Fall 2016

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69 Q4 2016 / CINEMONTAGE 'Here was a director who knew how his film should be edited.' I liked that the director knew a little bit about editing, and I felt encouraged. I loved editing that movie. It wasn't necessarily just the performances or the hooks, the usual things that get you into it. I was doing it completely for the camera work — the way he used the camera, and that was very exciting." Still, Greenberg insists the fact that he worked with De Palma five times — more than he worked with any other single director — "was just a coincidence." Indeed, he emphasizes that he is an editor who never pursued a single collaborative partner on which to hang his hat. "I don't think of myself that way in a working sense," he offers. "I don't think I generate a lot of confidence in directors in that way. Consequently, although maybe Brian De Palma is an exception, I don't think I inspire that kind of 'I'll just continue working with him' thing with directors. But then, I never wanted to do that anyway." Indeed, Greenberg says he doesn't view "collaboration" as being just about his relationship with the director. Nor does he express common concerns among editors about being asked to re-cut his work, or even having others re-cut his work. He's experienced it all over the years — from having wide latitude to having almost no latitude at all. And it's all fine with him, he says, because, in his view, the nature of a collaborative art like filmmaking involves a work being in a sense passed around and "embellished" by different people repeatedly, a process he says he loves. "Usually, the task goes from one to the other, so that at every step in passing it, it is embellished and then witnessed by other people, whatever the embellishment was," he explains. "That is the kind of collaboration filmmaking is. It isn't a sure thing, but it is a wonderful thing. Being able to pass a responsibility, and different ways of seeing things, from one person to the other, even if it goes on and on — I think that's terrific. Because, if you have an open mind, what you can do is change what you had done originally, and make it something you could never have thought of on your own. That's why I'm never threatened by anybody who wants to re-edit my work. I feel like maybe their ideas will spark more ideas in me." WHAT'S NEXT? All of which begs the question, what's next for Jerry Greenberg? He insists he's still available, having most recently co-edited the remake of Point Break in 2015. He's come to love nonlinear digital editing after making the transition long ago, because digital editing "allows me to see what I'm thinking" during the cutting process. But at the same time, he's in no rush to jump into anything one way or another at the age of 80. He feels we live in a society where "everyone wants quick, because time is money and all of that, and sometimes that leads to them saying, 'That's good enough,' as in whatever you come up with [the first time] is good enough. Well, I don't do quick." Therefore, when asked what exactly his current plans are, Greenberg, in typical, wry fashion, answers as truthfully as he can. "I'll be having lunch," he promises with a gentle smile. f

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