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November 2013

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lies are happening. She does that. We worked on The Descendants. We met on a movie called Management, years ago. She's pretty important to our cutting room. We also have an apprentice, named Brian Bautista, who did a lot of comps for us, and cleaned up some shots for us in the offline process. And then we had a PA, who would get us coffee or make us martinis [laughs]." Post: How much creative input do you have as the editor? TENT: "I think a lot of my input is in there, but it's in conjunction with Alexander. We look at it and say, 'This part of the movie is slow, we've got to pick up the pace, or slow it down.' He and I go back and forth. I'm always worried that it's moving too slowly, and he's worried that if it moves too fast, you lose emotion, so we are always going back and forth on what the right amount of time is to at that point, knowing that we'll tighten them and trim them. I also put everything in that he wants to see — everything that he shot, all of the lines. Even though I know we are probably going to drop a line, I'll put it in there." Post: Are you using music during your edit? TENT: "That's a good question. [For] Nebraska, I did cut [with] temp music, but I was having real hard time finding the right music. It was a tricky one. Alexander, too, was like, 'I'm not quite sure what the music is here?' We brought our music editor, Richard Ford, on early for him to start looking for the sound of what the music would be. He found this band, the Tin Hat Trio — Mark Orton's band — that was the greatest find. We used some of their cues for temp, and we said, 'Let's get it.' That wound up being the music for the movie. And for a few places, where we needed something specific made and didn't have a source cue, he wrote a couple of pieces for us too. They also took some of their old tracks and tweaked them a little bit. It's amazing what they did. But originally, it was a difficult movie to find the right music for. A lot of what I was originally temping with was by Leo Kottke, which worked a little bit, but it was kind of fast. The movie is dealing with old people and old towns, and it wasn't quite Editor Kevin Tent was called on by director Alexander Payne once right. It was a tough one." again. The two have collaborated on a number of films, and Tent Post: How was the film says Payne is very much involved in the picture edit. onlined? TENT: "We did go back to hold things and let things play out. In the early the original files, and Technicolor did all that stages, he likes to see what I come up with on work. Then we went to a big DI stage and got my own, so I'll just basically put scenes togeth- our color/black & white timing done there. er very rough and they are usually very long That's how we did it, all at Technicolor." Post: Did working with black & white footage influence you as an editor? TENT: "The black & white is really beautiful. And it was interesting to cut with because I think your eye focused on faces a little more than normally you do in color. There are less distractions. My eye, at least, goes to faces more. And we have great faces in the movie — beautiful and intense and old. And the camera seems to really embrace them." Post: What are you using for monitoring? TENT: "We have a small, cool, little Sony monitor and then a big one, maybe a 60-inch? And we'd have screenings in the cutting room with friends and family on that, and it was good enough to give them a sense of what the movie would be like." Post: Is Alexander Payne involved closely in the edit? TENT: "Our relationship is that he is in the cutting room all the time. Every relationship is different with a director, but Alexander likes to be there pretty much every day, unless he is out of town or something. He was there, going through dailies and going through the cut, and changing, tweaking, watching and editing. He loves editing and he's a good editor himself." Post: Do you feel pressure when the director is sitting right there as you edit? TENT: "It's not pressure at all. It's collaborative. There is pressure for us to get it done, and he feels pressure. He's just a terrific director and a great person. Even if he is feeling pressure, it's not like he takes it out on anybody. We know we have work to do, so we put our heads down and go to work. It's actually kind of relaxed." Post: What's next for you? TENT: "I pick up little jobs here and there. I'm waiting for next big thing to come along.You never know when that will be." Shot with Arri's Alexa camera, Nebraska is presented in black & white. Tent worked with B&W footage from the beginning. Post • November 2013 17

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