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Recently Kevin Yost (Lucasfilm editor and seen in These Amazing Shadows) sent us a link to the film, Precious Images by Chuck Workman. It features approximately 470 half-second-long splices of movie moments through the history of American film. This film has been the long considered THE standard by which all other film montages are measured. It won an Oscar as best short and was added to the National Film Registry in 2009.
We consider Doug Blush, who co-edited These Amazing Shadows, to be just as good as Mr. Workman. That point of view is supported by John Lopez of Vanity Fair who called Doug's work in These Amazing Shadows to be "the montage to end all montages."
Another great montage editor is Stephen Garrett of Kinetic Trailers. Stephen edited the These Amazing Shadows trailer. In 2010 he edited a Martin Scorsese tribute montage for Golden Globes that is considered one of the best film montages of recent memory. See it below.
When a director is working with an editor a lot of verbal discussion goes on, but it is always best to support an idea with visual aids. Way back when Paul and I were first starting to work with our editors, Doug Blush and Alex Calleros, we put together some ideas (including montages) to show them what we had in mind for TAS. Below is one early (and very rough) example of something we presented to our editors to show them what the doc might feel like. Some of it survived - but most was discarded. Ah, the vagaries of the creative process!