Moving Pictures
Mar 15, 2024, 06:29AM

The Pillow Shot

Monica stitches together transitions while Da Boss reads on the couch behind her.

Mask myths 600.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Yesterday the boss told me he’s quitting. “I can’t do this anymore.” He fell into the couch with a book by Robert Wagner and hasn’t left since. Yet he hasn’t stopped asking me questions about SATUR-19 and its progress, “how’s the edit?”, all that. This man needs a break. But maybe I should look for other work. Da Boss told me in 2021 I’d be editing all of his films from now on, but this latest phase has gone on a bit too long, it’s time to look for backup. Maybe an SFX or post-house in Los Angeles, but that’s an oversaturated market, and way too many fried chicken restaurants. We have those in Baltimore, too, but rarely do they sport such hideous and offensive caricatures of our breed.

The state of SATUR-19 should mollify the boss but he appears more interested in Mr. Wagner’s fond memories of beating his wife or whatever. “It’s actually about the actresses he knew, loved, and worked with, Monica. It spans 30 years. Reading this is more fun than anything else I can think of doing right now. Nothing serious. Not a biography, not even a memoir. I don’t even think this book is 100,000 words. So what? He’s probably lying in most of it. I don’t care. It goes down easy. I’m comfortable. All of these people mentioned in the book are dead. It’s fine, I can read about it. I have a space heater. This couch is REALLY comfortable.”

During all of that, I stitched together a few title cards, written from Da Boss’ instructions. A sampling: “SEDUCED AND ABANDONED,” “I STRODE THE MOUNTAIN,” “GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS,” “YESTERDAY’S WORK,” “DISEASE AS MORAL FAILURE,” “WHERE ARE YOU,” “LOSING IT,” “WHERE AM I GOING,” “2020,” “2024,” and “YOUR LOVE IS FADING.”

I realized I never asked Da Boss what this movie was about—and if you’re wondering how I can edit a film without knowing what it’s about, please talk to any professional editor in Hollywood and get back to me, keep in mind I’m right and if they contradict me they’re wrong or lying to subvert not my but your best laid plans so watch out—and it felt like the right time. “What the fuck is this thing?” Da Boss explained that SATUR-19 was an experimental anthology film with “some connection to” the following films: Fantasia, The Image Book, and My Winnipeg. I asked him where the scary brooms were, and what about Mickey. He laughed and went back to his murderer memoir.

A lot of the transition shots, or “pillow shots,” come from scenes we didn’t end up using, entire sequences that, according to Da Boss, “just didn’t work.” He was right: they sucked. But there was enough good material in here for a feature film, one even a few minutes longer than Da Boss’ previous two. “How are we doing on dubbing?” Uh, I drawled like Butthead, isn’t that, like, your job, dude? Uh-heheheh. Da Boss sighed, got up, and pulled his phone out, texting with one hand and trying to undo the top button of his shirt with the other. I told him to turn around, said I’d help, jumped up and spur-clawed that button right off of his collar. It was the claw of love, and once he realized the shirt I ripped was basically worthless, he thanked me and told me to get back to work. “I’ll go to the Gap and you finish the breakdown section.”

—Follow Monica Quibbits on Twitter: @MonicaQuibbits


Register or Login to leave a comment