MUSTANG wrote:As Wayne started "North to Alaska" in early May, I would imagine the edit must have been completed by then, don't you think?
Good point. Certainly. He would have made all the contributions necessary by then. For perspective on this, DGA rules are that a director working for a studio who gets "first cut" (John Wayne was an independent and thus had "final cut" -- until HE chose to make major cuts.) must be allowed 13 post-production weeks to deliver his cut of the film. After that, the studio can insist on the editor making changes that they want. I'm pretty sure the period of time is 13 weeks, but if not, it's close to this. So this should provide some idea of the amount of time necessary for the director to guide the film editor into the channel he wants. Then, after a point, he could conceivable walk away and only check back once in a while when questions arise or he wants to see what the editor has done.
All the director really has to do with the editor is go through the printed footage and make choices of which takes of which angles he wants for every scene, and then basically when he wants the scene to feature Widmark rather than Harvey during dialogue and whether in medium shot or close up, etc. The editor assembles all that, bringing his expertise to the table regarding timing and cutting point from angle to angle. Then the director will review his work and make suggestions or demands. All this until his finished cut is achieved the way he wants it.