In 1999, Graham received a bachelor's degree in History and Film from New York University. His first editing credit was for The Last Minute (2001), an independent film that was written, directed, and edited by Stephen Norrington. Graham was initially hired to assist Norrington with editing, but ultimately shared the editing credit. Graham subsequently worked on two films with director Bryan Singer, X2 (2003) and Superman Returns (2006), both co-edited with John Ottman. Graham also edited the Singer-directed pilot for the television program House (2004).
Elliot Graham's editing for Gus Van Sant's 2008 film Milk was nominated for the Academy Award for Film Editing and for the American Cinema Editors Eddie Award. Several critics have written about the editing of Milk, which intermixes archival footage from the era of the film with footage of the actors.
The challenge was to incorporate so many archival sequences without weighing the story down -- use too much, and the film could start to feel like a documentary. "The trick with the stock footage was when to use it and how much of it to use," Graham says, pointing to the sequence in which Milk and his colleagues await the results of California's Proposition 6 vote as one that makes inventive use of historical records. Here Graham keeps cutting back and forth between news footage from Election Day, with person-on-the street interviews and poll numbers, to Sean Penn and the other actors sweating it out.— Winnipeg Free Press
Filmography (as editor)
The director of each film is indicated in parenthesis.
- The Last Minute (Norrington, 2001; co-editor with Stephen Norrington)
- X2 (Singer, 2003; co-editor with John Ottman)
- The Greatest Game Ever Played (Paxton, 2005)
- Superman Returns (Singer, 2006; co-editor with John Ottman)
- 21 (Luketic, 2008)
- Milk (Van Sant, 2008)
- Restless (Van Sant, 2011)
- Trash (Daldry, 2014)
- Steve Jobs (Boyle, 2015)
- "Elliot Graham". Film in Focus.
- Restuccio, Daniel (June 1, 2006). "The Editing Process: A Q&A With Superman Returns' Elliot Graham". Post Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18.
- Rowe, Robin (May–June 2006). "Post-Production Does the Heavy Lifting on Superman Returns". Editors Guild Magazine. 27 (3).
- Caranicas, Peter (December 10, 2008). "Time-jumping movies challenge editors". Variety.
- "Stock footage enriches 'Milk': Editor Graham uses news as narrative tool". Winnipeg Free Press. February 9, 2009.
- Elliot Graham at the Internet Movie Database
- Krickl, Tony (January 28, 2009). "Claremont native happy to be part of the Oscar party". Claremont Courier. Archived from the original on 2009-02-22.
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