Donnerstag, 22.09.2011

Scene Missing

Ein paar Minuten aus Morgan Fishers STANDARD GAUGE:

»In 1971 I began work as the editor of a low-budget feature that was known under a number of titles. The original title was Blood Virgin. A later title was The Second Coming. The film was finally, albeit briefly, released in 1975 under the title Messiah of Evil. Later on it was re-released, again briefly, under still another title, which I’m not certain of. Not only was I the principal editor of Messiah of Evil, but I also had a bit part as an assistant in an art gallery. I was in two scenes. This is the last frame from one of the takes of the shot in which I make my first appearance.

It’s blurred and over-exposed because the camera had almost stopped. The film was shot in Techniscope, an anamorphic process invented by Technicolor. In the print the image is compressed along the horizontal, and during projection a special lens spreads it back out to normal. The woman in the background is the owner of the gallery. She was supposed to be deaf, dumb, and blind. In this scene I was opposite the female lead, but because of an idiosyncrasy in her delivery it wasn’t the big moment for me that it might have been. After I gave a line, she would pause inordinately before giving hers, so it wasn’t practical to do the scene as a two-shot. Instead the director gave us each a close-up, and the pauses were eliminated in the editing. So, as I recall, I never appeared in the same shot with her.

In my second scene I was supposed to be in an alley behind the gallery, where I was burning paintings by the heroine’s father in order to destroy the evidence that he had been there. This piece is just a few frames run off between takes, but it’s similar to my close-up for the scene, in which I am supposed to be gazing at the paintings as they are consumed by fire. The other person in the frame is the director. This scene turned out to be unnecessary, so it didn’t make it into the final cut.«

[Morgan Fisher: STANDARD GAUGE, USA 1984, zitiert nach Screen Writings. Scripts and Texts by Independent Filmmakers, ed. by Scott MacDonald, Berkeley: California UP 1995, S. 184-185.]


Donnerstag 22. September 2011 um 00.00 Uhr auf arte: MESSIAH OF EVIL, USA 1971, Regie: Willard Huyck; offenbar hat Morgan Fisher keinen Credit als Cutter bekommen. Wiederholung am Samstag 24. September um 02.00 Uhr. [TV-Hinweis via]

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