Fall 2015

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63 FALL 2015 / CINEMONTAGE just wants to stay focused on shooting. So during production, I'm assembling the material based on the notes I've taken during dailies screenings. Once the dailies screenings stop — and it seems they nearly always do, eventually — I have to rely on the script supervisor's notes and my gut instinct. Once we get into post, however, Quentin is in the room as often as possible. It makes sense; he puts his heart and soul into writing and directing the material, and he wants to put the same amount of care into the editing process. It never becomes a slog. We have a lot of fun working with the footage, exploring different takes, laughing our asses off at highly inappropriate moments in the picture, and, of course, wasting too much time talking about movies. But he's incredibly dedicated to the process. We'll work side-by-side for anywhere from eight to 10 hours. Then he'll go home and watch the dailies for the section we'll be tackling the next day, taking detailed notes, finding his top two or three performances for any given moment. While he's doing that, I'll be tweaking the work we did that day, adjusting the sound effects and mixing it, and then the next day, we pick up wherever we left off. Whenever we finish a scene, we'll bring in about half of the crew to watch it and to give us their thoughts. This was something that Quentin and Sally would do all the time when I worked as an assistant on Kill Bill, and it really made us feel as though we were all making a creative contribution to the movie. Now that I'm in the editor's chair, I find those screenings invaluable. CM: We've talked about the unique nature of this ultra-wide picture and bringing back this vintage format, but what about the role of sound? How was it used to help tell Tarantino's story? FR: The contributions of our sound editorial department, headed by supervisors Wylie Stateman and Harry Cohen, were huge. Quentin knew from the beginning that for much of our time spent in Minnie's Haberdashery, he would not be using music. He wanted sound effects to carry us, and to create tension in the small space. We talked about the element of the wind from the very beginning. There is a rapidly escalating blizzard just outside throughout the majority of our time at Minnie's, and we would be using the wind and the clatter of shutters and other storm-related effects to fill the backgrounds and essentially act as music. CM: We mentioned Sally Menke earlier, who tragically passed away five years ago. When you worked as her assistant on the Kill Bill movies, what did you learn from her about your craft in general, and in terms of how best to collaborate with Tarantino specifically? FR: Sally was a brilliant editor, and I had my "What Would Sally Do?" sign hanging beside my Avid from the first day of shooting. I can't tell you how many times I turned to that sign in the hopes that it might give me an idea. Sally had an innate understanding of how important knowledge of the character's motivations is to putting a scene together. All I can do is attempt to emulate her. One of the things she taught me about Quentin's work was that he comes up with neat, out-of-the-box ideas, but he'll only do them once per movie. Being aware of that pushed me to search for things while I was working on my assembly — an unexpected match cut between two different scenes, or an odd sound effects choice, for example. And even if they never made it past my assembly, having that "anything goes" attitude kept me in the right frame of mind for this picture. f The Hateful Eight. The Weinstein Company

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