Exclusive Interview with Academy Award Winner, Mark Sanger
By: Muhammad Farooq
- Editor of “Gravity”
- Most recently edited the upcoming action adventure “The Last Knights”, starring Morgan Freeman & Clive Owen
- Previous collaborations with Alfonso Cuaron as a visual effects editor on: “Children of Men”
Sanger Joins Industry A-Listers from Google, Fox, Star, UK’s Channel 4, Stargate Studios, VIACOM, icflix, BroadbandTV Corp, Manchester United, European Broadcast Union and OSN at Evolved CABSAT Conference.
Speaking at a dedicated session entitled ‘What it takes to Make a Blockbuster’ on the final day of the CABSAT Conference in partnership with the NAB Show, Sanger – who was joined by Tom Cordiner, Vice-President International Sales, Avid, in the hour-long discussion – revealed the Emirate had stunning diversity of potential shooting locations to aid its case.
“When film crews evaluate prospective set locations, they’re looking for backdrops which reflect the director’s vision of the script and translate into the richest cinematic experience. Dubai has such a diverse and vivid palette of prospective shooting locations,” said Sanger.
“There’s a broad mix of modern and traditional locations here, as well as great diversity in the number of man-made and natural landscapes. The city and surrounding areas – beachfront, desert, oasis and lunar-like mountains – offer a wide scope to capture an eclectic array of shooting locations in a compact area. Simply put, Dubai is made for shooting movies.”
Muhammad Farooq, Senior International Editor of Expert Technology Review (ETR), had a chance to chat with Mark Sanger at the session. Mark, who is originally from the UK has recently won the academy award for ‘Gravity’ film in 2013. However, few know that he is known for other successful works such as Children of Men (2006), Troy (2004) and Alice in Wonderland (2010). He is a humble person with a warm and friendly personality. When asked by Muhammad to introduce himself; he modestly replied “I m Mark Sanger – I am a feature film editor, a free-lance, in other words, I’m a ‘gun for hire’.
Muhammad: So Mark, first of all congratulations on winning the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for their work on the 2013 film Gravity. What other moments of success come to your mind?
Mark: Felicia’s Journey Directed by Atom Egoyan. It’s something I view as story telling at its best. The opportunity of working with amazing peers makes the journey more interesting. The same has been the case with Gravity, where editor Alfonso Cuarón had been a great person to work with.
Muhammad: You mentioned, that you are fluent in industry soft wares; just How to you view the increasing role of technology in film making, especially high budget vs low budget movies?
Mark: Technology will drive film industry and facilitate film making – however, the key would be creativity and storytelling. Technology can stretch the envelop of creativity but it cannot replace creativity & emotions. Elements which are needed for a great story. This is where the human element will always dominate. Technology provide a level field, where start ups have an opportunity to compete with mega movie makers.
Muhammad: We take this is your first appearance at CABSAT; What got you interested in visiting the middle east, especially Dubai, UAE and is it up to what you had expected?
Mark: I was invited by Avid to attend CABSAT, which is the biggest regional ‘broadcasting’ event and share my knowledge with the conference audience, and the visit has been amazing. The people are just fantastic, there has been so many opportunities to network with different people from different countries and backgrounds. At the end of the day we are all story tellers and it was fresh seeing challenges of people from other parts of the worlds, when it comes to film making.
Muhammad: Do you feel that GRAVITY has raised the bar that it might be difficult to top it in future?
Mark: I do not view the next venture or ventures as something to beat GRAVITY; what I see is that the limits of creativity will keep getting pushed. Challenge would be to make ‘story telling’ even better – after all, this is what films are all about.
Muhammad: Mark, thanks for your time. We know you have been interacting with a multitude of people at different forums all day, with still more commitments ahead, and we must say, we are impressed by your level of energy and passion.
Mark: Thanks you. Pleasure is all mine.