Tianès Montasser is a French Film Editor based in Paris. She works for talented artists such as Christine and The Queens, Charli XCX, and edited the 3 first Unfiltered films. Her role is fundamental in the final result of a movie and it requires a lot of sensibility and a certain humility. Tianes shares with us her process when editing a film, what motivates her to work on a new project and the importance to work with artists and directors she respects and admires.
I was born in Bordeaux, and grew up in the south west of France.
I think the first movies I could see in a movie theater, Matrix and Kill Bill inspired me. I grew up in a small village, and my parents didn’t really go to the movies at the time. Then, I discovered and explored the immensity of other more intimate and niche cinema.
There’s too many ! Maybe to be patient from my mother during my childhood. It took me a long time to integrate it. But with age, I could see that patience does not mean that we don’t move forward, it allows us to take a step back. And that putting yourself in perspective or putting what you are looking at in perspective is often rich in discovery. This is particularly true in film editing.
I think self-confidence is important, but questioning yourself is also very important. You need to have convictions but also know how to let yourself go to discover new sensations, new ideas when your convictions are challenged thanks to the collaborations that this profession involves. So you grow and improve yourself.
On the masculinity of this industry, as an editor, I feel a little less the weight but I admit that I have character and my masculine side comes out easily. Which probably creates another dynamic. Collaboration often comes in a dialogue, there are two of us and there are fewer issues of domination since everyone wants the film to succeed. I am convinced that collaboration can only be effective and strong once trust is shared.
It depends on opportunities. The idea, the meaning and the purpose are the reasons that make me pick a project or not. Also, If it is a challenge for myself, I will be happy to jump in! I can also decide to work on a project because I feel a good connection with the persons behind and want to work with them.
I don’t particularly think that an editor should seek to have a style. We are serving the existing vision from the director. The film is the most important, what it must tell, make it feel. And every film will have a different way of doing this, through its director’s vision but also through the work of other collaborators, technicians or artists. As an editor, my part is to find the harmony between all this. From this harmony will emerge the particularity of the film, which is exciting for me to bring it out.
However, I know that some directors came to pick me up for my “style”. Because they thought that I had my own sense of rhythm and musicality. But this is completely beyond me. If I hadn’t been told, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.
If we consider that success is something that brings us pleasure, then it would be to do what we love with the most sincerity possible and to have the opportunity to always learn, evolve, and to make a living with it.
It’s a chance to have the opportunity to work for artists we admire, who inspire us with their vision or their engagement. Working becomes a real pleasure, we immerse ourselves completely. In fact, it is a necessity. But as an editor, we are often given a chance. Among other things, I got it thanks to Colin Solal-Cardo, the director of several clips from Christine and The Queen. He saw my work and he wanted to collaborate with me. We first worked together on Robyn’s clip, we had a great chemistry and he called me back for the new clips. It is also a pleasure to work repeatedly with the same people because the relationship grows, there is less need to talk to each other. Or we talk before. Every new project gives us the opportunity to push our limits.
For Unfiltered, I met Jérome, I liked his story and his speech. I decided to support him in his approach.
For me, engagement is in big acts as well as in small ones, in our everyday life. Choosing to no longer accept certain situations or accepting discussion, even if there is disagreement is already being engaged. Also, to listen, to question. And eventually accept that we can act or think differently.
It is also to accept differences. If in our society we need to be equal, it means we are all different. For me, it’s the richness of humanity. This is also why, I think, I chose a job that requires being able to collaborate. To accept different visions as yours can also improve the way you look at things.
In this sense, I would like through my work to find more opportunities, to be at the service of new ideas, perhaps more “politicized” too, not in the institutional sense of the term, but rather in the sense of the common good. I am also looking to work on longer projects, in fiction or documentary. Originally, it was for this kind of project that I became an editor.
I have often wanted to have the gift of ubiquity. Maybe that’s why I’m editing! We usually see everything there is to see in a story. We have access to all the angles available, and we choose those that will tell the best story, or those that induce a meaning that we want to emphasize. But I don’t know if it’s really a superpower. Maybe teleporting!
There is no typical answer here, it depends on the project again. For example, in Unfiltered, it was crucial to give the actors and models their power back on the image. Their job involves a constant sensibility and Jerome wanted to give them this power back using the fashion and advertising codes, and to give them a certain freedom while respecting an artistic vision. So, every decision was made on what they gave to the camera, and give a certain harmony to the whole thing.
On the other hand, for the short film Ordalie directed by Sacha Barbin, which I had the chance to edit in 2017, the choice in the scenes was really different. It’s a fiction, we tell a story but we also tell about characters’ stories and their trajectories, the question of authenticity moves around. In this example in particular, the work we did with Sacha was to find the right tone, the right rhythm between the two actors, who have two different styles. Michel Fau had a more theatrical play, his voice carried when Gaspard Ulliel had a more cinegenic play, close to the whisper sometimes. To me, this stylistic confrontation is one of the strengths of this film.
I got very sick 3 years ago. It lasted 6 months and I needed a lot of life force to survive. I questioned a lot of things in my life at the time and finally decided to let someone help me. This is something that would have been unthinkable for me before.
It is difficult to pick one because I am easily happy! I am happy very often when I get to work with people I admire. Regarding happiness in my private life, well it’s..private.
As for self-confidence, it comes with time and experience I think. You have to prove things to yourself and trust your choices too. I would like to grow it by taking more risks in some of my decisions.
I try to work out as regularly as possible. I recently discovered boxing and I feel like I have finally found an individual sport that excites me enough to go more often.
You are spoiled for choice I think, but I would say Céline Sciamma because I would really like to read her. She is a filmmaker who must be supported, followed, and you should not hesitate to watch her movies. She is the perfect example of narrative politics and emotional intelligence in films to me.
Read the full UNFILTERED Series HERE [/mepr-show]