What are the similarities between Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts? Each is a pivotal entry into a sizable cinematic universe, each is a two-hour plus monster of a blockbuster, and each benefits from the skills of some of the biggest names in the business. Each film also has at least one Academy Award winner: Charlize Theron in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Michelle Yeoh in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
DAY'S SCREENRANT VIDEO
Alain Fleury, a young director who worked as an assistant editor on Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and an assistant VFX editor on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is another thing that all three films have in common. Fleury, a Haitian-American who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, collaborated with Ryan Coogler to ensure that the Prince Toussaint moments in Wakanda Forever were as realistic as possible. In addition, Fleury served as the main editor of the upcoming Haiti-set movie Restaveks.
Related: Is a sequel to Transformers: Rise of the Beasts in the works? Cast, Story, and All We Know
Alain Fleury discussed his work on Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, joining his dream project, and other topics in an interview with Screen Rant.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts & More with Alain Fleury
the robot cheetah from Transformers: Rise of the Beasts next to a vehicle
Display Rant: The wall art behind you is excellent.
Alain Fleury: Yeah, man, pretty much this is my world.
So, in addition to working on all of these projects, you're also a fan.
Alain Fleury: That's right. I started out as a fan before realizing, "Hey. How do I begin working on these issues?
Did you always know that you wanted to work in editing, or were you initially more interested in another aspect of the movie-making process?
Alain Fleury: I attended film school to learn about the industry as a whole, so I had the opportunity to work in each department. I wanted to direct while I was attending Full Sail University. I've directed a number of various shorts, music videos, and other things of the sort, and at some point I thought, "What would make me a better director is if I really know what I needed in the edit." I put a lot of effort into learning editing in order to become a better director, and I quickly developed a passion for it.
You hear tales of people carrying cameras around when they were young. When you were growing up, was that you?
Alain Fleury: I'm positive that was me. I used to use my aunt's old VHS camcorders and other equipment and start creating movies and home films. Since I'm the oldest, I'd ask my younger siblings to play my characters; they were essentially coerced into it. I would stage a complete play for my grandparents.
In addition, my family has a Haitian heritage. My family wanted me to understand the language and culture of Haiti and learn French and Creole, so I spent a portion of my youth living and attending school there. There weren't many cinemas in the area. Because I was born there, I divide my time between Haiti and New York. Every time I visited New York, I would spend the entire summer seeing all these big-budget movies. I developed a fondness for popular movies, from Jurassic Park to The Ninja Turtles.
When I would return to Haiti, where many people lack the means to visit a movie theater or the opportunity to travel, we would have a campfire in front of my grandma's beach house, and I recall explaining these films in great detail when I was around six or seven years old. I'd begin at the beginning. I would say, "So the title logo comes in," and I would go on to describe the entire movie as though they were seeing it. I therefore believe that I have always been a storyteller. Storytelling has always come naturally to me.
When I was reading the credits for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, I saw that you were a member of a sizable editing crew. Can you explain how your work fits into the overall scheme of something that significant?
Alain Fleury: On a project as significant as Black Panther, the team is made up of several individuals that work together to bring this vision to life. We had two distinct lead editors when I joined, Mike Shawver and Jen Lame. Jen later joined Oppenheimer, which I'm happy about, and Kelley Dixon later joined the group as our other editor.
We served as the editors' assistants. At least six assistant editors were present. My position as the second assistant editor was between the first and second assistant editors. I was in charge of all the daily shoots in Tyler Perry's studio in Atlanta, where I also got to travel. In essence, they would shoot on location, and I would ready the editor by bringing all the dailies into the AVID system.
When I arrived, it was still 6 a.m. over there because I was three hours ahead of them on the East Coast and the editors were here on the Disney lot. I would have all the film prepared by the time they arrived at my office at 9 a.m. so they could immediately begin cutting. I went through it and double-checked that we had all the necessary tapes and hadn't missed anything on the set. I've seen each and every performance from the movie. Before the editors ever arrived, I would correct any mistakes if there were any. Additionally, I would note where all of their nice takes were for them.
I spent most of my time doing that in Atlanta, but after we arrived in Los Angeles, we really got into it. I provided some sound design assistance. We would sound design to complete a first pass as it was temporary. Then it would travel to Skywalker Ranch, where our actual sound design was being created. I would essentially be working with sound, dealing with music, and going pretty much anywhere they needed to go every day.
They also trusted me to assist with the sequences because a portion of Wakanda Forever took place in Haiti. During the ADR sessions, I was able to assist. I had the opportunity to contribute to the discussion between Divine, the young kid who played T'Challa, and Letitia.
In essence, were you assisting with line delivery and accents?
Alain Fleury: Almost everything. The actors would question me, "How would you pronounce this?" as I sat there next to Ryan. or "How do you put that?" They would simply repeat what I had said for them to the end. I contributed to making sure it felt genuine.
When asked what your dream project would be in an interview you gave in 2021, you responded with Black Panther. At the time, were you putting it to use?
