Meet the supercutters


These pop culture obsessed video editors explain their art, in their own words

28th September 2014

Supercutters rehash film and TV clips, flagging up clichés, tropes and directors' tics, and turn mashups into an obsessive's art form. Here they are in their own words.

Cinematic spinning kisses

Cinematic spinning kisses

"I enjoyed watching my fair share of supercuts so I figured it couldn't be that hard to make one myself. I've got a very extensive collection of DVDs so that was also a plus.

Once I've got the idea, I peruse my brain cells first before doing any research. I like the challenge of using only my memory to figure out what movies feature what trope. Films have resonated with me all my life. They're just fun projects that I can really get into and take my mind off work and other responsibilities for a few hours here and there. It's instant gratification."

Matt Langlois (AKA 'Roman Holiday'), 21, animation graduate and montage-maker behind a series of cinematic trope compilations, including 'Cinematic Table-Flips', 'Cinematic Eye Pairs' and, above, 'Cinematic Spinning Kisses'

Every death on Game of Thrones

Every on-screen death on Game of Thrones

"It's very time-consuming. I have piles of yellow legal pads with timecodes scrawled all over them so I can refer to them when I jump into the editing process. Recently, a band I was recording in my apartment found one of those pads and seemed worried and confused – it took a bit of explaining, because nine pages of seemingly random numbers with the headline 'EVERY DEATH' is understandably spooky out of context.

It's often difficult to maintain focus for so long… even talented actors or directors rarely have an oeuvre without some flops."

Bryan Menegus originally created supercuts for Slacktory, and is perhaps best known for his cut of every on-screen drink in Mad Men. Menegus now runs Digg's video page

ARST ARSW: Star Wars, alphabetised

ARST ARSW: Star Wars in alphabetical order

"I just woke up a few Saturdays ago with the idea in my head: what would a movie look like in alphabetical order?

I picked Star Wars because it's a good film, iconic, and I thought it was funny the way the letters in the title alphabetised to ARST ARSW.

I wrote some custom software in C++ to type in all the dialogue and mark where each word started and ended. Probably I could have done something fancier that would have reduced the amount of manual work, but it was 'only' 30 hours or so, and basically relaxing. I didn't watch it until I was done. Mental fortitude."

Tom Murphy, Google engineer and Carnegie Melon PhD. 'ARST ARSW' is his first supercut


Sorknisms - A Supercut

"After watching Sports Night and The West Wing I became obsessed with Sorkin's work. I ended up ripping the audio and listening to them falling asleep. The language became very ingrained in my psyche over time.

When I saw The Social Network, I realised it was a more prevalent habit than I first imagined. I went back and rewatched every single thing he's ever had a writing credit on and began clipping out recycled Sorkinisms.

I think most supercuts have to come from a place of love. For the amount of time and energy, it would be impossible for them not to be rooted in a sort of affection. I would be borderline psychotic if I put that much of life into something I hated or thought was dumb."

Kevin T Porter, editor and photographer in Los Angeles. Kevin produced a sequel of further Sorkinisms, Sorkinisms II


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