Phantom Editor Interview mentions Kevin (text)

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Posted by Gibby at on April 10, 2002 at 21:03:16:

This is an interview that the Phantom Editor gave in which he mentions Kevin. Also, on the Editors web forum, he mentions that he had dropped off a copy of the Edit at the Stash several months ago, AND was at the filming on "Flying Cars", and even talked with Kevin, Brian, and Jeff, though he did not tell them it was "he". I think this is interesting, and hope you find it fun as well. When they post the links to the new download site for the edits, I'll post them here so you all can see this very interesting re-edit!

DIYReporter: You are the creator of "The Phantom Edit." Correct?

Jack: Yes, one of the three major "Phantom Edits" that are out

DIYReporter: Which one do you control?

Jack: There's an LA version, a New York version, and a D.C.
version, and I'm the D.C. version.

DIYReporter: What are the differences?

Jack: The LA version was the first one that was done. It
was done kind of by a guy who's a non-fan. His goal was to cut out and
rearrange as much as possible. The NY version was pretty much the same but
changed dialog by remixing some of the voices. The third version, the DC
version, was done after the DVD came out. So it includes the extra scenes.
And as opposed to the first one, it strove to keep as much of the movie
intact as possible, keep as much of what George Lucas had envisioned the
movie to be about intact while still able to excise some of the things that
were troublesome about the movie.

DIYReporter: Such as Jar-Jar?

Jack: Well, yeah. And just a little work on a lot of
Anakin's scenes. The LA version really cut out Jar-Jar a lot. I felt that there was
something to be said for the character, and if handled a little bit
differently, he was tolerable. But the thing that I remember when I saw the
film the first time, I left thinking, "I don't remember that many fart jokes
being in the original Star Wars." That was my first impression. And most of
them revolved around Jar-Jar. And by taking just those out made a huge
difference. It made the character much more tolerable.

DIYReporter: How do you go about doing this?

Jack: I did this at home. I did this on a home computer.
Ripped the DVD, processed everything in Adobe Premiere, and then re-did the
edit, burned it to a Video Compact Disc, and that's it.

DIYReporter: How long did it take to rearrange things? And were
you working off some sheet that mimicked the script?

Jack: No. I was just going for it. I'd watch a scene and
then kind of think about it, play it a few times and then work with it. The whole process
took a couple months. There were about 150 changes that were made.

DIYReporter: You must have a massive computer hard drive.

Jack: I have a 40 and a 10 gig. So I have about 50 gigs.
I used almost every bit of it.

DIYReporter: And what's your processor?

Jack: 733.

DIYReporter: Not bad, but it must have been time-consuming compared
to doing it on an Avid.

Jack: Yeah. I actually considered doing it at work on a
Media100. But it was more of a "proof of concept" kind of exercise. I wanted
to test the feasability of creating a professional looking movie on a home system
A lot of people have said that the next revolution's going to come from the kid with
the hand-held camera out of his garage, whereas most people are trying to be
the next Kevin Smith. They're trying to put out the next "Clerks." But what
was unique about "Clerks" was that it was unique. It was not really a clone
of anything that had been done before. So those who are striving to break
into the business by doing something like "Clerks," well, it's old hat. The
next new thing is going to be something that's produced in somebody's home.

DIYReporter: What is your background?

Jack: I work in television and film. I'm a freelance television director/producer/writer
in Washington, D.C. and am beginning work on an indie film.

DIYReporter: How many fan films have you done after "The Phantom

Jack: The other one I did was I re-cut "Star Trek V,"
probably the worst of the Star Trek movies, though it's my favorite.

DIYReporter: What did you change in that?

Jack: That was a different motivation. I re-did "The
Phantom Menace" because I just was so disappointed in it, and maybe I wanted
to be in sixth grade again and you know that feeling, seeing "Star Wars" for
the first time? And, of course, you can't recapture that. But I just thought
that he had all these great toys but he forgot the story. So I re-did that
one because I just couldn't tolerate the movie. I re-did "Star Trek V"
because I loved the movie. It personally really struck a chord with me. I
re-cut it to play like a TV episode, five acts, a teaser, the opening, and
five acts to follow. And I did that to let people see it with new eyes. I cut
out a lot of stuff that was kind of -- made the film actually be considered
non-canon in the Star Trek genre. I cut out references to the one character
being the other character's brother. That's not even a part of the new re-edit.
But to just kind of give people a chance to look at it again and say, "Hey,
that's not bad after all."

