×

Thelma Schoonmaker on Editing ‘The Irishman’ With Martin Scorsese (Exclusive Short)

If anyone knows Martin Scorsese, it’s Thelma Schoonmaker. Schoonmaker has worked with the director since 1980’s “Raging Bull,” which won her the first of three Academy Awards, along with six additional nominations. Most recently, she won in 2007 for “The Departed.”

In this exclusive clip, Schoonmaker talks about the ideas for editing her most recent collaboration with Scorsese, “The Irishman.” The mob epic spans five decades following Frank Sheeran as he goes from being a truck driver to meeting gangster Russell Buffalino and becoming involved in the disappearance of union boss Jimmy Hoffa.

“Marty had a very strong conception for it,” Schoonmaker says. “He wanted it to be quiet and he didn’t want it to feel like a documentary about a hitman.”

Like most of his films, Scorsese respects the audience, so he doesn’t explain everything to the viewer. As he wrote in his New York Times op-ed, “it’s about the characters and the complexity of people.”

“The actors are so powerful, the audience is gripped,” Schoonmaker says of the performances.

Popular on Variety

Schoonmaker explains that she prefers to watch the film evolve in its making for her editing process: “I read the script and then I put it away.” She adds, “What Marty puts into a movie is often not in the script.”

And for over 30 years, Schoonmaker has followed Scorsese’s vision. “He comes and works on the editing with me,” she says. “He loves it.”

The Irishman” is an awards favorite, with nominations likely for best picture, best director, and best actor. Perhaps Schoonmaker will add best editing to the mix.

Watch the exclusive short above.

More Artisans

  • "Jojo Rabbit" and "Schitts Creek" Win

    'Jojo Rabbit,' 'Masked Singer' and 'Maleficent' Win Top Honors at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The Costume Designers Guild handed out its trophies for the 22nd annual CDG Awards with “Jojo Rabbit” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” receiving top honors among the costumers. In the TV category, the hit “The Masked Singer” and designer Marina Toybina beat out reigning designer Zaldy (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) for excellence in variety, reality-competition, live [...]

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez. Kristen Anderson-Lopez,

    Kristen Anderson-Lopez Talks Responsibility, Representation in 'Frozen 2' and the Biz

    Gender parity isn’t an issue in Oscar-winning songwriting-composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s house, what with her longstanding collaboration with husband Bobby Lopez, but at the Oscars luncheon on Monday, it was a different story. “There were 13 female directors represented in the shorts and documentary fields,” Anderson-Lopez notes, adding, “but how do we get from there to [...]

  • VFX Studio Framestore Launches Suite of

    VFX, Animation Studio Framestore Launches Pre-Production Services Unit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Visual effects and animation studio Framestore, which won Oscars for “The Golden Compass,” “Gravity” and “Blade Runner 2049,” and whose recent work includes “Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in movies, and “His Dark Materials” and “Watchmen” in TV, has launched FPS, which offers a suite of pre-production services. The move sees the company’s [...]

  • Mark Lanza

    Mark Lanza Elected as New President of Motion Picture Sound Editors

    The Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) has elected Mark Lanza as president. Lanza succeeds Tom McCarthy. He previously served as treasurer to the organization and begins his two-year term in January. Lanza has been a sound professional for 30 years and is credited on more than 250 feature films and television shows including “Born on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari BTS

    'Ford V Ferrari' Wins Top Prize at 56th Annual CAS Awards

    James Mangold’s “Ford V Ferrari” won the Outstanding Sound Mixing Motion Picture Award at the 56th CAS Awards. The film’s sound mixing team Steven A. Morrow, CAS; Paul Massey, CAS; David Giammarco, CAS;Tyson Lozensky, David Betancourt, and Richard Duarte were on hand to accept the award. Mangold had an extra reason to celebrate the night [...]

  • American Factory

    'American Factory' Editor Had to Cut Down 2,000 Hours of Footage

    Editor Lindsay Utz admits filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert never fully counted the hours of footage shot for the Oscar-nominated documentary “American Factory,” but she puts it close to 2000 hours. Utz pored over the footage that Bognar and Reichert had spent over three years filming and whittled the story down to just under [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content