The Rough Cut: Dialing in the Edit for Indiana Jones

The Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny editing team of McCusker, Buckland, and Westervelt have been amping up the action in the cutting room for a while now.  First joining up for James Mangold’s Logan (2017), the team would collaborate once more on Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari (2019) before finding themselves at the editorial helm of the fifth, and most likely final, installment of the Indiana Jones franchise.Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny sees daredevil archaeologist Indiana Jones race against time to retrieve a legendary dial that can change the course of history. Accompanied by his goddaughter, he soon finds himself squaring off against Jürgen Voller, a former Nazi who works for NASA.

Read on to hear about:

  • Making the most of motifs
  • To Wilhelm or not to Wilhelm
  • Dealing with dialogue during de-aging
  • Adding a touch of evil to the movie
  • Andrew Buckland, man of a thousand voices

Listen while you read…

Editing Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Matt Feury: Let’s get right to it. I have to say, when I saw the movie, the moment that it really became an Indiana Jones movie for me, and thankfully this was very early on, was the first time Indiana Jones punches a Nazi in the face. And it wasn’t just the act of it, it was the sound of it that was so evocative of all the earlier films. You get that crunchy reverb punch sound that just does not exist in the real world.

Drew, were you working with sound effects from an existing Indiana Jones library? And whether or not you did, to what extent do you get your hands dirty with sound design and doing things like spotting sound effects?

Andrew Buckland: Well, usually we do work with sound effects as we’re cutting, but I think in this instance our sound department was working pretty early. We were able to pass scenes over to them and they would do a pass and deliver effects to us. And I’m not sure exactly what they were pulling from, but I’m sure they were pulling from a Lucasfilm library.

Initially when we start cutting, we use sounds to indicate what needs to happen and then they will get quickly replaced. I don’t think we had a Lucasfilm library in our Avid—we just had sound effects and we would sort of incorporate them in. Didn’t they start early? It was two years ago or something.

Michael McCusker: That’s the way we’ve been working with Jim [director James Mangold] for years. Traditionally, as you know, the sound design starts some time in the midst of the director’s cut. But we start way early, while he’s shooting. Jim is constantly refining, throwing out new ideas and also is extraordinarily picky so it affects the way he sees the scene and the way he actually processes his notes. If sound is bugging him, it throws him out of actually evaluating. So we’re doing really fine sound very early on and have been with him for years. Same on Ford v Ferrari. Same on Logan.

It’s tricky because I’m about to go on a movie where I’m not doing that and I’ve gotten really used to it. But that’s really something that Jim’s been pushing for and is on the forefront of. And because where he is in his stature as a director, he gets it.

MF: Well, I said the punch was what made it sound like an Indiana Jones film. Something that made it sound like a Lucasfilm film was the Wilhelm Scream. I think you actually do it twice. So I’d just like to know what kind of thinking goes into, like, ‘All right, as soon as we do this, we’re winking at the audience, so we get to figure out where and when and certainly how often to do this.’

As soon as we do this, we’re winking at the audience.

Dirk Westervelt: I remember on Logan there was one in there and it was in there for quite a while. It was sometime in the final mix and we reviewed the reel that it was in and it played back and Jim hadn’t said anything, so they thought they sort of got it by him or he was going to let it fly.

And he gave all the notes on the reel. And then just as he was walking off the mix stage, he turned around and said, ‘Oh, get that Wilhelm Scream out of there.’ And then it was gone.

Michael McCusker: There’s a lot of diplomacy involved in using a Wilhelm Scream. I don’t think any of us were running around trying to place it. And I don’t think our sound designer wanted to use it, and Jim didn’t, either. But there was an appeal for tradition’s sake to put it in. So we found a spot for it.

But, you know, in our minds, the Wilhelm Scream wasn’t something that was going to make or break whether or not it was an Indy movie.

MF: Well, I certainly enjoyed it. Speaking of tradition, this is an iconic figure in cinema that you’re working with. Is there an Indiana Jones template that you have in mind that you have to adhere to or elements that you want to call back to?

