We talked with the editor Affonso Gonçalves, who told us how they managed to build the different genres that Don’t Worry Darling presents.
In the midst of great controversy, Don’t Worry Darling is about to be released in theaters. The experiment of Olivia Wilde is much more ambitious than the one he had with Booksmart (Night of the Nerds), since it not only includes the great presences of Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Chris Pine, well the film turned out to be a story that plays with the audience’s expectations and is constantly changing.
With a vibe of thriller, drama, love story and science fiction nightmare, the film wants to tell us the story of Jack (Styles) and Alice (Pugh), a newlywed couple living in a suburban neighborhood in the fifties who enjoy great privileges thanks to his work as an executive in the victory Project, but as time goes on, Alice begins to notice how certain things just don’t add up in her paradise.
This movie is probably the most controversial of the year, both for its history and the eventualities around it; that’s why the editor Affonso Goncalves He told us how it was to put together the project to give it cohesion and naturalness.
Olivia Wilde: The Mastermind
Affonso Goncalves has worked as an editor on smaller, more intimate films, such as carolPatterson, True Detective and The Lost Daughter, so he told us that Don’t Worry Darling was really “his first studio project”. Also, he wasn’t really involved from the beginning of the story, since originally the editor of the story was going to be Jennifer Lame, but due to the crisis COVID19 and production delays had to abandon the project.
“That was one of the most curious parts of the process,” Gonçalves told us: “I was not at the beginning of the story and it was my first project with a large studio, where they have a very precise idea of how they need the story to be and the steps to follow. That process was very new.”
However, working with Olivia Wilde made the experience very pleasant. “She is a great filmmaker and a great actress, it has always been a very collaborative work where we talked about what worked, what did not work, what we could change. She was always constantly coming and going.”
Actually, what convinced Gonçalves to join the production was precisely working with Olivia Wilde, amazed by the vision she had:
“Although there was a lot of room to experiment and propose, Olivia had a very precise idea of how she wanted the film to feel. A very precise idea of what she wanted to convey, so from there things flowed little by little”.
The publisher also assured us that “really almost everything that was filmed is within the footage”, but he was the one who proposed to introduce the idea of a radio where the voice of Frank (Chris Pine) the leader of Victory who introduces himself as Frank’s boss. “There wasn’t much of him in the movie, so I liked the idea of his presence being felt throughout the film.”
Assembling the Don’t Worry Darling Puzzle
Editing is one of the key processes in the film industry because it’s basically where the film is put together in its entirety. And something that makes you special Don’t Worry Darling it’s the way he transitions between genres. In fact, Affonso Gonçalves defines the transition as “It’s a drama. It’s a love story. It turns into science fiction and ends in horror.”
For him, this was the most fun part of the process, since “We had to take care of a very special balance. Because yes, the film builds very slowly and by the third act it is a frenzy that has chases and action sequences, so we had to control the pace a lot. Even at the end there is a lot of intimate history: with her neighbor, with her husband, with herself. It was a balance that we had to take great care of”.
And the way they found to achieve it was experiencing. Gonçalves told us that he spent a lot of time in the editing room with Olivia Wilde choosing the best visual and sound tracks so that from the beginning “The film will generate a feeling in the viewer that makes him want to return.”
But they had to be very precise with the choice of those scenes, particularly with the flashbacks and the way they presented the surprises. “It was trial and error for a long time. Choosing the scenes that best suited us to be able to control the rhythm of the story and contain the clues that make the audience understand where the story is going.”
“The hardest part was finding a balance between sound and visual cues. For some people it may be too few, for others it may be too many and they discover the story from the beginning. But hopefully, we manage to find that balance so that people want to see the movie again and discover those little visual and sound clues that we left that give more information about the story.
Gonçalves also praised the performance of Florence Pugh, ensuring that it was key to the editing process “She is such a talented star that you can just follow her and the story will flow.”
And according to him, once they managed to center the pieces of the puzzle on Pugh and control the rhythm of the story, the music and the sound editing “He managed to elevate the film and present something that will hopefully touch people’s minds and hearts and make them rethink the issues that Olivia (Wilde) was so keen to explore.”