Moving Pictures
Jan 10, 2024, 06:30AM

Monica Works for NARC Film

Hired as editor of major motion pictures once again—I learned on a Movieola.

Satur 19 shoot nos blown out.jpeg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Nicky sat me down at the desk. “Here’s everything.” He handed me three black rectangular drives labeled “SATUR-19” one, two, and three. “Same power supplies for all of them, standardized, I think you should have more than enough to make the grade and the DCP, but let me know if you need more. I’ll check in on Tuesday.” I didn’t know what to do with “drives” or “power supplies”—where was the film? “It’s inside of the drives.” Ohhhh, I thought. It’s inside of the drives. Nicky left and I started taking the drives apart with a screwdriver, and then a hammer, but I couldn’t find any film. There was nothing in there but green and silver parts and something that looked like a miniature CD. It was very confusing. Was this film? Did Nicky know what he was doing?

Evidently it was and I’d cost him $900 in solid state hard drive space. He was remarkably calm when he told me, as they were dupes, and although the financial hit was significant, he said he “expected it” and “prepared for it” by buying three additional drives to make dupes. That was the second time I thought about walking off the job! How rude! Am I so insane? Am I that unaware of my surroundings that I would easily and, worst of all, willfully destroy something valuable and potentially priceless? Apparently so. But Nicky never said any of this to me. Not even Rooster brought it up, nor Bennington—they were back home, huddled up in their own hobbies. I didn’t need a new hobby, I needed a job, and editing films was something I knew.

My first job was as an assistant editor in the 1930s under that lady in the Hail, Caesar! movie (when you live this long, you’re bad with names—but I remember her nearly getting suffocated by the smoke and strangled by the reels as clear I can see these keys I’m pecking on right now. This was not an easy job at first but once you realized your rhythm it became spiritual. I loved editing film. I worked on so many that you’ve seen that I was never credited on, because I could never be credited on, because I’m a “chicken.” I’m a hen, a female bird. I don’t belong to any union, state, or government. My concerns are not global, I only love my husband and his bastard cousin Bennington. I only ever wanted a simple life of art and pleasure, but fate took me on with militias and world militaries and secrets of the Fifth Realm that left me tired, wounded, and scarred.

But now I’m back learning how to edit film again—or “film,” because this thing isn’t the same. It’s much better. I hated the Movieola. Jesus Christ, I ruined so many negatives with my claws… now, all of the footage I work on is protected behind plastic. When Nicky showed me how to import the dailies, he gave me the menu for Adobe Premiere Pro and suggested I read it instead of watching first. I did just that and got to work. The opening shot… oooooooo… air sounds... voices ringing in the background… theater quiet, sound ringing... Oooooh but I’m editing the images, not the sound, right right, ooooooo… okay… white screen… White frames… some grain is changing… this is getting boring… alright… pick up the pacWHOA TITLE SEQUENCE.

—Follow Monica Quibbits on Twitter: @MonicaQuibbits


Register or Login to leave a comment