Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Bullet Train follows a group of five assassins who board one of Japan’s fast-moving trains, only to discover that their respective missions are tied together. The action thriller stars Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Joey King and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and was edited by Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, who frequently collaborates with director David Leitch. Ronaldsdóttir, who was challenged with balancing multiple storylines, found a way to introduce characters and tell their backstories without overwhelming the viewer.
Photo: Editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir
She recently shared with Post her experience working on the film, which hit theaters August 5th.
How did you get involved in editing Bullet Train?
“I have a long work relationship with the director, David Leitch, and producer Kelly McCormick. When they introduced me to Bullet Train, I was instantly excited to hop onboard. Both of them are very good at pitching stories and super inspiring.”
What was your workflow like?
“Workflow varied (according to) what period of post we found ourselves in, and was, of course, affected by COVID. Our amazing first assistant editor, Nick Ellsberg, along with our second, Carolyn Calvert, steered us through all the ups and downs of working remotely. We also had daily discussions with our VFX editors, Michael Fay and Jimmy Durant, and music editor, Dan Pinder. Even though almost all our communication was online, it was solid teamwork.”
Tell us about your editing set up?
“We used Avid. Nick hooked us up with Resilio sync and Mimiq, as we were all working from home, which made it almost indistinguishable from working on a NEXIS. We used PacPost to communicate and stream both edits, VFX, graphics and music.”
What scene or sequence would you point to as a challenging one editorially?
“Having a strong assembled cast and different storylines within the film was a complicated puzzle. It was a challenge to allow multiple characters to shine, and keep the story strong and the pace intact while making sure not to dull down the craziness of a David Leitch film. The most challenging sequence was probably the third act fight and train crash. It took a lot of imagination until our VFX team helped us bring it to life.”