Michael McCusker: You always gotta have Nazis.

Dirk Westervelt: And you gotta punch some of them.

Andrew Buckland: You’ve gotta have some sort of tomb-tunnel situation. But I think because it’s a Jim Mangold film it’s a new template, ultimately.

Michael McCusker: He was also aware of the visual aesthetic of what came before, and he tried to honor that within his own style. You know, the classic moment in the movies where Indy comes into the foreground right next to the camera and has that moment. He was really trying to make that play in certain other places.

And also, the kind of adventure noir of the forties where the character is in the foreground and there’s a guy in the background. So he was cognizant of honoring that visual aesthetic. He wasn’t moving completely away from it, but it wasn’t slavish.

MF: Is it his style in any of the films that you do with him to give you references and sit you guys down and say, ‘Well, this is what I’m thinking here. Maybe go back and watch this film or this show or whatever’?

Dirk Westervelt: He does do that. The first time I worked with him was on Logan. I remember the one that really sticks out to me was Touch of Evil because of the way it’s staged. There’s a kind of noirishness anyway that Jim leans into—foreground staging, the depth in front of the camera, kind of a general reference for him.

I’m trying to remember what they were on this one but it’s been a couple of years now, and there were a couple that I went and watched even at the beginning before I came on. There’s the obvious watching all the films in the Indiana Jones franchise, but there were a couple others which tend to be, with Jim, classic mid-century period stuff.

Do you guys remember any of the ones that he threw out at the beginning?

Michael McCusker: No. Dirk was in London for months and was in a unique situation because he was sitting with Jim while he was shooting and we were in L.A. So we didn’t really have that give and take that you usually get when you’re actually in the heat of making the movie because, you know, we were 6,000 miles away. So the discussion I had with him was really about honoring what had come before with the series.

I think that it’s a little different for Jim in that I’ve worked for him for a long time, so I’ve watched his visual style change over the years. And he went from a guy who used moves, almost a handheld camera, to really capture a performance. As he advanced through larger movies, he started to embrace composed frames, and so he kind of ends up in this series in a natural way, having traveled that way.

MF: The credit roll for this movie is longer than pretty much any Marvel movie I’ve seen. More to the point—and you guys have addressed this a little bit already—it seems like forever that you’ve been working on it. I think you said two years?

So let’s go back to that happy place, winning the Oscar for Ford v Ferrari. That would be February of 2020. In early 2020, where was Indiana Jones on your radar? Did James even know about it yet? Had he talked about it with you yet? And then once he did, what was the overall timeline for the post-production process?

Andrew Buckland: He did talk about it. He spoke about it as the potential next project. He wasn’t sure exactly when it was going to start at that time.

Michael McCusker: He talked to me about it. I mean, things changed rapidly. There was going to be an interstitial movie between Ford v Ferrari and Indy, which is now what Drew’s about to cut, which is the Bob Dylan movie [A Complete Unknown starring Timothée Chalamet]. So that was supposed to happen and then we were going to go to this. But he let me know he had been in conversations with Lucasfilm for an extended period about doing the Indiana Jones movie.

And a lot of it was pushed by, I think, Harrison [Ford], because Harrison was a huge fan of Ford v Ferrari. And then on top of that, Jim had helped out and done a little work on a movie that Harrison had done at Fox in the last movies at Fox, which was Call of the Wild. So they had established a rapport.

And around about that time, Steven Spielberg was backing away from the project and Harrison was talking to Jim about it. So that’s how Jim got involved. It was already in really early pre-production, and Jim just wanted some time to rework the script. So they got extended time and went forward.

We’re on the back end, we’re in the post-production world. But if you were to talk to the producers, I think the most difficult part was prepping a movie in the midst of a pandemic or at the tail end of a pandemic. So even just sitting in a room and brainstorming ideas for scripts or sequences or bits or whatnot became Zoom calls and emails and texts, which was an adaptation for everybody involved to figure out how to do that.

