‘The Shape of Water’ Editor Sidney Wolinsky on Collaborating with Guillermo del Toro

     November 29, 2017

With director Guillermo del Toro’s fairy tale The Shape of Water opening in select theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with editor Sidney Wolinsky for an exclusive video interview. He talked about how he first met del Toro, the way they collaborated in the editing room, how the first cut compares to the finished film, the toughest sequence to edit, deleted scenes, what people would be surprised to learn about working with del Toro, and so much more.


Image via Fox Searchlight

If you haven’t seen any of The Shape of Water trailers, the film was written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor and takes place in 1962 America against the backdrop of the Cold War. The fantastic film stars Sally Hawkins as Elisa, a lonely and mute cleaning woman who works in a high-security government laboratory, where a new specimen has just arrived: a mysterious Fish Man, played by Doug Jones in full makeup. Matters are complicated when Elisa strikes up a friendly relationship with the Fish Man, only to see Michael Shannon’s terrifying security expert treat the creature like a wild animal, abuse and all. The movie also stars Octavia SpencerRichard Jenkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

I’ve seen a lot of movies this year and The Shape of Water is one of the best. Strongly recommended. For more on the film you can read Brian Formo’s review.

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

Sidney Wolinsky:

  • How did he get involved in The Shape of Water?
  • How did he first get connected with del Toro on The Strain? He edited the pilot.
  • the-shape-of-water-guillermo-del-toro-image

    Image via Fox Searchlight

    Talks about how del Toro came in both before shooting and after shooting to work on the edit.

  • How did editing while filming impact the shoot?
  • When does he get involved in the project?
  • What software does he use for editing?
  • First cut versus finished film talk.
  • Deleted scenes talk.
  • What did they learn from early screenings that impacted the finished film?
  • What was the toughest sequence to edit?
  • How does he know which takes del Toro liked?
  • How some directors can use part of different takes to craft a performance.
  • What surprise people to learn about being an editor?
  • When did he realize he wanted to be an editor?
  • How did he get his first break in the industry?
  • What does he remember about editing Howard the Duck?
  • What would surprise people to learn about working with del Toro?
  • What’s coming up next?

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