Making the Cut: Paul Rubell, ACE—Finding the Drama Between Action Beats

By in Making The Cut, Video Editing

Like many film editors, Paul Rubell learned his craft by physically cutting 35mm film. As the editor of The Fate of the Furious, three Transformer movies, and four Michael Mann movies, he has become an expert on action.

Prior to his latest crop of action films, Paul received two Oscar nominations: one for The Insider starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe in 2000, and one for Collateral starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx in 2005. He also won an Eddie award from the American Cinema Editors for an episode of John Frankenheimer’s 1996 TV mini-series Andersonville.

But, he says, cutting action was an accident. As an English lit major, he was always attracted to character and drama. By contrast, editing highly choreographed action seemed easy. Using Media Composer freed him from the physical requirements of splicing and hanging film, and allowed him to apply his pre-visualization skills to cutting multiple versions in the same amount of time.

“When Avid came around, it was liberating. …It [using Media Composer] was like playing a piano. …Once you learned the moves, it [using Media Composer] was wired into your nervous system. You could put all your concentration on the film.”

—Paul Rubell, ACE, editor, The Fate of the Furious, The Insider, Collateral

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