How Sally Menke and Quentin Tarantino Cut Together: The Inglorious Basterds Example
Django Unchained is Tarantino’s first film edited by someone else than Sally Menke, Tarantino’s long time collaborator/partner-in-crime that died prematurely of a heart attack during the Summer of 2010. (Menke was replaced by her assistant editor on Kill Bill, Fred Raskin for Django.)
Tarantino always praised Menke’s key role in the making of his movies and famously said that:
” The final draft of a script is actually the first cut of the movie,
and the final cut of the movie is the last draft of the script.”
In an emotionally paradoxical twist, couple of videos were released on the web shortly before Menke’s accident, showing the behind-the-scenes of Tarantino’s set on Inglorious Basterds and the family’s spirit that surrounds it. One of them is the ‘Hi, Sallys‘ video, a two-minute cut of all the nods from Tarantino and his actors to Menke, who probably spent her time giggling and smiling while going through the daily footage.
When Menke passed away, I was frustrated to discover there was no in-depth video interviews available (and almost no interviews at all) of this talented editor, and if things are slowly getting better, I find it disconcerting how hard it still is to get hold on interviews of the major film crew members on video.
This is by far my favorite ‘editing commentaries’ video, Emerson did a smooth job at adding notes all the while letting the image breathe and I hope to see more of those in the future.
Which videos would you recommend to discover more about the art and craft of editing? Share below or shoot me an email, I’m always curious!
To go one step beyond:
Here is one of the best interview of Sally Menke I’ve read (so far):
An Interview with Film Editor Sally Menke, 1953-2010 and a recent and short article on Quentin Tarantino reflect[ing] on making ‘Django Unchained’ without Sally Menke.