But I know that by hearsay, because by the time we were on it, it was really, ‘Here’s the script, This is what we’re doing.’ I think that some of the hangover of the inefficiency of trying to deal with all of the pre-production landed on us in post in that we got really involved, as we always do, with previs, but we were dealing with previs a lot of times as they were shooting.

So it was important that we had the three of us because at one point I was pulled on to previs exclusively for the last act of the movie for a couple of months. We were prevising and they were shooting. So a lot of the stuff that was coming in was really Dirk and Drew, who were cutting large swaths of the movie. I just couldn’t do both—the previs itself was a full-time job. That’s a lot to say in one question. But it does involve what we were dealing with in terms of the pandemic.

Andrew Buckland: I know Jim was frustrated because of the whole COVID schedule. They weren’t shooting linearly, they were shooting the scenes out of order a lot. And I think it presented challenges because specifically I can refer to the beginning with the knife fight on the roof of the train.

I don’t know if you remember that moment where Weber is holding the lance in his hand. Well, for the longest time, that was literally a knife. And because Jim didn’t know at the time, because of the way he was shooting it, how Weber was actually going to have the lance in his hand, we were cutting with just a knife. And it was replaced with the lance digitally because we figured out how he would actually have the lance in his possession.

MF: How did the pandemic impact your ability to collaborate? Dirk’s over in London, you guys are back in L.A. What was the setup there?

Michael McCusker: Dirk was on the front lines. The most difficult sequence in the movie, without a doubt, is the Tuk Tuk. Early on, I was trying to be a part of that with previs, but I was like, there’s no way because there’s so much communication that had to happen between Jim and Dan Bradley [second-unit director] and they’re feeding it out that and that’s why I was, like, ‘Dirk needs to be over there.’

In past movies there’s not been as much division of, ‘Here’s my section, here’s your section.’ We kind of flow. And this was more divided because of the pandemic.

Dirk Westervelt: The shutdowns from COVID were bad for obvious reasons, but also gave us time to sort of recover in between periods of shooting so that they could plan what they were going into next in sequences and into some set piece scenes.

There were complications—like there was a very good previs version of the Tuk Tuk, for example, that Mike probably worked on at some point. I know Drew did a lot of work that was all planned for the shoot they were going to do in India. And then COVID went out of control in India. So they changed the plan to shoot in Morocco at the very last minute, like a few weeks before they had to shoot. And it had to be reconceived for different locations.

So then it became a process of trying to save as much as we could of the really good version that almost had a pin in and grafting it onto this new location. And in some ways the shutdowns gave me time to do some of that kind of work.

MF: Mike just said this film was more divided as opposed to the way you guys have done things previously. Was it literally like ‘Dirk’s going to work on this specific scene or sequence? Mike’s going to do this one and I’m going to do this one?’

Andrew Buckland: I think initially it sort of worked out that way. I know Mike was trying to beat out the previs for the final act, and so all these dailies were coming in and I was sort of managing what was coming in. And Dirk was over in England doing a lot with two big action scenes, the Tuk Tuk and Underwater.

Dirk can speak to this but it was really, really difficult. So it just so happened that I ended up working on a lot of drama scenes. And yeah, I guess you just put your stink on it.

Michael McCusker: Dirk said something to me on his last day as he was walking out the door. He said, ‘Hey, next time maybe you’ll let me cut some dialogue.’

And I hadn’t even thought of that. That’s just the way it worked out, that he really had not gotten any full drama scenes because was dealing with two of the most difficult, unformed sequences in the movie—which at the end of the day are very successful.

The Underwater, we’d be giving away the tricks, but there’s wholesale digital everything. And that sequence was really something that Dirk was leading the charge on creatively. So both those scenes were really tricky and actually could not have involved us. There had to be somebody on the ground in the UK working moment to moment to get those to work.

