Editor Mary Jo Markey ACE Explains How She Intensified Mission Impossible III’s Opening Scene

Learn how Mary Jo Markey ACE brought out the tension from the performances of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan and Tom Cruise by extending the opening scene in Mission Impossible III. Mary Jo Markey, ACE was tasked with bringing the…

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Learn how Mary Jo Markey ACE brought out the tension from the performances of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan and Tom Cruise by extending the opening scene in Mission Impossible III.

Mary Jo Markey, ACE was tasked with bringing the final act of Star Wars the Force Awakens together in the edit room. She approached the X-Wing mission to destroy Starkiller Base with a ‘less is more’ philosophy that she explained here at our Sight, Sound and Story Event.

Mary Jo Markey, ACE, is an accomplished editor in both film and television. After cutting a series of independent films and television movies, Markey began her collaboration with JJ Abrams as one of the editors of the TV series “Felicity” during its first three seasons (1998-2000). Markey then moved over to edit the first two seasons of “Alias,” during which she received her first Emmy nomination. Later, in 2005, Markey won the Emmy for Drama Series Editing for her work on the “Lost” pilot. In 2006, Markey’s collaboration with JJ Abrams moved to the large screen with “Mission Impossible III.” Their work together continued with the HBO pilot “Anatomy of Hope,” 2009’s “Star Trek” (which led to an ACE Eddie nomination), the “Undercovers” pilot, “Super 8,” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” in 2013.

Besides projects with Abrams, Markey has edited the award-winning HBO film “Life Support,” which was selected as the closing night film for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival (and brought her an additional Emmy nomination as well as an ACE Eddie nomination), “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “The Great Wall,” directed by master of Chinese cinema Zhang Yimou, and the sci-fi thriller “Life.”

About the Moderator: Bobbie O’Steen is a New York-based writer and film historian, dedicated to sharing the editor’s invisible art with students, professionals, and the movie-going public. She is an Emmy®-nominated editor and author of two acclaimed books about editing: “Cut to the Chase,” based on interviews with her late husband and colleague, legendary editor Sam O’Steen; and “The Invisible Cut,” which deconstructs classic movie scenes through a cut-by-cut analysis. Her latest book is an authoritative, media-rich eBook called “Making the Cut at Pixar” about the editor’s pioneering role in computer animation.

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