Paul Rogers never planned to be here.
THE Oscar nominee editor of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” didn’t enter the entertainment industry with aspirations of one day performing at the Oscars.
“That’s not how I saw my career,” Rogers told CNBC Make It. “The type of films and works I’m interested in didn’t seem to fit that narrative.”
Instead, he says he started making movies in high school while putting off his homework.
“It was a way to avoid writing an article or doing other types of projects,” says Rogers. “It was fun hanging out with my buddies and doing something silly.”
But Rogers quickly discovered he had a knack for it and ended up attending the now defunct College of Santa Fe film school. It was there that he realized he had a passion for it. film editing – the process of assembling footage from a film into a finished product.
“Every time I did something, I was kind of impatient and frustrated throughout the production process, just waiting to get to the edit, because that was where I felt like I was having the most fun. and that all my ideas could spring forth,” he says.
By the time of his senior year, Rogers was receiving requests from other student filmmakers to edit their films.
“I realized you didn’t have to just work on your own stuff, you could edit for other people,” he says. “Which blew the light bulb of ‘I think maybe I could get paid to do this.'”
Since then Rogers has had a very varied career and has gone from editing on an old school Steenbeck to using Adobe Premiere Pro.
He spent years in his home state of Alabama editing documentaries for public television before eventually moving to Los Angeles where he met “Everything Everywhere” directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
It was a joke between us when we cut the butt plug fight scene of ‘oh, yeah, this scene is for Oscar voters for sure.’
Editor, ‘Everywhere All At Once’
In 2014, the three were responsible for the music video for the hit song “Turn Down for What”, which was viewed more than a billion times on YouTube, and most recently teamed up for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which grossed over $100 million at the box office and was nominated for 11 Oscars – including for Rogers’ editing and Daniels’ directing. .
“We never thought in our wildest dreams that this was an Oscar-type movie,” Rogers said. “I mean, it was a joke between us when we cut the butt plug fight scene of ‘oh, yeah, this scene is for Oscar voters for sure.'”
That’s why Rogers isn’t stressed about whether or not he’ll leave the Dolby Theater with a trophy on March 12.
“I like to think that if I stayed on public television in Alabama, I would be just as happy and satisfied with my career,” he says. “I don’t think there’s one recipe for success. If you can earn a paycheck and support yourself and your family if you have one, that’s the definition of success in this industry. industry.”
Rogers sat down with CNBC Make It to discuss how he changed his work habits while editing the film during the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns and how Daniels’ approach to directing of movies helped him do the best job of his career.
How directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert created a friendly and creative atmosphere on set
One thing that Dan and Daniel have always enjoyed is their relationships with friends, and they happen to be friends with everyone they work with.
It always seems to come first for them, so even if they have to push for a late night or a tough day, they are very conscientious, thoughtful and sensitive to the needs of their crew and co-workers.
In general, they don’t have a “movie comes first” mentality, they have a “people come first” mentality. And if the movie harms anyone in any way, they will absolutely put it aside to take care of their friends.
I think I’ve prided myself for years and years on being the hardest worker in the room and working the longest hours. And I’m sure it has contributed to positive things in my career, but it certainly hasn’t contributed to positive things in my life and my relationships. This film helped me start a different journey towards a relationship with my work and really paid off.
There is a positive vibe in this film. Everything from production design to performance, camera work and editing, and it’s no fluke. It really starts with Dan and Daniel’s philosophy of kindness.
Working on “Everything, Everywhere, At Once” from home during pandemic shutdowns
I was the type of person who was constantly thinking about a movie outside of working hours, even in the shower and in bed.
This time, because of the realities of the lockdown and my life, I didn’t do it very consciously. When I was with my family or when I wasn’t working, I didn’t think about the movie in my head. And what that led to kind of mental, physical and psychological excitement to come back in the movie, versus the feeling of ‘gosh, I’ve been running around this thing in my head all day anyway and now I have to sit down and work on it,” which can be quite exhausting.
I have found that having a more intense and intentional separation between work and life has helped me to have more enthusiasm and energy for my work.
Editor, ‘Everywhere All At Once’
And so every day when I could finally sit down and work on the film, I was excited. There were surprises. And it was like this exhilarating experience because of this really extreme separation mentally, between my life and my work. And I think that was a big reason why I was able to have the stamina to work on this stuff for 11 months.
But I found that having a more intense and intentional separation between work and life helped me to have more enthusiasm and energy for my work.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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