MF: Dirk, you don’t have to give away all the tricks, but maybe one of them. Is it the underwater aspect of it, or was it just the nature of that scene as it was written and constructed?

Dirk Westervelt: Every movie has a sequence or two that’s not as evolved in the planning as others. So that was one of the ones where the blueprint wasn’t quite dry in terms of how it was all going to come together. And it being a tank scene and underwater, and all of the challenges that come with that, meant that there was a bit of figuring out to do.

Every movie has a sequence or two that’s not as evolved in the planning as others.

Also, in both of those sequences, Tuk Tuk was in the first unit and in Underwater almost everything was happening in the waning days of this production so they were sort of running out of time.

Jim wasn’t there when they were shooting some of the tank stuff, the obviously underwater stuff. He had monitors on everything, but he’s probably managing four different sets at that point. And we were still kind of figuring out exactly what the action was through the scene.

It’s interesting because if you go online, you’ll see stories about us having massive reshoots. There were really hardly any reshoots at all. I think we had two days of little pickups. It was barely anything.

They did pick up a couple of pieces that we needed with Harrison and, you know, things that we needed at the very end to graft onto scenes as opposed to reshooting scenes or anything like that.

MF: Well, for a movie of this size, that’s actually pretty remarkable that that’s all there was. We’ve talked a little bit about previs and all the work Mike had to do. We’ve talked about how you guys share the workload. But there is another editor who’s not able to join us today and that’s John Barry.

I caught his name in the additional editor credits in the midst of that eight-and-a-half minute credit roll. But there’s John Barry as additional editor and I believe he’s largely a VFX editor.

Dirk Westervelt: He’s in there twice. That’s one of the reasons the credits are so long.

Michael McCusker: He made demands.

Dirk Westervelt: He’s in there as VFX editor, also.

MF: VFX editor and then additional editor. It’s not uncommon. In fact, it happens all the time that an assistant editor gets bumped to additional editor based on the work they’re doing. But how does it work for a VFX editor that they were actually bumped up to additional?

Michael McCusker: They cut.

Dirk Westervelt: I don’t know if it’s that unusual. Some VFX editors have made the trip up to editor probably through an additional credit. Like Jim May, who you’ve probably spoken to in the past, was a VFX editor. I was a VFX editor. I went back and forth a little for a couple of years, and as Mike said more succinctly, they cut.

MF: Drew, I asked you about the sound effects and how evocative those are. The score itself certainly takes the nostalgia factor up exponentially when you hear the Raiders March, when you hear Marion’s Theme. I mean, you guys can’t help but score points off that stuff. But again, like we were saying about the Wilhelm Scream, you want to use it judiciously.

I think the Raiders March first pops up on the train sequence, and then Marion’s Theme comes up when Indy’s talking about where their relationship is. Were the moments where those motifs come up clearly scripted out by James because of how specific they are? Or was there some latitude for you guys to really feel out how and when to literally hit those notes?

Andrew Buckland: There was latitude, and I think a lot of the discovery of where to place the Indy theme came later when John [Williams] was involved. We have a great music editor, Ted Kaplan, who really took all of John’s previous scores and sort of mapped out the film.

And it’s funny because we really didn’t have a conversation about where we should place the Indy theme. I think the only placement we had originally early on was the train sequence, and we discovered later that there was a moment in the Tombs when Indy’s behind the sarcophagus and he’s shooting and initially you hear a trace of the theme, so it was pretty much a process of discovery.

Michael McCusker: One of the things that’s different about this movie is that we’re not wearing it on the sleeve. In the other movies, Indy goes on an adventure by choice. And in this movie, he’s reluctant to go into that. In fact, he says at the airport, ‘This isn’t an adventure.’ And so placing the Indy theme was tricky because it’s not like, ‘I’m going to go get the idol’ or ‘I’m going to go get the ark.’

He wasn’t doing that. He was trying to fix a problem. And so it changes the way that theme is used within the movie. We couldn’t just take it from a previous movie and dump it in. It didn’t work that easily. Motifs of it had to play, and that’s where John and Jim really figured that out.

