When making a film, an editor is the final storyteller. Like the writer and director, editors have the power to shape the story, being the last person to decide just what an audience sees. They put puzzle pieces together with infinite possibilities, trying to decide just how to make everything combine to make a true masterpiece. It is an intricate craft, and vital for the success of a film.
China’s Jing Han understands this better than most. Throughout her esteemed career, this in-demand editor has shown time and time again just how best to put the pieces of that puzzle together, creating captivating film after captivating film. This is evident in all of her work, including Five Love Pieces, First Time Since, Stella, and many more. No matter the genre, Han focuses on enchanting viewers, and always accomplishes that goal.
“Every time I get to work on a new project, I have no idea what footage I am going to work with and what I will create out of it, and it’s so exciting. It’s challenging work, so it will never be boring. People watch movies to experience different lives, to live the stories they don’t get to live. And I am doing it every day. Every project is special. Every story I’m telling is unique. It shapes and enriches me as a person,” she said.
With all of her success, Han is a multi-award-winning editor, but her most decorated film is the 2018 drama Drawn Curtains. The movie follows Jeanne, who, hoping for a simple getaway, checks into a hotel for the weekend. While settling into her room, she discovers a man watching through a window across from her own. Although initially repulsed, Jeanne finds herself growing more and more enthralled with the strange figure, eventually seeking him out. Meanwhile, she is flooded with memories of a past trauma. Separated by glass, their relationship progresses to a boiling point.
“The protagonist has difficulty dealing with her sexual desires after being traumatized by a horrible memory. The story is about self-awareness and dealing with your past. It tries to convey the possibility of freeing oneself after a long time of restraint. This is a story that everyone can relate to on some level,” said Han.
Han was happy to tell a meaningful story from a woman's perspective, an increasing and important trend in the film industry. Han felt connected to the script and knew she could help turn it into an international success, so when Director Merfisia Bel reached out to her, she instantly said yes to working on the film.
“I’ve known Jing for years and knew she was the perfect editor for this film. Her work always stood out among the others, and I was impressed with her creativity, instinct, and technical skills. Jing is the only editor I considered, and I was honored when she agreed to work with me. I knew her skills would truly take our film to the next level. Not only is Jing a great friend, and now lifelong collaborator, but someone whose future I am so excited to see play out. She is so talented I have no doubts her career will continue to skyrocket. I’m looking forward to working with Jing on many future projects,” said Bel.
Drawn Curtains is not a dialogue driven film, and therefore performance and pacing are crucial, making Han’s role even more pivotal to its success. Han worked to accentuate facial expressions and body language, truly enhancing the drama in every scene. For this film, editing builds the structure, brings out the best, and catches the audience’s eyes.
“This film is special to me because when I was working on it, I was also figuring out how to forget the rules of filmmaking and see things differently. I’ve always thought that the reason to learn certain rules is to break them, in a smart and good way. This project gave me the opportunity to do this, it encouraged me to pour my feelings into this story. For that, I will forever treasure this experience,” she said.
Hans unique approach to editing captivated audiences around the world. Drawn Curtains made its public debut on July 29th, 2018 at L.A. Shorts International Film Festival, which is an Academy Award qualifying film festival, and the film dominated the festival circuit. On top of winning Best Film at many festivals, Han won Best Editing at the Five Continents International Film Festival, Indie Short Fest 2019, and the Oniros Film Awards 2019.
“I was so excited and happy for our whole cast and crew. Everyone on this project was talented and we worked really hard for the same goal. We also built a genuine friendship because of this project and I am grateful for that. I’m looking forward to working with them on a new project soon,” she concluded.