CHRIS WHITE: Jeter Rhodes…Editor for TAKEN IN…how did you and I first meet?
JETER RHODES: I believe my sister (Jennifer) first introduced us in the Year of Our Lord 19 and 87, when you were President of the Student Body at Irmo High School. I remember that you were already making films at that time, and I was making videos for fun. I also remember you suggesting making a film in the spirit of STAND BY ME with me and a few of my friend as the cast. We haven’t done that yet…have we?
CW: You edited (saved!) GOOD LIFE for me last fall. What was that like…editing a narrative-style short feature?
JR: Having edited mostly documentaries in the past few years, it was a refreshing challenge to work on a structured narrative motion picture. It was great working with you again…good practice for TAKEN IN.
CW: What did you think when you and I first reviewed the footage from TAKEN IN, after the shoot?
JR: I was amazed at the quality of the images Daniel McCord (cinematographer) had captured. He just keeps getting better! Also, I was pleased with the obvious depth of character the actors had accomplished with your direction. I was very concerned about the sound, though. It’d been well recorded, but I knew there was a lot of sound design work to do.
CW: What scenes seem to be working best at this point…what excites you the most about the film?
JR: At this point, all of the scenes work to further the story, which of course is the result of all the work we put into the project in post-production—after all the hard work you and your cast and crew had done in pre-production…and during principle photography. So, I feel confident that we’ve solved most of our early picture problems. I am most excited about how it is received by an audience of strangers.
CW: What were the biggest problems we had to overcome in the edit?
JR: After tightening up some of the inter-scene edits to smooth things out, the biggest challenge concerned audio mixing and fundamental sound design. Quality sound is difficult to achieve and generally takes more time to set right than editing the picture. I think that audiences are not very forgiving when there are sound problems.
CW: How would you define the role of a good film editor? What role should the director play during post-production…hands-on or hands-off?
JR: The most important quality of a good editor, editing mechanics aside, is the ability to understand the director’s vision, concepts, and ideas. The editor should be able to accomplish realized rough cuts of certain scenes when the Director is not present and when working with the Director, it is important to immediately incorporate any changes. Director and Editor must work together to make each shot in each scene move the story forward.
CW: So…what do we do next?!
JR: Let’s continue! When’s the next feature?