You could point out a lot of reasons why Oscar-winner Tom Cross is one of the best editors in Hollywood. Maybe the most obvious, though, is evident in the diversity of his portfolio. Along with director Damien Chazelle, he’s crafted a tightly wound character study on obsession (Whiplash), a throwback love-letter to Hollywood via a musical (La La Land), and now a historical biopic unlike any we’ve ever seen in First Man. You probably couldn’t dream up three films that are more different than these, or three films edited as precisely and artfully.
Roger Deakins said, “People confuse ‘pretty’ with good cinematography.” In a way, he’s saying cinematographers’ work is more important than simply the look of a film. It serves a greater cause — the story. In fact, the visual side of a film, ‘pretty’ or otherwise, can tell a story as much as a script can.