By Pete Jones | September 24, 2003

Again, I don’t know if it sounds like the dumbass Greenlight guy has no clue because it seems logical that every director would cut each scene to be the best it could be. But after seeing how the film looks and feels, a great individual scene might get edited to help story or pace or character development. For example, there’s this crazy peeping Tom scene and at the end of the scene my character Bobby Riley does something funny. If this scene were to be an island unto itself, that’s how it would end. But a different shot of an empty room with lots of screaming cuts better to the next scene and so my character’s funny moment gets cut.

One thing my editor and I have had to do is make sure we refer to the character I am playing by the character’s name Bobby Riley. Because no matter how much I try to check my ego and insecurities at the door, when the editor says “Dude, you really suck in this scene,” it doesn’t exactly feel good. I find myself saying things like “Bobby just doesn’t seem to have the acting chops” or “Bobby really didn’t bring the goods in this scene” and somehow I feel as if I’m speaking of the jackass actor as somebody else. Again, maybe I’m spending too much time in a dark room with another man, but it seems to work for us.

I didn’t realize the people on my crew were actually reading these columns, so the one where I ranked the most important members to me was probably a mistake. Biagi would sarcastically end every conversation with something like “…anything I can do as your #3 but maybe you should check with #2 or #1 first.” Or Peach would update me on whatever problem he was solving and walk away with an under-his-breath “not bad for the #4 guy on your crew.” So I would recommend to all future filmmakers that having a reality TV show follow your every misstep is not good. Doing a weekly diary while shooting isn’t too much better. Now that I’m in the editing room, I’d like to amend my rankings of the most important crew members. The editor is still number one (only because I’m spending 15 hours a day with him and he might be reading this), but Biagi, the cinematographer, is number two. And the AD, Bruce Terris, who is so important during shooting, has now fallen off the charts in editing because how could he have not seen that the scene we spent a whole afternoon on was a total waste of time? And of course I blame the producer also for not having raised more money to give us more time to shoot the important scenes that the AD scheduled too lightly. Blaming others helps me sleep at night.

One last thing before I head off to the editing cave. I was happy to read that Film Threat writer Stina Chyn’s review of Lost in Translation was so positive. I saw this movie on my final day off before the last week of shooting and I loved it. It’s the type of movie I wish I was capable of writing and directing and hope some day I have the wisdom and patience to do. It’s amazing how a great film can turn my jealousy of Sofia Coppola’s bloodlines to utter respect and admiration for a truly gifted filmmaker. I wonder if she needs a production assistant for her next movie?

The wrap party is over and now Pete is in a race to edit the film and meet the Sundance submission deadline of October 3rd. Will he make it in time! Visit each Wednesday for the next exciting entry (or depressing entry, depending on how you look at it) in PETE JONES’ “DOUBTING RILEY” DIARY!

Discuss Pete Jones’ “Doubting Riley Diary” in Film Threat’s brand new BACK TALK section! Click here>>>

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