In Their Words — Friday, November 23, 2012

I think that a film really only comes into existence in the cutting-room. To shoot is only to collect material, create possibilities. I try to go about it in such a way as to ensure myself as much freedom to maneuver as possible. Of course, editing means sticking two pieces of film together and, on this level, there are a number of principles and rules which you have to follow and sometimes break. But there’s another level to editing and it’s the most interesting one. That is the level of constructing a film. It’s a game with the audience, a way of directing attention, distributing tension. Some directors believe that all these elements are written down in the script. Others believe in the actors, the staging, lights, photography. I believe in that, too, but I also know that the elusive spirit of a film, so difficult to describe, is born only there, in the cutting-room.

—Krzysztof Kieślowski