemic how you could possibly do issues with Zoom and different collaborative distant instruments, however there’s nothing that replaces really interacting with one another. And it varies relying on the director, however Rian likes to return by a few instances per week whereas we’re capturing.

He’ll come by within the night and we’ll undergo the fabric from the earlier week. And generally there are issues that he is significantly fascinated about seeing and simply seeing how the film’s coming collectively. All of us be taught issues whereas we’re capturing so changes will be made. And it is the rationale for doing it. What you hope to do is you hope to get via the film and have found out every little thing you wanted to shoot when you’re capturing. It is not unusual after you place the film collectively, to need to do extra images. However when you can keep away from it, it is higher. The much less you must do, the higher. We did some inserts, however that is all. We had no actual extra images on this movie. That is a part of the purpose. A part of the purpose is you have realized as many issues as you’ll be able to to maintain from having to do issues inefficiently by doing it in put up.

Particularly with an enormous ensemble solid.

Proper, precisely. As a result of it turns into exhausting to place folks again collectively, it is costly, and so forth. But in addition simply from a inventive standpoint, overlook about getting all of the photographs or one thing that you just suppose, Oh, would not or not it’s nice if we had this? It is simply understanding how the film is coming collectively as a film and never simply what it means to shoot dailies.

The modifying in that scene close to the start the place you see all of the characters opening the invitation field is dazzling, so witty and so brilliantly edited, like a puzzle field of its personal.

It was so enjoyable to place that sequence collectively. It’s such as you’ve obtained this little puzzle field that you just put collectively. There’s a whole lot of design that goes into this stuff forward of time as a result of you must know the way the puzzle field works, and [production designer Rick Heinrichs] and his division designing the entire thing and all that. So much must be found out in prep. However for me, it was simply implausible due to all of the intercutting. It is one thing the place movie as a medium is totally different than the rest due to the flexibility to change location and time simply on a reduce. It is actually pure movie modifying a sequence like that. It was an absolute blast.

What’s the finest recommendation that you just ever obtained about being an editor?

One of many issues that I actually recognize about my relationship with Rian is he is all the time pushing for simplicity within the modifying, which is mostly purpose with something about making a film. Easy as in, design and something. However it’s one thing that we actually attempt for. And it wasn’t that I did not know this. I actually recognize it as a result of I’ve tried to proceed to use it, not simply in my work with Rian, however I make it a degree of emphasis in my work to assemble issues so simple as doable and keep out of the way in which of the actors and the storytelling. Typically you must do issues with some brute power to get one thing to work. But when there is a easy approach of doing one thing, it is nearly all the time one of the simplest ways. 

Simply realizing we have to take this line out as a result of we’re just a little out of steadiness right here, or we have to add this taste again in as a result of we’re just a little out of steadiness. And it’s extremely micro work, it’s extremely nuanced work. However to me, it is my favourite factor to do. I simply suppose it is a lot enjoyable. And each change you make has an influence on different issues. It is such as you’re consistently simply adjusting. You are simply tuning in and simply focusing it in addition to you’ll be able to to simply have the right taste of everybody.

I am all the time studying issues, and so it does not make any distinction how lengthy I do that. There’s all the time a brand new piece of data or a brand new emphasis, one thing new to focus on that I hope makes me higher at my job.

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Thriller” can be out there to stream on Netflix on December twenty third.