Editing

Well, hello there! I was walking by and saw this blog sitting here abandoned and adrift like the Mary Celeste and decided to come aboard.

Yeah, it’s been a crazy few weeks. I’m gonna keep this short, because, well, I’ve still got shit to do, but I’ll try to check back a little more often.

Been doing a lot of editing. Finished Kiss of the Strangler, which is a new feature (what?! NOT a parody?!  Do they still make those?) for Hot Video. I’m really happy with it. If you’re curious, you can watch their very own on-the-set report here: http://www.hotvideo.fr/usa.php

I don’t come off looking too ridiculous.

I also spent a few weeks under the gun editing Joanna’s Angels 3 for BurningAngel. It’s their big movie for the year, and even though I was the DP on the movie, I forgot what an epic it is until I was faced with trying to finish it in the space of 10 days. That deadline almost killed me when it raced past.

Still, the movie got finished, and I’m quite proud. It’s hysterical.

I’ve got other shenanigans in the works, including the possibility that I’ll be a producer of a multi-million-dollar mainstream film. But those details will have to wait. Until, y’know, they might be a real thing that’s not going to be cursed out of existence by its mere mention aloud. Like love or faeries or justice.

I’m currently sitting at the entrance to an enormous furniture warehouse filled with stuff I couldn’t even begin to afford. At the far end, Ben is taking stills of Monique Alexander on a $4,600 sofa, which she’s going to get fucked on for Naughty America. Everyone is taking a beating in this economy, and the owners of this high-dollar store are happy to get a few extra hundred for giving us the location.

I was going to post an in-depth review of Inception, which is, without doubt, one of the most spectacular and original movies I’ve seen in my lifetime. I would fuck that movie if I could. But I’m far too distracted by the knot in my gut.

Instead, I’m writing as therapy, trying to relieve the mounting stress of an increasingly ridiculous life. As I take on more and more work, consistently making less for doing more, watching the bills pile up as the income dwindles, I wonder when I will finally crack. I’m not being melodramatic. This isn’t a growing panic but rather an idle concern, like guilt over not going to the dentist.

I’m trying to pay attention to the band playing Nearer My God to Thee as I rearrange the deck chairs.

Last week I worked four of the hardest days I can remember for Burning Angel, shooting and gaffing Joanna’s Angels 3 for Joanna and James Deen. 2 16-hour days, an 18-hour day and a 20-hour day, and practically every minute of it, I was on my feet and running around. I didn’t just feel old when we wrapped, I felt ancient.

To make matters worse, I’ve agreed to edit the movie. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that I haven’t finished cutting Kiss of the Strangler, which is turning out great, but taking far too long. Hot Video have been very understanding about it, but for how long? JA3 has a rigid due date in a little over 2 weeks, so it’s going to demand every moment I can devote to it.

Except that I’m going to Florida for four days to shoot Tristan Taormino’s documentary right in the middle of that 2 weeks.

Oh, and I still have to work my NA job, just to keep body and soul together.

Okay, instead of relieving my stress, putting this in black-and-white has sharpened it to a keen edge. Bad idea.

I’m fucked.

Well, as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough go fishing, so I’m having a last gasp attempt at recreation this weekend. Tomorrow, Mischief & I are going up the coast to see a band she loves in Santa Barbara, staying overnight, and then banging around the coast until Sunday evening. We planned this over a month ago. If I had any sense I would have canceled. As it is, I’ll be curious to see if I can even pretend to relax.

Afterwards, I’m essentially going to have to tell her – and everyone else in my life – to forget that I exist for a few weeks and try to dig myself out of the hole I’m in.

Either that, or pull it in after me.

Okay, while I don’t really have the time to be posting this, I’m feeling the need to explain a few things. First and foremost, let’s get this straight — editing is a disease.

I bring it up not because I’m on the verge of a physical and emotional breakdown from having barely been away from my desk for over two weeks, much less my house (okay, maybe that’s part of why I’m bringing it up), but because three people have approached me in the last week to declare their interest in cutting porn.

