Tom McCarthy on the Way Stillwater Changed in the Editing Room

Movies

With Stillwater opening in theaters this weekend, I recently spoke to director Tom McCarthy about making the crime drama. If you haven’t seen the trailers, Stillwater stars Matt Damon as an oil-rig worker from Oklahoma who goes to Marseille, France to try and exonerate his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin) over a murder she did not commit. Along the way, he befriends a French woman (Camille Cottin) who tries to assist him with his daughter’s case. Stillwater was written by McCarthy alongside Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain, and Noé Debré.

During the interview, McCarthy talked about why Stillwater felt like a dream project, the way he is able to write dialogue that feels authentic and real, the many editing room challenges, why having an extended time in the editing room helped the movie, why he shot the sequences in Oklahoma with anamorphic lenses and static shots and the stuff in Marseille handheld, and more.

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Image via Focus Features

RELATED: First ‘Stillwater’ Trailer Reveals Matt Damon and Tom McCarthy’s Dramatic Thriller

Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

Tom McCarthy

  • How does he make the dialogue in his movies feel authentic and real?
  • If he could get the financing for any project what would he make and why?
  • Why he wanted certain camera choices depending on where they were filming.
  • What were the editing room challenges?
  • How the long editing process benefitted the movie.
  • How after screening the movie for executives in Los Angeles they immediately cut out 20 minutes from the film.

stillwater-movie image (1)

Image via Focus Features


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‘Stillwater’ Review: Matt Damon Stars in Messy Thriller About Dad Looking for Justice | Cannes 2021

This Oklahoma roughneck is no Jason Bourne.


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