Arthur Schmidt, Film Editor of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ Dies at 85
The legendary movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ made strides in technology and creative nature, pairing humans with animated characters.
Arthur R. Schmidt, the Oscar-winning film editor who worked on the film, as well as ‘Forrest Gump,’ and ‘Back to the Future,’ has died at the age of 85 on August 5.
According to Consequence of Film, “The younger Schmidt caught his big break working on 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing.”
“Five years later, he edited the first Back to the Future, marking the beginning of a fruitful partnership with filmmaker Rober Zemeckis. Schmidt went on to edit the next two Back to the Future films, as well as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, What Lies Beneath, and Cast Away. His work on Roger Rabbit and Forest Gump, in particular, earned him Academy Awards for Best Film Editing.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, prior to ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit,’ “Schmidt thought he had peaked as a film editor after that experience. But on Who Framed Roger Rabbit — with a reported budget of $30 million, then the most expensive animated movie ever made — he seamlessly merged the mayhem of hand-drawn animation with live action in the most complex work of his career.”
They explain this more in-depth:
“That was all on film. And all without any animation in it. There was no animation in it when I cut it. There was just space for the animated character — Roger, or whoever the animated character was in the scene,” he remembered in 2021 during an Art of the Cut podcast.
To assist him in visualizing the final product, crewmembers stepped out the first take of each scene holding rubber dolls of the cartoon characters. To add the animation later, each frame that Schmidt cut was then photocopied as an 8×10 blow-up. Animators placed a cell over the frame so they could hand-draw the character with the correct proportions and positioning.”
Revisit the 1988 film today by watching it on Disney+.
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR ‘WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT’ HERE: