Editing a film that consists almost entirely of Aaron Sorkin dialogue is no small task. In the case of David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” each scene was shot upwards of 40 times, making the editing process a Herculean job.
“The opening scene alone had 99 takes and took three weeks to edit,” explains Angus Wall, who is being honored alongside Kirk Baxter for cutting the Facebook-themed pic. “We had to go through the footage with a fine-tooth comb. It was all about staying vigilant because in a movie like this, if there is one sour note, the whole thing falls apart.”
The pair, who are already busy at work on Fincher’s follow-up, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” previously teamed with the helmer as the editors of “Zodiac” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” But nothing prepared them for rapid-fire pace of a Sorkin-scripted project.
“It was very dense,” says Baxter, who, like Fincher, came up the ranks through the world of commercials. “Because of the amount of dialogue, it made for a lot of film to go through. It was the most time-consuming project I’ve ever worked on because we needed to snuff out the best performances from a lot of material.”