Film editor Jeff Reilly won a 2008 Emmy for outstanding editing for his work on "Ali's 65." He admitted to an audience at the Wilton Library on Tuesday that the job was not originally meant for him, but he was approached after a co-worker backed out. A boxing fan, he jumped at it.
"I was psyched to get the chance to work on it," Reilly said.
After filming was finished, producer Johnson McKelvy went to Reilly with 400 to 500 hours of film, split between archival footage and interviews. Five weeks later, Reilly had cut the material down to 46 minutes, capturing Muhammad Ali's boxing style, his public speaking, the world he lived in and admirers' reactions to him, taking the audience back to the boxer's heydays of 1960s and 1970s.
"The goal is to get people to be in the moment," Reilly said.
"Ali's 65" was the third of three documentaries ESPN had commissioned the film studio where Reilly worked. Each profiled different aspects of the boxer's life in honor of his 65th birthday. Reilly also edited the first film "Ali's Rap," which showed how the Ali's swagger and style of speech made him the first true rapper.
Reilly just completed "The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Documentary in 3D" for Sony. To complete the film in 3-D, he had to work with a tech team to show the three-dimensional visual effects.
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