Director Gina Prince-Bythewood and editor Terilyn Shropshire have worked together for over 20 years, across films and TV shows “Love & Basketball,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Beyond The Lights,” “Shots Fired” and “The Old Guard.”

“We are in a mind-meld 90% of the time, and then 10% of the time it could occasionally get loud,” Prince-Bythewood says of their creative collaboration over the years. She adds, “It is always about the movie. It is never personal.”

In a conversation with Variety, Shropshire and Prince-Bythewood discuss “The Woman King” (in theaters now) starring Viola Davis, which follows female warriors in the 1800s in West Africa. “We have a relationship where ultimately there’s trust. I feel fortunate that I have early access to the scripts. It helps when you can, as an editor, get in early to the process so that you are informed when the footage starts coming in,” Shropshire explains.

Early access helped the editor when cutting a key sequence in the film — the battle dance as the warriors prepare to fight. The scene is intercut with a speech from Davis’ General Nanisca and young Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), the newest addition to the group, pumping up the warriors.

There are four separate scenes that the filmmaker gave her editor to work with. Shropshire’s biggest dilemma came when placing the speech. As Prince-Bythewood explains: “I tasked it to Teri. ‘How do we incorporate this into the dance and not take away from that moment?’”

The director’s use of three cameras gave Shropshire different setups. The process she explains is to look at one angle and play with the different takes. “We love the battle dance, but what is the point of the dance itself?” Shropshire asked herself when cutting the scene. Once she had found the best way in, she looked at the speech and found “elements to juxtapose with the fervor and energy of the women.”

Shropshire compares editing to building a mosaic, but ultimately, “it’s about being able to tell a story and help an audience direct their emotion, eyes and ears to moments so that they feel more interconnected and emotionally invested.”

As Prince-Bythewood and Shropshire release their latest collaboration to the world, the director says: “I know what I’m going for, but to come into this room and see how she’s elevated things that I captured on set, it’s magical.”

Watch the video above.