cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values


FILM LOCATION Regeneration 1

David Nicholls’ 7.39 – 2 part drama on BBC TV

It goes like this. Carl catches the 7.39 to town every morning. He puts his bag in the rack. A blonde woman, Sally, slides into his seat. Have a bit of a contretemps then start an affair which is doomed. Sure to be because she’s reading Jayne Eyre and he bought Anna Karenina to pretend to read it to impress her, admitted he couldn’t get into it and she told him Anna throws herself under a train – so that’s it then. End of. Mind you his house doesn’t burn down. (Though his wife looks angry enough to do it). He doesn’t end up blind either.

Anyway, at the end, when it looks to us as if it is the end for them, they get away from things to his parents cottage just to check if it is the end or not. Beautiful windy day. Walk on the beach. Glum. It all looks as if it’s really over.

Robbie and Cecilia are walking on the beach too and they stop for a chat. They look very happy unlike Carl and sally.


It turns out Robbie and Cecilia are staying at the coastguard cottages too. Sally realises they’ve walked straight into the final fantasy scene from Atonement.

ROBBIE and CECILIA crunch across the pebbles and splash
gleefully through the waves, below the towering white cliffs on
their way back to their white clapboard cottage.

But she hasn’t the heart tell Carl: he hasn’t see the film or read the book. Carl notices the other two are soaking wet. The couples part. Different directions along the beach. Sally looks up at Carl. Then turns round to look at the receding Robbie and Cecilia. No one there.

The other day a friend of mine said she’s watched The English Patient for the first time and loved it. I mentioned films we wouldn’t watch again/films we would, but not too often. I put Lawrence of Arabia, together with The English Patient at about 15-18 monthly. Then it occurred to me The English Patient could be chirped up a bit if after Ralph and Kristen had finished whatever it was they were doing in the corridor in the club, it cut to the scene where Lawrence goes into the officer’s club after trekking across the Sinai, and someone shouts out, “get that wog out of here!” at which point Ralph and Kristen look at each other and realise they’d drifted into another film again.

The coastguard cottages, beach at Cuckmere and the Seven Sisters have been used in several films including Harry Potter, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

wiki: Cuckmere Haven

January 8, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment


“I don’t care if a director tells me to take 10 frames off—because I don’t take 10 frames off. I take off what I think would be appropriate. Most directors have no idea what 10 frames looks like. If you work with Sidney Lumet, he knows what 10 frames are. Milos Forman does, too. But most directors, when they say “take 10 frames off,” they’re just kind of showing off to you. I’ve learned through the years you just do what you think is right. And they’ll think that’s great because they’ll never count the frames.”

Anne V. Coates

Along with other well-know films, Anne edited Lawrence of Arabia.

David said to me in the end, ‘That’s nearly perfect. Take it away and make it perfect.’ I literally took two frames off of the outgoing scene and that’s the way it is today.

A two-part interview in Flickering Myth:

Cutting Edge: A conversation with film editor Anne V. Coates [part 1]

Twice Around: Anne V. Coates talks about Lawrence of Arabia [part 2]

There is a BBC Radio 4 interview from 2007

November 14, 2012 Posted by | Anne V Coates, David Lean, film editor, Lawrence of Arabia, post-production | , , , , | Leave a comment