Copyedit the World: Evita

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Today I visited  Wikipedia’s featured articles page, which explained how these articles are judged to be some of the best Wikipedia has to offer, and are used by editors as writing examples. This demonstrates not only that styles and goals differ, but also how multiple passes can provide additional insights on ways to improve or streamline content.

Today’s editing exercise comes from the August 16 featured article on the 1996 movie adaptation of Evita starring Madonna. I didn’t change very much in the writing from these introductory paragraphs, as they were already pretty tight and effective. Mostly I felt the original second paragraph was unnecessarily detailed for an introduction, and the information it contains should be relegated to the main part of the article. So I cut it entirely and divided the third paragraph into two shorter chunks.

Again, I did not read the article in depth to evaluate whether the existing introduction captures the most interesting/relevant information. I plan to do that for a future editing exercise.

Original (427 words)

Evita is a 1996 American musical drama film based on the 1976 concept album of the same name produced by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, which also inspired a 1978 musical. The film depicts the life of Eva Perón, detailing her beginnings, rise to fame, political career and death at the age of 33. Directed by Alan Parker, and written by Parker and Oliver Stone, Evita stars Madonna as Eva, Jonathan Pryce as Eva’s husband Juan Perón, and Antonio Banderas as Ché, an everyman who acts as the film’s narrator.

Following the release of the 1976 album, a film adaptation of the musical became mired in development hell for more than fifteen years, as the rights were passed on to several major studios, and various directors and actors considered. In 1993, producer Robert Stigwood sold the rights to Andrew G. Vajna, who agreed to finance the film through his production company Cinergi Pictures, with the Walt Disney Studios distributing the film through Hollywood Pictures. After Stone stepped down from the project in 1994, Parker agreed to write and direct the film. Recording sessions for the songs and soundtrack took place at CTS Studios in London, England, roughly four months before filming. Parker worked with Rice and Lloyd Webber to compose the soundtrack, reworking the original songs by creating the music first and then the lyrics. They also wrote a new song, “You Must Love Me”, for the film. Principal photography commenced in February 1996 with a budget of $55 million, and concluded in May of that year. Filming took place on locations in Buenos Aires and Budapest, and on soundstages at Shepperton Studios. The film’s production in Argentina was met with controversy, as the cast and crew faced protests over fears that the project would tarnish Eva’s image.

Evita premiered at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, on December 14, 1996. Hollywood Pictures gave the film a platform release, which involved releasing it in select cities before expanding distribution in the following weeks. The film had a limited release on December 25, 1996, before opening nationwide on January 10, 1997. It grossed over $141 million worldwide. The film received a mixed critical response; reviewers praised Madonna’s performance, the music, costume designs and cinematography, while criticism was aimed at the pacing and direction. Evita received many awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song (“You Must Love Me”), and three Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Original Song (“You Must Love Me”) and Best Actress – Comedy or Musical (Madonna).

Edited (210 words)

Evita is a 1996 American musical drama film based on the 1976 concept album of the same name produced by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The film depicts the life of Eva Perón, detailing her beginnings, rise to fame, political career and death at age 33. Directed by Alan Parker, and written by Parker and Oliver Stone, Evita starred Madonna as Eva, Jonathan Pryce as Eva’s husband Juan Perón, and Antonio Banderas as Ché, an everyman who acts as the film’s narrator.

Hollywood Pictures gave Evita a platform release, which involved releasing it in select cities before expanding distribution in the following weeks. The film premiered at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, on December 14, 1996 and then had a limited release on December 25, 1996 before opening nationwide on January 10, 1997. It grossed over $141 million worldwide.

The film received a mixed critical response. Reviewers praised Madonna’s performance, the music, costume designs and cinematography while aiming criticism at the pacing and direction. Evita received many awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song (“You Must Love Me”), and three Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Original Song (“You Must Love Me”) and Best Actress – Comedy or Musical (Madonna).

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RMK

Writer, editor, strategic thinker. Knitter, learner, intermittent runner. Exuberant, joyful, and full of curiosity (and opinions) about most everything.

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RMK

Writer, editor, strategic thinker. Knitter, learner, intermittent runner. Exuberant, joyful, and full of curiosity (and opinions) about most everything.

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