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In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie

In Editor Picks, Entertainment
June 21, 2023
In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie

In the world of filmmaking, countless unsung heroes work behind the scenes to bring captivating stories to life. Among these talented individuals is Craig Scorgie, a film editor, and visual effects artist hailing from Toronto, Canada. Scorgie’s recent work as the editor of the highly anticipated film “In Flames” has garnered significant attention and praise. In an exclusive interview with DJ Kamal Mustafa, editor of EMEA Tribune, Scorgie shares insights into his journey as an editor and the creative process behind his latest film.


Read this news in EMEA Tribune Newspaper June 21, 2023 edition



In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie

Craig Scorgie’s career in the film industry began with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. His dedication and commitment to his craft led him to work on a wide range of projects, including feature films, web series, shorts, and documentaries. Scorgie’s early experiences working in the editorial departments of acclaimed productions such as “Women Talking,” “Big Little Lies,” and “The Morning Show” helped him hone his skills and establish his name in the industry.


Interview with Craig Scorgie:

Kamal: Tell me about the movie “In Flames”

Craig: In Flames is a film that follows a small family in Karachi after the death of the family’s patriarch. A mother and daughter find themselves defenseless when the world around them tries to take advantage of their vulnerability. At the same time, ghosts from past traumas begin to appear in Mariam’s life. These relentless hauntings (both real and supernatural) threaten their well-being until it becomes clear that Mariam and her mother must join forces to persevere. It is a film that focuses on many themes – grief, patriarchy, mother/daughter relationships, and generational trauma. But ultimately it is a film about empowerment and growth in the face of adversity.

In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie


Kamal: What were some of the considerations you made when deciding on the overall duration of the film?

Craig: Overall when editing, you try not to become too focused on reaching a certain duration of a film. We knew when making this film that we wanted it to have an accelerated pace. We also wanted the audience to be on the edge of their seats once the story takes off. Because of this, we didn’t have much of an opportunity to linger on moments where nothing was happening, unless this was on purpose to create suspense and tension. This type of film lends itself to a shorter duration, because of the faster pace it needs. Our first rough pass of the film was around 120 minutes. But as we worked along, tightening and removing scenes, the film eventually arrived at its 93-minute runtime.

In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie

Kamal: In your opinion, what is the most significant contribution an assistant editor can make to a film’s editing process?

Craig: We unfortunately didn’t have an assistant editor on “In Flames”, because of our budget for post-production. Assistant Editors are quite valuable to the editing process. Often for a feature film, they do a lot of the temp sound and visual effects. They are also a sounding board for the editor, offering advice or ideas when we’re troubleshooting a particular problem in the edit. And when the film is finished editing, they do a lot of coordinating and problem-solving with the sound editors, mixers, composers, visual effects artists, and colorists. They are sort of the administrators and trusted advisors of the editing room. This saves a lot of time when putting together a feature film.

In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie

Kamal: Looking back at your experience on “In Flames,” what is the most valuable lesson you learned as an editor?

Craig: As an editor, one thing I learned on In Flames is how valuable time away from the edit can be. Zarrar and I were lucky in that we had a fairly relaxed schedule for the editing of the film. We often worked full days together, but we also sometimes worked half days or took a few days off in between our sessions. We also took some extended breaks for both the Toronto International Film Festival and for my wedding last September. I discovered how valuable it was to have the luxury to take a break from the film, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. We made a lot of important decisions on this film that wouldn’t have come as easily if we had to work together for long days, every day.

In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie

Kamal: Could you share some insights into the editing process of “In Flames”? What were the key considerations and challenges you faced?
Craig: If I could summarize the editing process on In Flames, I’d say it was quite supportive, collaborative, experimental, innovative, and enjoyable. I think it’s important, especially when you’re working on something that has difficult subject matter, to keep the editing process fun and enjoyable. There was a lot of laughter and fun that we had while editing this film. I think it was the foundation for a lot of the playful experimentation and creativity that came out of the process.
Some of the biggest challenges for me personally was incorporating Zarrar’s process of editing into my workflow. Each editor has a process for organizing their footage and timelines. There’s always a bit of a learning curve when you’re working with another editor, so in the first few weeks for me, it was a bit challenging for me to orient myself to Zarrar’s way of editing. But after that, I became quite comfortable with our workflow and it felt second nature to me.
In Flames: Exploring the Art of Film Editing with Craig Scorgie
Kamal: Did you encounter any surprises or unexpected discoveries during the editing of “In Flames” that influenced the final cut?
Craig: We made a lot of unexpected discoveries while editing In Flames. One of the biggest things I focus on for a film like this is tension and release. Keeping track of when we are creating tension in the film, and when there is a release of that tension. In general, there are often specific moments that you want to be building tension toward in a film. And when you release that tension, you want it to feel powerful. Sometimes having a big release of tension earlier in the film – which could be a big scare or an emotional release for a character – can get in the way of what you are overall wanting to build tension towards. Through our test screenings, we had a lot of audience members providing feedback that was essentially telling us that this emotional flow of the film wasn’t quite right. So, Zarrar and I did many passes of the edit keeping track of tension and release. Because of this, there were some scenes or moments that we had to completely change because they were releasing too much tension. This influenced us to come up with some pretty creative solutions, using editing or visual effects to completely change a moment or scene, so that it was properly supporting the audience’s journey in watching the film. Some moments in the film are completely manufactured in the edit and didn’t come across as they were first scripted. This is one of the exciting ways you can change the emotional impact of a film in the edit.
Kamal: Anything you would like to add?
Craig: Can’t think of anything else to say, other than that I’m excited for the world to see this film. I think it’s incredibly special, and I hope its impact will only continue to grow. Thank you for allowing me to talk about this film and relive a lot of the fun we had making it.
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DJ Kamal Mustafa
/ Published posts: 1066

DJ Kamal Mustafa is a Music Producer, DJ, Pakistani Filmmaker, News Editor of EMEA Trribune and Journalist.