Martin Scorsese is acknowledged to be one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of cinema and is also well-known for his willingness to share his expertise with other professionals. Recently filmmaker Paul Schrader revealed to IndieWire that Scorsese was one of the people he reached out to for help in editing his upcoming film The Card Counter.
“Here’s what happened. I was editing. My editor is in New Jersey and my assistant editor is in Tennessee, so we’re all editing virtually. And I had four major dialogue scenes between my principal characters that I had not shot. Then I was able to screen virtually the film for a number of people I respect, like Martin Scorsese, who is the executive producer, like [filmmaker and programmer] Kent Jones and other people. And what I asked them all is, ‘I have four more scenes to shoot. I can rewrite them. What am I missing? What do I need to add? How should I write these four scenes?'”
Paul Schrader and Martin Scorsese go way back, to when the latter made Taxi Driver based on Schrader’s screenplay. The Card Counter features Oscar Isaac in the lead role as a gambler who helps a young man exact revenge against a mutual enemy. Filming for the movie had to be halted earlier this year due to the lockdown, and that was why Schrader was having difficulty editing the whole project together. Fortunately, the advice from his friends ultimately helped Schrader rewrite the scenes that were causing him problems and make the film better:
“I was able to rewrite these scenes and make these relationships much better. And not all productions get to do that. It’s a very expensive reshoot, but it was built-in that three-quarters of the way through, I have an opportunity to rewrite one-quarter of the meaningful character scenes. So I did, I rewrote it. And I realized what was missing. And I wouldn’t have realized that if I was shooting at the top. I would have only realized that in post. And I would have walked around the room kicking myself in the ass, saying, ‘I wish I had the opportunity to reshoot some scenes.'”
Schrader revealed that he had succeeded in whittling The Card Counter down to an hour and 49 minutes, which was a runtime he was satisfied with. But there is still a lot left to do before the film can be ready for release:
“Have to do the score, there’s the post-prod and the special effects, but the thing is that there’s no pressure to finish the film anymore at this time. I was talking to Focus, and I could give them the film in a month. They don’t want the film in a month because they don’t know what to do with it in a month. They said, you just take whatever time you need, which is the opposite of the way studios usually talk. I also have final cut, so it doesn’t really matter. What I deliver, I deliver.”
This news arrives to us from Indiewire.