CO-FINANCED BY: KUJAWSKO-POMORSKIE REGION, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND NATIONAL HERITAGE FROM PROMOTION OF CULTURE FUND AND POLISH FILM INSTITUTE
FILM EDITOR MARTIN WALSH HONORED BY CAMERIMAGE!
Tuesday September 23rd, 2014
It does not really matter if we watch a couple of female prisoners singing and ranting their guilty-free, dangerously sexy song on the set lit by bluish glow, or if we admire the precision and rhythm of another piece about a cunning lawyer that later turns into a grotesquely Broadway-ish musical number with human puppets – one thing is certain all along: Rob Marshall's Chicago is an editing marvel. The sequences of numerous songs, shot simultaneously by up to four movie cameras, are wildly energetic and positively zany, dragging the audience into the charming and sinful world of 1920s Chicago. All the complex dance and singing routines, brought to life by dozens of swirling artists, beautifully complement the more intimate scenes designed to help the viewers fully understand the characters' inner worlds. And the almost-tangible atmosphere of visual wonder makes this film a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. No wonder, then, that the artistry of its editor, Martin Walsh, who spent nine months to piece everything together in a coherent way, has gathered a huge acclaim, and brought him an Academy Award for Best Film Editing. It is therefore our great pleasure to announce that during the22nd edition of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE we will honor Martin Walsh with our Award to Editor with Unique Visual Sensitivity.
Martin Walsh; Martin Walsh Archive
Manchester-born Martin Walsh was brought up in a family with no ties to the film industry, he himself did not even dream about becoming an editor in his youth. It was a pure coincidence that made him pursue a career in that world – he simply got a job in a small company that was producing films for industry, after a while he got interested in sound design and later on in the art of editing. Walsh was ambitious and not afraid of tackling big challenges, thus he worked on every project he could, including small bits for the BBC, and in that way progressed gradually through the ranks. Working for television taught him never to sit on his laurels, always evolve and try new things, challenge every convention, and not to be afraid of learning from own mistakes. Most of all – it taught him not to work for his own pleasure, but for the betterment of the story being told. It did not take him long to advance to editing TV news, documentaries and various kinds of programs, all the while winning plaudits from his co-workers and making lots of important friends. One of them, Stuart Orme, gave him one of his first editing jobs on a feature, called The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. That helped Walsh a lot in gathering experience and reputation for moving on to bigger and more popular features.
Still from "Chicago"
Still from "V for Vendetta"
So don’t accept that there are rules. In editing the whole point is to challenge every convention, those words of Martin Walsh from one of his interviews seem to sum up perfectly his artistic credo. It was his constant search for new means in editing, and his way of blending his work into the style of different directors/storytellers, that made Sharon Maguire's Bridget Jones's Diary a film perfectly balanced between being “a girl's movie” and cool comedy for guys. It was thanks to him that the positive energy flowing from Iain Softley's Hackers was complementary to the young actors' verve. It was Walsh's understanding of his craft, and the number of options stemming from different editing techniques, that helped him to create the phenomenal V for Vendetta (directed by James McTeigue) sequence of the British Parliament exploding to the sounds of Tchaikovsky's1812 Overture. Martin Walsh's immense experience and tactful approach helped him in creating intimate, romantic, and bitter-sweet scenes depicting the development of a beautiful relationship between Iris Murdoch and John Bayley in Richard Eyre's Iris. He assisted in building those edge-of-the-seat action sequences of Kenneth Branagh's spy thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. It is safe to say that he enriched all his projects with his often-invisible work.
Still from "Iris"
Still from "Backbeat"
Martin Walsh works both on gigantic Hollywood productions and modestly-budgeted independent features from both sides of the Atlantic. Although his professional ethos was shaped by the world in which nobody had even heard about Avid or Final Cut, Martin Walsh is pushed by his never-ceasing curiosity of the world surrounding him into exploring the new ways of editing that emerged from working with digital technology. It is no wonder, then, that while asked what he would advise young editors on the brink of their professional film adventure, he says: Get as much hands-on experience as you can. There’s no excuse these days. We consider it a great honor that we will be able to host such a fearless and uncompromising artist during the 22nd edition of the Festival, and – what is the most important – to present him with the Camerimage Award to Editor with Unique Visual Sensitivity!