The Oscar Walk-Through: Dissecting A Scene From "American Hustle"

Academy Award-nominated editor Jay Cassidy shows how a complicated scene from Best Picture contender American Hustle came together, and also discusses his ongoing collaboration with director David O. Russell.

The final draft of a film script comes together not at the writer's desk, or on set, but in the editing bay. It is in this room that a movie's director and editor meticulously pore over the footage and decide what stays, what goes, and how the story will play out.

It is here that the pace and the tone of the film in gestation can be crystallized. A scene can play out in any number of ways, using any number of filmed takes. Putting it all together is like assembling inter-locking puzzle pieces on a board that evolves as you go along—especially with a director like Russell, who is known for experimenting on set and rewriting on the fly.

Recently, Co.Create spoke with Academy Award-nominated editor Jay Cassidy about his work fine-tuning American Hustle. In the video below, Cassidy (who is nominated for Best Editing along with co-editors Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten) walks us through how a complicated scene found its final form.

Also have a look at the video below, in which the editor discusses his continued work director David O. Russell, with whom he worked on 2012's Silver Linings Playbook.

[Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

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