Stuart Baird: the unsung film editor
Yes, Sam Mendes directed Skyfall and it’s a fantastic addition to the series but one name that deserves better recognition is the editor Stuart Baird and seeing as the Bond producers wanted to make their mark for the 50th anniversary this is the man to make the film as fast paced as possible. Why should you care? You probably didn’t even notice his name in the funky credits.
This is a man who edited Superman, The Omen, and Lethal Weapon among others to great acclaim and later became editorial supervisor for Warner Brothers. He fixed a lot of films that got into trouble in the edit suite due to runaway budgets and egos like MI:2 in which he was directly cutting the workprint because of the impending release date. Now that is rock and roll. He also tried to fix Tomb Raider but one is only mortal! His directorial endeavours unfortunately don’t rate as highly as his editorial, which is rather strange when you compare the likes of Robert Wise and David Lean who came up through editing and became very good directors, after all this is the launchpad for directing.
Yes he also edited Casino Royale, which was a previous reboot of the franchise (he is a frequent collaborator of Martin Campbell), but as this is the 50th anniversary of the franchise and they were going full throttle in every department I knew this was going to be a brilliantly paced film mainly down to this man.
Credit where credit’s due and often he is marginalised by the bigger names but this is one man who’s work I find entertaining.