No offense, but you’re psychotic. Fucking bonkers. One of them makes his living cutting short films and music videos, the second edits commercials and promo, and the third just thinks it would be “fun.”

Well, pal, if your idea of fun is sitting in the same chair until your ass goes numb, gaining weight like a webmaster with a DQ fixation because you work 18-hour days and can’t go to the gym ever, dealing with continuous headaches that vary from splitting to incapacitating from staring at monitors and wearing headphones for that 18 hours, feeling like general warmed-over shit, getting paid way less than minimum wage once you break down the hours and endlessly having conversations with friends who should fucking wellknow better that end with “What are you up to? Really? Still editing?”, then pack your fucking bag and get ready to start training.

The fact is, there are two kinds of editors in porn: the good ones and the happy ones.

The very few members of the first group are miserable fucks like me who agonize over footage that was shot under the worst kind of low-budget battlefield conditions, creating solutions to problems no one even knew existed until the poor bastard who’s cutting the thing starts trying to fix it. Even under the best of conditions, it is a job that consists of, as my friend Todd puts it, “making chicken soup from chicken shit.”

Cutting sex isn’t fun, especially if you’re a porn fan, and it certainly isn’t hot. Editing is where you get to fixate on everything that went wrong; all the messy anals; all the upchuck; all the yeast; all the floppy cocks; all the asses that can’t perform that day because they’re torn; all the idiots who can’t light or shoot camera.

The happy editors are just a bunch of hacks who don’t care. The worst part is, neither does anyone else. Porn is the only industry I’ve ever worked in where being really good at something can be considered a detriment. I’m an excellent editor, and Todd is outstanding. That means we care. And it means we’re slow.

I spent ten hours today finishing two minutes and thirty-three seconds of dialogue that comes near the end of Corruption. I’m really happy with the sequence, and were this a mainstream movie, I’d feel certain that people would watch it, and be entertained. They wouldn’t notice how it’s put together, but that’s what editing aspires to. It’s an invisible art.

However, being porn, I’m well aware that I spent my day crafting an excellent sequence no one is going to watch. Without trying to sound arrogant, we’ve managed to create a really remarkable movie with rockin’ sex scenes… and I don’t mean remarkable for porn, I mean fucking remarkable, period. But those movie chunks of the movie are just the Route 66 stretches of road between the Interstate of the chapter stops.

As the director, I could accept that. As the editor, who has now spent over 350 hours cutting this film, I’m finding it a little hard to swallow.

So, no, you do not want to start editing porn, anymore than you want an anal fissure or genital herpes. Trust me on this.

Fun… what a jackass…

The problem with editing something your really care about, that you’re really busting your ass to make an excellent product, something that rises above the clutter of everyday porn, is that it’s such a fantastic opportunity to obsess.

I just finished cutting a scene that is, to me, the crux of Corruption. It’s the kind of purely movie moment (i.e. mainstream movie moment) that you just don’t see very often in adult. It’s three minutes long, and I’ve been cutting it now for nearly three days. That’s what I mean by obsess.

Unfortunately, the movie as a whole — along with BTS, commentary tracks, additional trailers, everything — has to be done by the end of the month, so I’m going to have to speed things up a bit. More cutting, less obsession.

Of course, pressure like that just leads me to find ways to distract myself from cutting. Last night presented a dandy distraction. A good friend from the real world (no, not the stupid fucking show, idiot, the real real world) came over around 9. We played catch-up, talked for a few hours, and then, in a display that would have made many of her real world friends’ heads asplode, I tied her up, paddled her butt, locked her in the cage and fucked her ass hard.

Never thought of editing once.

In an unrelated distraction, I was talking to Kylie this morning (she’s in Sturgis at the bike rally, or she would have been involved in the cage match last night). She told me she visited the real town of Deadwood, and discovered that many of the characters on the show (we’re big fans… been watching the DVDs) are based on real people. I had assumed many of the leads were manufactured, and at one point, even joked about how they seemed to have been named to describe their characters. Seth Bullock is, well, stubborn like a bull… Al Swearingen has a filthy mouth… Charlie Utter never stops talking.

Nope. Wrong. Real people. I stand corrected.

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