Alain Fleury: At the time, I wasn't even employed by Marvel. Before even Doctor Strange's appearance in the Multiverse of Madness, it existed. At the time, I was still employed by Hasbro and doing animation work. I've always been a firm believer in the adage "What is yours will be yours," as well as the notion that anything you put out into the cosmos can come to pass.
My lifelong ambition is to work on Black Panther. I attend Comic-Con every year and have done so long before I began working on these movies since I am a huge Marvel fanatic. I recall dozing in the wait to enter Hall H when the first Avengers was released. It's absurd because the queue was so long when the panel took place that they had to stop it before I could even enter Hall H that year. I was devastated, but I eventually thought, "You know what? I'll merely report to work for the organization.
The Beasts' Risen Scourge 2023
The next film is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. You were born in Brooklyn, which is where a large portion of this movie is set, so you already had that experience. Your first union job was on the Transformers animated program. Did you feel at home working on the movie for those reasons?
Mr. Alain Fleury Yes, I once again felt at home. I worked on the animated series Robots in Disguise, and I am in possession of a comprehensive encyclopedia on all the Autobots. I am familiar with their workings and all of their members. I heard Steven Caple, Jr., one of my favorite directors, was going to direct Transformers when the opportunity arose, and I immediately said, "I have to work with him. I must collaborate with this group. "Yes, this is my vibe," I thought as I read what they were doing with the story. I enjoy this. We're going in a new direction with leads who are people of color. Everything I adore about it is true: it's set in New York, it's from the 1990s, when I was a child, and it's hip-hop.
Transformers began to wane around the time Beast Wars was released. They wanted to essentially remake the wheel because the enthusiasm was waning. They created Beast Wars, which gave the Transformers series fresh life. That's how I felt about this movie; the Maximals are here, and we're reigniting the flame for the entire Transformers series. I was thrilled to take part because of this.
I also have a question regarding Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness since I want to know how VFX editing differs from photo editing. That movie in particular has some extremely great effects-heavy parts. The battle of the musical notes still occupies my thoughts; it's fascinating. How distinct was that encounter?
Mr. Alain Fleury You serve as the liaison between the editor and the vendors, such as ILM and the businesses that create the film's stunning visual effects. You're working quite hard only to demonstrate the concept, so I recommend making some copies of the background—the blue screen, for example—to demonstrate the precise look we're striving for.
Additionally, you are keeping track of each and every VFX shot in the movie. It was a lot; if I recall correctly, Dr. Strange had close to 3,000 VFX shots. There are some shots that viewers mistakenly believe lack visual enhancements. We have cosmetic tweaks, set extensions, and a variety of other things going on that can appear to be a typical small chat. For instance, the exterior of the pizza business where Strange is speaking has a lot of green or blue screen as a background. Although it appears to be merely a brief, everyday discussion, those pictures still contain visual effects. Additionally, most of the time Strange's cape is created using CGI and visual effects, thus each time you see Strange, a visual effect shot is included.
It was wonderful to see Sam Raimi give this character his own spin as I've always loved his movies. One of my favorites was the combat sequence to music. That scene changed drastically. It just kept becoming bigger and bigger, and seeing it change was breathtaking.
At this point, you have been employed in the sector for around 11 years, but not for 50. Do you have any ideas or recommendations for others who want to start editing?
Mr. Alain Fleury Key is consistency. I make an effort to remain committed to my objectives and where I'm going. You'll see me working as an assistant editor on certain projects, and as the lead editor on others. Currently, I'm editing a feature film that I'm working on. Restaveks is the name of the show, and it is set in Haiti. I'm looking forward to that one, which is presently in post-production.
Additionally, I'm developing a short film called Vigilante. It's a really good dark superhero drama. I can't wait to tell everyone about this. That's what you'd get if you combined The Boys and the movie Juice; it would be great. I say this to demonstrate my consistency and desire to complete the work at hand.
If I had any advice, it would be to always look for new tasks to work on. Instead of waiting for someone to present me with an opening, I attempt to forge my own road and seize my own chance. As you are aware, the industry is currently largely inactive due to the writer's strike. I won't be standing around doing nothing. Wherever I can, I'm also going to strive to create my own possibilities. I'm constantly looking for the next assignment, even if it means editing material that has already been shot or something similar.
Black Panther was crossed off. What is currently the ideal project?
Alain Fleury: I want to make a terrifying movie. I haven't decided what it will be yet, but I want to do something novel, different, and exciting. The Conjuring was still new when James Wan debuted it. Because I'm a major lover of horror movies as well, I'd like to locate that kind of inventive horror movie.
Optimus Primal and Airazor can be seen acting in the live-action film Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will take audiences on a '90s globetrotting adventure with the Autobots and introduce a completely new faction of Transformers - the Maximals - to join them as allies in the ongoing battle for earth. This is a return to the action and spectacle that have captivated moviegoers around the world.
See our previous interviews for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts here: