Oliver Harwood's work on the films "Share" and "Contrapelo" prove that he can take a film's footage and produce a masterpiece regardless of the genre.
Online PR News – 20-March-2015 – Los Angeles, CA – As the editor of the film "Share," which had its world premiere on Saturday at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW FF) in Austin, Texas Oliver Harwood can bask in the aftermath of a job well done.
Earlier this week the film received the Special Jury Recognition Prize at SXSW FF, and will screen at the festival again this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Stateside Theater, as well as in Los Angeles on April 30 at the Directors Guild of America Theater during the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.
Directed by Pippa Bianco, "Share" is a fictional tale that an ever-growing number of girls will be able to relate to. Diving into the harsh, but truthful backlash of a social media obsessed culture and our constant need to share, share, share, the film brings to life a story that is incredibly relevant to our current time in history making it an all-around must see for both men and women of all ages.
Centered on the sexual assault of a teenage girl that is captured on video and subsequently shared on the Internet where it spreads like wildfire, the filmmakers behind "Share" raised funding for the film through an Indiegogo campaign donating a portion of every donation to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization.
Although "Share" has minimal dialogue, thanks to the captivating performances given by the actors, Bianco's unparalleled vision and Oliver Harwood's astonishing ability to select, cut and sew together the perfect shots to seamlessly tell the story, the film delivers a powerful message.
Because of the film's lack of dialogue, Harwood says when it came time to edit the film that studying the actors' performances became tantamount to capturing each characters' thought process and emotion.
"Takes were watched again and again, searching for what I referred to as 'Gives'. A 'Give' is something in the actor's performance that gives away how they felt about something without having to say anything," explains Harwood.
"These could be moments like when the actor chooses to break eye contact with the person who they're talking to or a slight narrowing of the eyes in a close up. 'Gives' can also be taken out of context and used to emphasize certain moments and communicate thoughts without the need for dialogue."
In "Share" Taissa Farmiga ("The Bling Ring," "Higher Ground"), who rose to fame as Zoe Benson in the Golden Globe Award winning television series "American Horror Story: Coven," plays the starring role of Krystal alongside Young Artist Award winner Madisen Beaty from "The Master," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "NCIS."
Director Pippa Bianco says, "Oli is an incredibly sensitive editor and storyteller. His sense of rhythm and pace, and of gesture and expression, were indispensable in shaping a film that was composed of so much silence and so often tight on Taissa's face. Oli's was such a key collaborator that I actually asked him to be on set at the monitor with me."
An editor with unparalleled skill, Oliver Harwood has made it a point over the course of his career to seek out films that will challenge his abilities. So, when he was asked to work as the editor of Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer's film "Contrapelo," a Spanish language film with English subtitles, Harwood's answer was unequivocally "Yes."
Begging the question of whether it is right to take justice into one's own hands when given the opportunity to stop an evil force, "Contrapelo" follows a proud Mexican barber who, after the leader of a violent drug cartel comes in for a shave, is forced to decide whether to take the man's life with the razor in his hand or quietly carry out his duty.
The fact that Harwood managed to edit the film perfectly without speaking a word of Spanish is a testament to the exceptional nature of his craft.
He recalls, "Because I was unable to understand what was being said, I was able to decontextualize the line and turn the dialogue into something like music. The rhythm and tone of the words being spoken helped me guide each cut based on feeling."
Morally ambiguous and visually captivating, "Contrapelo" premiered last year at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival, and went on to garner incredible international recognition. The film won Best Short at the Los Cortos Intl. Shorts Film Festival, Best Independent Short film and the Audience Award at Cine Gear Expo, Best Short Film at the Las Vegas Intl. Film Festival, and was an Official Selection of countless film festivals including BFI London, Germany's Oldenburg Intl. Film Festival, Canada's Calgary Intl. Film Festival, North Ireland's Oscar qualifying Foyle Film Festival, and others.
"Contrapelo" will screen once again at Tribeca Cinemas on March 29 during the Columbian Film Festival NYC, as well as at the Atlanta Film Festival today at 5 p.m. at the Plaza Theatre.
Harwood has proven time and time again through his work on other multi-award winning films like "Mae and Ash," "Reaver," "Red Rider," "Solid Ground" and "Change to Spare," that he is the kind of editor directors can trust to turn their vision into a masterpiece.
In addition to being undoubtedly busy with international film festival screenings, Harwood has been solidified as the editor of the upcoming films "Mazel Toes," and "HamHeads," the latter of the two films will be directed by Efren Hernandez, whose film "Master Muscles" screened at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize.