Moving Pictures
Feb 23, 2024, 06:29AM

Collaborating with Da Boss

Editing the movie on a tighter deadline than we thought and having some fun.

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Da Boss likes to fill me in when I’m least interested. Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning covfefe, etc. It’s important you write these things down before you forget them because it’s all just numbers in a computer somewhere. Where?

LOCATION, EXTERIOR: ALIEN OBSERVATORY (I’m not a screenwriter—unlike DA BOSS—so if I’m leaving a bit too much to the imagination, just know how little of the words actually make it onto the screen).

A fantastic looking hen named MONICA sits at a computer editing console, working on a scene of a group of women SMASHING A COUCH. She SITS in a HIGH CHAIR like a BABY.

(You have to throw in a little self-deprecation to keep the human beings coming. Just because I’m feathered somehow I’m not allowed on the train.)

And so you understand the craft of Hollywood screenwriting. Syd Field knows nothing. I could’ve told you to write everything in beats of three, that’s just musical, man. It’s a series of threes. Da Boss wanted to know why I was talking to myself and I said his movie made me make up dialogue where there was none. “But I told you, we’re bringing in the actors to dub their parts?” What parts? “I mean they do talk in certain places, look.” Some of these segments did have dialogue—“Anna,” “Sipper of Tea,” “Scream 22,” “I’m Glad It Wasn’t Me”—but many didn’t, and were shot more or less as music videos.

The movie opens with an interior sequence followed by the titular musical sequence, and then another music video montage set to a verse-chorus-verse instrumental. I don’t know what I’m working with, but all of that was part of the map that Da Boss gave me at the beginning about the structure of the movie. He had a crooked spine of a movie, but a spine it was, and more than enough footage for a feature. For once, Da Boss had more footage than he needed. Plenty was useless, though, and as we’ve gotten further into editing, Da Boss has developed a despair about “One Day in New York City, August 2022,” a shoot that he remembered went “perfectly” but, as so often, when you have fun on “the set” (Tribeca), you won’t see any fun on the screen. And there’s plenty of dead footage sitting around from New York.

But others are just waiting to be built, slid into places like pyramid stones. “Sipper of Tea” is one, “Suddenly, Last Decade” is, too. But the latter’s a problem: one of the close-ups is particularly unflattering to the unfortunate actress. We agree without hesitation it’ll have to be cut, along with much of the “logical” structure of the segment. Maybe it should be incorporated into the final montage? Perhaps in pieces, but it should remain in the main sequence, even if abbreviated, so says Da Boss. I make the note to make the change.

And I’ve got a lot of work to do before that February 29 deadline. Leap Day for a hen who can’t fly—I’ve got a long way to go, and sinking into this movie, I’m getting further away.

—Follow Monica Quibbits on Twitter: @MonicaQuibbits


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