WATCH: The Extreme Symmetry of Wes Anderson’s Editing

Anyone who’s ever seen any work by Wes Anderson (post-Bottle Rocket, perhaps) will know that the director has not only a very distinct visual style, but also that this style become more and more pronounced. Some may even say he’s become a bit of a caricature of himself. We’ll let that sit untouched for a moment and instead see if the extreme symmetry of Wes Anderson’s editing can teach us anything.

Max Tohline has put together a neat little video pointing out the symmetry in the train car scene from The Grand Budapest Hotel. This not only shows us that Wes does beautiful work, has visual OCD, and controls every camera angle, focus and action; it also shows us how a true master of visual (albeit quirky) film making lets the symmetry of his shots (and his vision) direct everything from the mise-en-scene to the actor movements. And even more so, it shows us that meticulous planning is key when you want your final cut to be very visually distinguished.

The results are remarkable. Taken apart and examined shot for shot it really becomes clear how Anderson lets each setup mirror the next. You have to wonder if this makes the job easier or harder for the editor…

Mads Black

About Mads Black

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Mads is a Scandinavian-born, Los Angeles-based actor and aspiring film maker. He's dabbled in stunt driving (no one got hurt) and once rescued a baby bunny from his garage.

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