Watch: ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ Editor Alan Baumgarten Breaks Down the Film’s Opening Sequence

Editing any movie is difficult, but one imagines that editing an Aaron Sorkin movie must be particularly hard. With all of the snappy, razor-sharp dialogue and the abundance of characters, keeping the audience’s attention clear and focused on the right places isn’t an easy feat, yet it’s one that Alan Baumgarten made look simple with his work for The Trial of the Chicago 7.

For his efforts, Baumgarten has received an abundance of acclaim and awards attention. A former Oscar nominee for managing the chaos in David O. Russell’s similarly jam-packed American Hustle, Baumgarten is the only previous nominee in this year’s Best Film Editing category at the Oscars. 

He’s got a shot at his first win for the film, and how he fares at this Saturday’s ACE Eddie Awards could demonstrate where the tide is leaning going into Oscar night. 

To honor his work, Netflix has put together a video highlighting the efforts that Baumgarten put into making Trial an invigorating experience for viewers. In the video, Baumgarten breaks down all of the intricacies that went into making the film’s six-and-a-half-minute opening sequence, introducing us to all of the main characters while also setting the scene of political unrest leading into the events of the film. 

For those who love the art of film editing, as well as those who might not know just how much goes into the process, it’s a great watch. You can find it here

Also be sure to check out our Before the Gold piece on this year’s Oscar nominated editors, where writer Chris James shines a spotlight on some of their previous films, including Baumgarten’s work on Charlie Bartlett


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Written by Mitchell Beaupre

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