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UP IN THE AIR

Landing
As production wound down, Jason Reitman reunited with another longtime partner he considers essential to his work: Dana Glauberman, who edited both Juno and Thank You for Smoking. Says Reitman of their close collaboration: "I can't imagine anyone I'd want to share an editing room with more than Dana. She understands how I shoot, she understands my visual language and she's able to get right at the tone and style that I want immediately.”

Glauberman, who also served as an assistant editor on several of Ivan Reitman's films, has known Jason since he was in high school, developing a friendship that has led to a deep creative trust. She recognized his touches throughout the new script. "I fell in love with the script for Up in the Air immediately. There were a lot of Jason-isms, great characters and great heart. There is more drama in this one than in his other films and the emotions are on a different level.”

The work of editing, Glauberman says, was like piecing together a narrative jigsaw puzzle, a process she finds especially fun with Reitman. "Jason and I have worked together so closely that there are times we actually read each other's minds and finish each other's sentences. It's a great director-editor relationship because we really understand each other and each other's styles. There were a lot of challenges on this movie, balancing all the levels of character, and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished.”

Glauberman was quite moved while sifting through the hours of footage of real people reacting to the loss of their jobs. "We would have tears rolling down our faces watching this stuff because it's just heartbreaking,” she says. "It makes you feel so fortunate not only to have a job but also to have a career that you love.”

Reitman put the finishing touches on Up in the Air with a soundtrack of hand-picked songs. "For me the soundtrack is a character in the film,” he says. "I start thinking about the music very early on and while I'm writing the script I'm putting together an iTunes library of all the songs I want to use. I ultimately landed on ten songs that really speak to the nature of this film.”

The film opens with a funky, contemporary cover of Woody Guthrie's working-class American classic "This Land Is Your Land” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, setting the story into motion. Says Reitman: "It's a really lovely, soulful entrance to the journey of this film about the American landscape.”

That journey is one that Reitman took along with Ryan Bingham. He sums up: "I've made three films and, with each film, I started with a question I was asking myself. The first film was a question about my own personal politics. My second one had to do with becoming a father and growing up. And this one has to do with the biggest question of all: how to spend your life, whether or not to spend it with people or alone, whether to escape or not. And as I made this movie it confirmed the ideas that I felt burning inside – that is that life is better with company, even if you believe you don't need anybody.”

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