Matt Feury: A concept that comes up a lot in these interviews is the notion of trusting your audience. In this film you’re bouncing around doing these time jumps, going to different locations. Other than the classic Indiana Jones map montage that everyone knows by now, you don’t really spoon feed the audience with titles about time or location.

The music, the production design, the dialogue, diegetic audio, insert shots, you let those things fill in the blanks for you. That said, was there ever any consideration given to ‘Maybe we should drop in a date here or a location title there’ just so the audience, for those who aren’t really sure when the astronauts came back, things like that?

Michael McCusker: In general, Jim doesn’t. As filmmakers, and working for Jim, I think we all come at these movies trying to figure out how not to do that. If it’s in a movie that we’ve worked on it’s because we absolutely have to.

I mean, if you were to look back on the movies that I worked on with Jim, he doesn’t do that. You make sure he’s planting stuff in the dialogue and mise en scene that actually says, ‘Here we are.’ And that’s where it allows the audience to figure it out. And so far we’ve been pretty successful.

Dirk Westervelt: Having said that, the maps are sort of an organic version of that in these movies. This was one of the things that Jim would just discount out of hand, but I thought that with the Moon Day thing at the beginning, “Space Oddity” is playing in the next scene when he’s making himself coffee.

They rushed it out before the album because they wanted it out before the astronauts were coming back in 1969. And I thought that there could be a radio DJ—Drew does this amazing old-timey radio voice—and I thought it could have been Drew doing a little ‘It’s Moon Day and here’s a new track from David Bowie’ to put a finer point on it.

Andrew Buckland: Jim is always about allowing the audience to discover. There’s a reveal. We’re constantly trying to reveal through the seen time period or place.

MF: Drew, as Dirk just said, you are a fantastic voiceover artist. I seem to recall back in Ford v Ferrari

Andrew Buckland: Yeah, it’s a track announcer. During the first race in Willow Springs. Voller is looking out the window of his hotel and I’m setting up the parade.

Matt Feury: Who edited the map montage?

Michael McCusker: We all did. John, too.

Dirk Westervelt: I’m remembering one of the movies that Jim threw out. It’s by Jean Vigo, L’Atalante, from 1934. It’s about a riverboat captain on a cargo ship and a romance. He threw that out especially for the boat stuff that Drew was working on, on deck. Anyway, it’s on a lot of great movie lists.

MF: Mike made a point of saying, “Dirk, when you were done on the film you said, ‘Hey, maybe next time I’ll get to edit a little dialogue,’ so maybe this question is for you.

You have a fair amount of dialogue in the film, both comedic quips and little bits of expository info that are being dropped in the midst of these very wild action sequences—the Tuk Tuk sequence, for example. Clarity in the dialogue is something that I would think you would have to be very careful with, because as fun as these action sequences are, you want the jokes to pay off and for all the expository info to be clocked by the audience.

Is that something you guys have to do a lot of passes on or be very cognizant of? Like, ‘Hey, I’m going to make sure that amid all this craziness going on, the audience picked up that funny one liner from Indy or that little bit of info that I need to know.’

Dirk Westervelt: You have to suppress the effects in those places when it’s in the middle of an action scene. And those character beats are what make the action scenes good.

There were more in the Tuk Tuk, for example, which I can speak to because I spent the most time in it, that I wish were still there because at the end of the day, it moves so fast and it almost feels overly compressed, even though there were moments that also felt a little long.

So there was always an impulse to compress it, but you lose some of the character dialogue moments in the process. We all had it throughout, with action and dialogue. You just have to make your choices on the stage.

MF: While we’re talking about dialogue, one aspect of the film that I think pretty much everyone is aware of, even if they haven’t seen it, is that it features a digitally de-aged Indiana Jones, as well as his nemesis. How does that aspect affect working with dialogue or doing scratch audio? Does that have any kind of impact on how you deal with those things because the face is being changed later on?

Andrew Buckland: I recall the process. We selected certain dailies, certain takes, and there was a de-aging process on those selected takes, the full takes, that we were able to cut with pretty early on.I think the turnaround was like five days.

It was temp, obviously, because it was like a big ice cube with his de-aged face on his shoulders. But it allowed us to understand how his face was going to react in his performance and we could actually make notes and convey changes that we maybe wanted to execute later with the vendor.

But the scene with the flashback with Basil, I remember getting those dailies of Harrison where I think I had almost all the takes de-aged, so it was great. It was a pretty seamless process. Jim could react immediately and pick the takes that he liked and the right performance for Harrison, because it does change the performance of Harrison in a lot of ways.

Dirk Westervelt: As far as the voice goes, there was discussion early on of, like, was he going to have to be processed somehow or were they going to do this thing where they sample everything he’s ever said in his younger years and then try to build a voice out of that or something? But Harrison was able to inflect his voice in such a way that it was approved as just his voice.

MF: Obviously, visual effects is something we could talk about a lot, but I want to go back to the sound because I think that’s something that gets overlooked in a film like this. And I thought maybe we could break it down by looking at one scene in particular, and that’s the motorcycle and horse chase throughout the astronaut parade in the beginning, in the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.

There’s about a million sound elements going on there. You have constant movement in the action. You have constant echo because all that sound is being bounced off the walls and the buildings in New York City. When we talk about visual effects we talk about how you build up a scene visually from the storyboards and previs and then the different layers and renders of VFX.

How does a sequence like that get built up sonically? Where do you start? How do you layer that up?

Andrew Buckland: There was on-set production sound and I remember when I was putting that scene together initially I was using it because I wanted to put it together as quickly as I could for Jim to get his eyes on it.

So I leaned into the production sound and recut that initially, and then the process was to start stripping that stuff away. Once we landed on an edit that we liked, we started stripping out that sound and replacing. Originally that scene was designed to be strictly sound effects with no music. Jim really wanted to explore that idea.Michael McCusker: Of diegetic music. The bands.

Andrew Buckland: Diegetic, right. The bands. No score, just whatever is playing in reality. Once we got the right horse hooves, that was the most difficult sound to get right.

And crowds were involved. Once we put in the crowds, the reaction of the crowds really came to life. And Don [Sylvester, supervising sound editor] had a lot to do with that so for a while it lived without score.

MF: How did that play?

Andrew Buckland: It played really well. I think. Jim, in that sequence, in the New York sequence, really had in his mind a very sort of 1970s aesthetic, like The Taking of Pelham 123, and he was dabbling in that kind of score idea, which is really interesting.

But we weren’t really using that as a temp. It was more of an idea, and then we ended up realizing that for the “Indy” of it all, John’s music was added and it did elevate the scene and place it in the Indy world, which I think was the reasoning behind it. But we didn’t have a lot of score for that initially.

Michael McCusker: I think that sequence is classic Jim for the way that the sound side works. He’s always been a guy who really wants the dynamic ranges of not only volume but also a specificity within action sequences. So he’s not somebody who just slathers on sound, like louder is better. He likes to get into these little pods of sound.

So although your experience is like, ‘Holy shit, we’ve stacked all the sound on top of you,’ if you watch the sequence, we have a moment with the astronauts, we get to the crowd, everything is specific, and then that creates the feeling of traveling down the street and actually creates excitement.

The trick to that is if you were to sit with him at the beginning of the process and say, ‘Where do you want to be specific?’ he wouldn’t be able to answer you. It’s something he’s discovering as he’s cutting the scene and sometimes discovering on the mix stage. Like, what’s important in this moment? And then he focuses on that and, again, that’s something he’s always done in his movies. And I agree with it.

Dirk Westervelt: Drew mentioned Pelham 123. That reminded me of your initial question about what references Jim was talking about. He talked about that kind of seventies stuff, Sidney Lumet, as well. So that was another point of reference.

