Moving Pictures
Mar 29, 2024, 06:30AM

Two Weeks in Another Studio

Dazed and confused in the editing room with Da Boss.

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“…rolling on top of him when he was 14 and drunk on a movie set or whatever, I mean come on…” Bret Easton Ellis is talking about Anthony Rapp and Kevin Spacey. “There was no sexual battery or assault… Kevin Spacey said, ‘Why don’t you stay…?’ Then Anthony Rapp ran out of the room… Oh, I don’t know why Anthony Rapp thought he had to tell that story, but that moment was hysterical and completely insane… ‘Sexual battery’… I think Kevin Spacey has been unfairly—and now! He’s been found not guilty in all of these cases. What do you make of that, Hollywood?”

He makes a compelling case. But I wasn’t supposed to be listening to anyone talk about anything on my break. Da Boss says henpecking is strictly reserved for after hours, but I can’t help myself from helping myself to some hash browns. Has-beens and hash browns: we meet in the commissary. But there is no commissary at NARC FILM! I’ll eat my browns elsewhere. But Da Boss didn’t ask me to turn Mr. Ellis off, he wanted to hear what the author had to say about the disgraced actor. “Cutting him out of that movie was disgusting, and immoral…” Da Boss listened without any expression. After Ellis trailed off, Da Boss looked at me and said, “Where is the projector?” I motioned towards the closet and he ran towards it, grabbing a huge box covered in dust. “Don’t call until Thursday,” he said. I reminded him I never call him on any day.

Da Boss will be beginning the final sound mix of SATUR-19 in early-April with his producing partner and recording engineer Jordan Romero. He’ll be recording narration, adding sound effects, and finishing off any dubbing left to do himself rather than calling in actresses to redo their lines. Why bother? He has varispeed tape machines, and besides, “this is really more of a feature length music video than a film… I should be showing this in art galleries with surround sound…” He trailed off into mumbles like always, leaving me to decipher whatever riddles he had left “carefully planted” around my person. Right, the sound mix was in a couple weeks, so I was to have a near-complete assembly cut ready to go without any gaps. Problem is, Da Boss has left almost all of the compositing work to the end, and he hasn’t even finished the final “breakdown” section, which he promises will be “mostly pictures and title cards.”

He rushed back into the room, still dusty. I asked him what the projector was for. “I’m filming the breakdown sequence. Katherine’s in the next room, she’s about to read for me. I think I might need some help setting up the microphones. Can you dolly grip? Actually can you roll sound or boom op? I really appreciate it. Thank you!” And then he ran out of the room. What’s wrong with him? I don’t want to be a movie director—editing is fine. Directing seems so stressful: up and down, always the world on your shoulders. Meanwhile I’m the one that actually puts the movie together, and I’m in the opening credits and on the poster, and I don’t have to talk to anyone but Da Boss. And that’s important because I really don’t like most people. But I do like Da Boss.

—Follow Monica Quibbits on Twitter: @MonicaQuibbits


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