Making The Cut: Norman Hollyn—Telling Great Stories from the Editing Room

By in Making The Cut, Video Editing

With a filmography that spans decades, Editor Norman Hollyn first fell in love with editing while he was a student at Stony Brook University in New York. Early in his career, he found that whenever he was busy editing a movie, time would pass by quickly. Since then, he’s contributed to an impressive array of film projects too numerous to name, including Shot (2017) and Heathers (1988), as well as serving as the music editor of Sophie’s Choice (1982) and Hair (1979).

Shot was particularly challenging to edit because much of the movie uses a split screen to show how two people’s lives—a man who’s been shot and the teenager that shot him—have been changed and impacted by the other. If Hollyn cut 10 frames from one side of the split screen, he needed to look for 10 frames to cut somewhere nearyby on the other side of the split to ensure that the two intertwined storylines unfolded relative to the same timeline.

While Hollyn always felt he could tell stories the best through editing, he adds that developing collaborative skills is also extremely important. Regardless of the role he plays on the project, his word is not the only word because, as he puts it, “good ideas come from everywhere.”

“The more work you do with other people, the better you’ll be at being a positive, creative force in the editing room.”

—Norman Hollyn, editor, Shot, Heathers; music editor, Sophie’s Choice, Hair

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