MF: Mike, going back to Ford v Ferrari, we did our interview in your cutting room over at Fox. And you said something from that interview that’s stuck with me since then. It’s something that I’ve heard repeated by other editors and that is, often when an editor is cutting a film down to try and make it feel tighter, you actually make it feel longer because you took away pieces that either kept the audience engaged or helped them be more informed.

Were there scenes or story points in this film that you guys messed around with to get to that balance that was ultimately the right thing for this movie?

Michael McCusker: Yes, absolutely. It’s almost more a philosophical question than a literal one because I always find myself surprised. I think any editor does when you trim something and you feel more enmeshed in the scene, which in a weird way feels like you’re more engaged and having an experience, but you’re actually making it shorter.

I think sometimes the editing process, if you are too literal about it, it’s like, ‘Well, you’ve got to make it longer.’ I just did a fix-it job after I finished Indy and had this conversation with the other editor. ‘I was trying to make this thing feel more, so I put all this extra stuff in.’

And I said, ‘Oh, that’s the stuff I took out.’ It wasn’t a rivalrous thing. And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I know it works, but it’s antithetical and it’s just messing with time,’ which is what we all do. Sometimes you cut something down and it feels—I wouldn’t say longer is the right word—it just feels like you’re more in the movie.

Sometimes making something longer is what the movie needs.

And sometimes making something longer is what the movie needs. You need a moment. You need to allow the character to feel for a minute. So it’s a weird dance.

MF: One aspect of this franchise I wanted to discuss before we wrap things up was the evolving tone of it. You know, Raiders had the famous climax with the three main bad guys either melting, exploding or shriveling up. Temple of Doom really ratcheted up the gore even more to the point that it actually inspired the PG-13 tag that your film now has.

Last Crusade was not so bad other than a lot of rats and the bad guy growing old and turning to dust. Dial of Destiny, I think to me, was a much…gentler is the wrong word, but what did he say to you about the tone of this film in terms of how should it be now with Indiana Jones at the age that he is compared to the kind of things we saw in the first three films?

Dirk Westervelt: I mean, I was curious how it was going to be coming into it, because I came in a little later than these guys. And having had the experience with Ford v Ferrari for a little bit, but that was kind of a separate kind of thing and Logan was such a departure in tone from other movies, in the franchise and in the genre and stuff.

So I was curious about what this was going to be. You know, is Jim going to really put a big imprint and change the vibe of the whole thing and make it like the “Logan of the Indiana Jones franchise”? I didn’t assume that wasn’t going to be the case. And I knew they were going to have to stick to a PG-adjacent rating. As far as the violence, there were a couple of things that, you know, inevitably just had to be toned down for ratings reasons.

There’s just certain things that you can’t show and maintain a PG rating. It’s such a storied franchise and you have to kind of work within its bounds and yet Jim is a director who brings his imprint to things. So there’s a dance that had to occur on some level.

MF: So in the film, the Dial of Destiny is an ancient device that reveals tears in the fabric of time, essentially enabling time travel. Let’s just say that you each have half of the Dial of Destiny, which, unlike the film, still works, except you can only go backwards. You guys have the half that lets you go backwards in time.

Andrew Buckland: Do I have one half and Dirk has another?

MF: You each have the same.

Dirk Westervelt: So we really have like a sixth.

MF: Yeah, I knew I shouldn’t have done this. You each have the same half of the Dial of Destiny enabling you to go backwards in time. If you could use the dial to relive a moment in your career specifically, you know, either just to relive a high point you want to enjoy again or change a moment or decision you made in your career—this could be a good thing where you want to enjoy something even more, or it could be something you wish you could change— for each of you, what would that be?

[Editor’s note: The hilarity that ensues after this defies transcription. Do yourself a favor and listen to the podcast.]

Matt Feury

Matt Feury is host and producer of The Rough Cut podcast, as well as the Sr. Director, Market Solutions – Video & Post for Avid.