Q4 2022

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Woo with Harrison Ford. P H OT O S C O U R T E S Y J O E W O O J R . Woo in his edit bay. 73 W I N T E R Q 4 I S S U E U N I O N M A D E ture films. Richard Chew, the editor of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," was another role model for my filmmaking ambition. I got lucky. I was surf ing one day at San Onofre State Park when I recognized John Milius, known as a member of the USC Mafia. He had recently screened his latest film, "The Wind and The Lion" at USC. I approached him on the beach and told him I was a cinema-school alumnus. We spoke briefly about the mediocre San Onofre waves. I bragged about the waves I had enjoyed in El Salvador on a surf trip. Milius' ears perked up when I mentioned El Salvador, and he asked if I had any photos of the surf. I did. He told me to contact him at the studio the following week. At Milius' studio office, we viewed my slide show of several surfing spots in El Salvador with the film's producers. A film scout trip to El Salvador was set in motion. The scout was a success; several Salvadoran locations would be in Milius' surf movie classic, "Big Wednesday." After our meeting, the producers made a decision to hire me when editorial began. I made sure they knew I wasn't in the union, but they felt they could work around the union and hire me anyway. But my luck turned bad as "Big Wednesday" began filming. The producers said hiring me was a no-go. A while later, I got a call from a USC alumnus to replace him as a boom operator on an independent film called "Opening Night," directed by John Cassavetes. I was happy to get the work, but it wasn't in editing. I took the job, met the editor and

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