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Craft Spotlight: 'Percy Jackson' Editor Mark Goldblatt

The sharp eye behind 'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters' has been an elite editor since the 1970s. Here are five essential movies he's cut.

(Welcome to Craft Spotlight, where we'll be choosing film professionals and offering a primer on their most defining work, in fields like editing, costume design, cinematography, and other essential creative roles.) 

Today, we're looking at film editor Mark Goldblatt, who is lending his considerable talents to the adventure spectacle Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Goldblatt has made a name for himself across many genres and with some of the biggest directors in the business. Narrowing the list down to five essential films was not easy.

Piranha (1978)
Goldblatt's first film credit is for this Joe Dante-directed schlock-horror classic. "Sharks come alone; piranha come in thousands." And editing around those thousands of man-eating fish was quite the task, particularly when one assumes that the effects budget was not particularly flush.

The Howling (1981)
A second collaboration with Joe Dante, The Howling is a hidden gem of an '80s horror movie, a wolfman tale that dares to go big. But in editing terms, what still stands out is the opening sequence in a seedy New York City porno theater. Claustrophobic and grimy and unsettling as all hell, it provides an enduring creepiness that lasts throughout the film and beyond.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
To date, Goldblatt's only Academy Award nomination was for his work on James Cameron's ace sequel (better than the original?) to The Terminator. Goldblatt edited that one as well, and also Cameron's third team-up with Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1994's True Lies. T2 is an action masterpiece, though, and not just for that brilliant chase scene above (click here for the full scene).

Starship Troopers (1997)
It's hard to talk about Goldblatt's collaborations with Paul Verhoeven since one of those films is Showgirls, and that inevitably becomes a whole other discussion. Showgirls is amazing. Showgirls is its own thing. Showgirls will be discussed in our Great Moments in Marble-Based Treachery series. Starship Troopers is pretty fantastic in its own right, and in the way it pulls together old-style propaganda techniques with glossy futuristic styles is as much a triumph of sleek editing as anything.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
There wasn't a ton of optimism about this movie going in, but it turned out to be quite the crowd-pleaser and a fine film, too. Goldblatt had been working with Michael Bay quite a bit through the 1990s (on Armageddon, Bad Boys II, and Pearl Harbor), and between that and the Cameron collaborations, he's got the summer-blockbuster rhythms down pat, though the pacing doesn't ever lose character in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, paricularly the main chimp character.


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