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“It’s Always Fascinating to Realize the Divergence of Feelings and Meanings”: Editor Yorgos Mavropsaridis on Olla

Romanna Lobach appears in Olla by Ariane Labed (courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Olla, an Eastern European woman, finds herself in a sketchy situation after she answers a dating ad and moves to the French suburbs to live with Pierre and his aging mother. Editor Yorgos Mavrosaridis talks about collaborating with director Ariane Labed and his natural penchant for the process.

Filmmaker: How and why did you wind up being the editor of your film? What were the factors and attributes that led to your being hired for this job?

Mavropsaridis: It was Ariane’s choice. I happily accepted after reading the script.

Filmmaker: In terms of advancing your film from its earliest assembly to your final cut, what were goals as an editor? What elements of the film did you want to enhance, or preserve, or tease out or totally reshape?

Mavropsaridis: The goal is always to make the best use of the material you have, being faithful to the original vision of the director. The material in hand and the director’s style and purpose dictate what will be enhanced, reshaped, or in the final edit.

Filmmaker: How did you achieve these goals? What types of editing techniques, or processes, or feedback screenings allowed this work to occur?

Mavropsaridis: With trust in the material and the director, an open mind and sensitivity to understand and realize her vision and enough time for the whole process.

Filmmaker: As an editor, how did you come up in the business, and what influences have affected your work?

Mavropsaridis: During my education at the London International Film School, it was apparent to me and my fellow students and teachers that my natural disposition was being an editor. There have been many influences from the film world and people I meet. My first glimpse of what editing would mean to me was when I (17 years old then) watched Alain Resnais’ Mon oncle d’Amerique.

Filmmaker: What editing system did you use, and why?

Mavropsaridis: Avid media composer, because it was the natural transference from the flat bed Moviola.

Filmmaker: What was the most difficult scene to cut and why? And how did you do it?

Mavropsaridis: No difficult scenes, it was a matter of finding the right rhythm and tonality for the whole.

Filmmaker: What role did VFX work, or compositing, or other post-production techniques play in terms of the final edit? 

Mavropsaridis: There was not any VFX, just the usual minor cleaning job on a shot or two ( it was shot in 16mm), color correction and a master in the sound design and mix, Mr Jonnie Burn.

Filmmaker: Finally, now that the process is over, what new meanings has the film taken on for you? What did you discover in the footage that you might not have seen initially, and how does your final understanding of the film differ from the understanding that you began with?

Mavropsaridis: As an editor I’m more interested in the form and how this form can shape meaning to the viewer. And it’s always fascinating to realize the divergence of feelings and meanings different viewers give to the same form during screenings in different places and times.

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