Tag Archives: editor

What Happened to Comic Book Resources?

“Change is good.” That’s a slogan I very vividly remember from a McDonald’s commercial around the turn of the century. A classroom full of kindergartners is shocked to find out that the Golden Arches are now serving white meat chicken nuggets, and are silent as one of their members takes the first tentative bite. Once she speaks those three words they break out into cheers, ecstatic that their beloved nuggets are just as delicious as before. Change is good. Or, more accurately, it can be.

This past Tuesday I was going through my handful of comic book news sites only to find that Comic Book Resources [also known as CBR], the fourth and last on the list, was borderline unrecognizable. Instead of seeing-


-like I was used to, I was greeted with-


While I was taken aback by the seemingly sudden redesign, the truth is that if I’d been more observant I would have seen this coming from a long way off. Continue reading

Bernie and Rebecca and Melissa Kent: On Her Directorial Debut, Its Creation, And More to Come

bernierebeccaposterLast month marked the first screening of Melissa Kent’s directorial debut, Bernie and Rebecca, at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Centred on the first date between the titular characters, the short film is a fascinating look at what so many of us dream about when put into similar situations.

On top of being able to review Bernie and Rebecca for myself, I was also given the opportunity to interview Melissa Kent via email about the process of its creation and her work both past and future.

Like so many things in life, you can only have one directorial debut. With that in mind, what made Bernie and Rebecca the first [of many, I’m sure] story that you wanted to tell?

Bernie and Rebecca is about a couple on a first date who imagine a not-so perfect future life together. It provided an ideal showcase for my skills directing romance, comedy, drama—basically a lifetime of love, laughter and tears—in a short 14 minutes.

Having edited so many feature length films what was it like directing a film that clocks at just shy of 14 minutes?

Actually, the filmmaking process is exactly the same, just with a much abbreviated running time. It was exciting to be making all of the pre-production decisions from casting to design to locations, and then of course being on set directing, which was a 3-day shoot. After that, the film required what they all do: editing, music, color grading, and sound mixing.

What was it like both shooting and editing your own footage? Did you ever find yourself skipping ahead in the process, knowing that certain shots would inevitably be thrown out while you were filming them?

There was only one insert I didn’t love while we were shooting so that got nixed, but everything else got used in one way or another. Being an editor probably helped my shot selection to be very efficient.

Given that so many of your past projects are either dramas or comedies [including a personal favourite of mine, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2] would you say that Bernie and Rebecca falls into a comfortable genre for you? Have you ever considered branching out into any others in the future?

Besides dramas and comedies, I have edited true crime (Captive, An American Crime), science fiction (Supernova) and even a 3D dance movie (Make Your Move). A good story is a good story and as a filmmaker I would not rule out any particular genre. It is more fun to go between genres whenever possible.

A few months ago The Guardian reported that between now and 2018 20th Century Fox and Paramount have no films directed by female directors being released.

Conversely, next year’s Wonder Woman was directed by Patty Jenkins, and Marvel appears to be specifically searching for a female director for their own Captain Marvel the following year.

Do you have any comments about the state of the industry as it stands now in regards to other women in your field?

Much respect to Jenkins and I can’t wait to see Wonder Woman.

Your next project is the upcoming American Pastoral, which both stars and was directed by Ewan McGregor. Is there anything you can tell us about that film, and if you have anything else to watch out for?

The trailer was released a few days ago and can be seen here.

It will be in theaters in October and I hope everyone will check it out!

Bernie and Rebecca is currently screening at the Madrid International Film Festival until July 9th. Watch the trailer at www.bernieandrebecca.com, and learn more about Melissa Kent’s extensive editing career at www.melissakent.com.

Bernie and Rebecca: A Short Film Review

bernierebeccaposterThey say you only have one chance to make a first impression, a proverb that veteran film editor Melissa Kent may have reflected on during the creation of Bernie and Rebecca, her directorial debut. Appropriately enough that’s also at the heart of the short film, which centres on a blind date between the titular characters.

In a way mirroring the existence of her own extensive filmography, Kent eschews showing us the couple’s initial meeting, choosing instead to focus on their evening coming to a close. A lot has already been said and done by that point, but even with all of that behind them there’s the promise of more to come. A lot more, as the short film will eventually reveal.

Bernie and Rebecca is a work that takes the wonder and the “what if”s of any budding relationship as far as they can possibly go. The conversation they share about the lives that they could one day live is fantastic, to say the least, but it’s also sobering in the stark realism of what’s been laid out. In spite of this the tone never gets too dark, instead staying relatively lighthearted by virtue of the duo’s performance.  

Rebecca never masks her emotions, and Brianna Barnes’ expressions say just as much as, if not more than, her actual lines do. Her face falls and lights up in response to every word out of her counterpart’s mouth. On that note, Kyle Davis’ greatest strength as Bernard is in his delivery, which bears a whispery, Tobey Maguire-esque quality. Not everything he says is entirely truthful, but all of it is heartfelt. Between the two of them the stars of this short film allow the audience to feel like they’re witness to something very personal and, in spite of the premise, very real.

Bernie & Rebecca doesn’t feel abrupt, nor does it overstay its welcome. You can only muse about the future for so long before you run out of fictional details. As a short film Melissa Kent’s directorial debut is short and, negative connotations of the word aside, sweet. A snapshot of a couple doing what we’ve all done countless times before.

Bernie and Rebecca screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 16th. Its next screening will be at the Madrid International Film Festival, from July 2nd to July 9th. Tune back in soon for an exclusive Q&A with director Melissa Kent.

Grammarly: An Online Platform Review

I tried Grammarly’s check grammar free of charge because, well, let’s just say that I’ve been skeptical of any sort of program that claims to be able to assist or improve writing. Sure, I write a fair amount as you’ve probably noticed, but I edit quite a bit as well [every post that goes up on this blog, for one, so any mistakes you may find are unfortunately all on me]. Suspicion of any product that may eliminate the line of work I’d like to be in is warranted, I think.

Not only that, but back when I was still working as a copywriter I was asked to try out some software that would be used to “spin” articles, turning old content into fresh, new content that would draw search engine attention to our company. Unfortunately the program [the ironically named The Best Spinner] only served as a sort of glorified thesaurus, providing alternatives to words used, something that any accomplished writer could handle themselves, while rearranging sentences as well. 

So I tried out Grammarly with equal parts skepticism and trepidation- would this be an online platform that would make me, and others editors to boot, obsolete?

grammarlylogo Continue reading