As one of the most internationally renowned editors and sound designers in the world, Walter Murch carries a unique perspective on the craft of cinema -- a master's perspective that he generously shared at last year's Sheffield Doc Fest. In his invaluable masterclass, a must-watch for every editor/sound designer alive, Murch talks about his body of work, including providing the editing and sound design on Apocalypse Now (for which he won an Oscar), how he works, and what techniques he's picked up during his almost 50-year career.
Walter Murch has had quite the illustrious career. He has worked as the sound designer on many of Francis Ford Coppola's films, including The Rain People, The Conversation, The Godfather: Part II & III, and Apocalypse Now. He was also the first to be awarded an Oscar for editing done electronically (on an Avid system) for The English Patient. Not only that, but Murch, despite his status as a world-class editor/sound designer, edited Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain on Final Cut Pro on a stock Power Mac G4 -- and then went on to receive an Oscar nomination for his work.
Though Murch gave this speech last year, the video wasn't made available until a couple of days ago. In it, Murch touches on many different aspects of film editing and sound design -- everything from the fungibility of goods to the future of independent filmmaking. One of the most interesting and inspiring things I took away from his speech -- and something you should look out for (it's around the 38-minute mark) was this idea of "the black box and the snowflake" -- the "tension between control and spontaneity," which he believes is at the heart of all art forms, including cinema, and is something that will become more vibrant as digital filmmaking continues to become the norm.
What did you take away from Walter Murch's masterclass? Does your approach to filmmaking represent the "black box" or the "snowflake"? Share your thoughts in the comments below.