DIYReporter: The fan film designation that seems to primarily
revolve around these cult shows -- do you consider what you're doing to be an
actual fan film? Or are you creating a new work here?

Jack: Well, definitely not a new work. And I don't do it
to take anything away from the work that was done. To me, it's almost an
exercise. It's a great way to cut my chops, to work on my editing skills. I
don't know that I considered it a fan film. I just considered it a fan
re-edit of a particular film.

DIYReporter: Do you see this develop into the sort of art form that
remixing in audio has developed into?

Jack: No. I get a real kick out of Kevin Smith and his
films. And on almost every DVD commentary that he has -- and especially when
he was originally accused of being the Phantom Editor -- he was kind of
baffled by the phenomenon. And he's made several
comments saying that, "hey, if you've got the time and want to re-edit my
films, go ahead." But what people don't get is that I think this is
extremely genre-specific. I don't see anybody recutting "Pearl Harbor,"
although it needs to be. But nobody is rushing to do it. I think "Star Wars"
and "Star Trek" evoke a certain passion in a group of people and they're
willing to do stuff like that. The next project that I'm going to do just for
fun is I am going to re-do one of Kevin's films just because he annoyed me by
saying that he doesn't understand why people do it. Well, Kev my friend, here's your answer,
we do it TO LEARN! So I'm going to send him a new copy of "Dogma" soon.

DIYReporter: I understand George Lucas did see "The Phantom Edit."
I don't know if he saw your version of someone else's.

Jack: No. He saw the original version. And the comments as
it was relayed to me were that he understood why the guy made certain cuts
that he did and the next comment was it cut and sacrificed what George was
trying to go after. I think that's what spurred me on to do a different cut
that didn't just cut for cutting's sake, but rearranged in order to tell the
story better.

DIYReporter: This is sort of flying under Hollywood's radar at the
moment. Do you think as more and more of these proliferate, do you think
there's going to be some umbrage on the part of people who grew up on the
"auteur theory?"

Jack: Are you saying am I worried that they're going to be
ticked off that I'm doing this?

DIYReporter: I guess, in a matter of speaking. What do you think
the Hollywood reaction is going to be once they start to realize what's going
on? Because I think they don't at this point.

Jack: Right. On a very basic level, I'm just looking for a
job. If somebody thinks they've noticed some skill, great! In answer to
your question, I'm not going to tell a 12-year old Steven Spielberg years ago
out in his backyard making his home movies -- he was using model kits from
other movies -- saying, "Gosh, well, you kind of suck because you're not
using your own models." I mean, let's squash the kid's creativity because
he's just not there yet. This is a case of using someone else's toys to teach
oneself the art of film.

DIYReporter: Do you think there's a difference between a fan film
and a remixed film?

Jack: Well, sure.

DIYReporter: And the difference is what?

Jack: Most of the fan films I've seen are original works
based on the source that they're drawing from. Like one of the most famous
ones is the "StormTroopers/Cops" parody. That's great. That's definitely a
fan film. That's completely different than what I did. At a very base level,
what I did was hack. But everybody likes it. So I did something right, I
guess. But I don't think this is something that's going to sweep the

DIYReporter: Because it takes so much time and is so painstaking?

Jack: No. Because I don't think "Attack Of The Clones" is
going to be bad enough to re-edit. I think this is something that is kind of
a one-shot deal. I don't think there is going to be a proliferation of new
talent that wants to sit down and remix films. I think what they're going to
do is realize "Gosh, if I can remix a major Hollywood film, I could make a
film with my friends out here in the yard."

DIYReporter: That's true. But how do you explain the audio
phenomenon where remixers are getting Grammy Awards? Basically, their
interpretation of that same source material turned into a whole new form of
art. Couldn't you see that happening with film?

Jack: Well, I think music and film in that respect are
completely different. I think you're talking about a five or ten minute club
mix versus a two-hour film. It's apples and oranges. I think the remix of
music is a wonderful thing and a wonderful way for young people to explore
their talent. I think making homemade movies is the way that young filmmakers
explore their talent. I think re-edits are the way some of us just work out
some of our frustrations for not having jobs. I kind of belittle it because
it's kind of silly.

DIYReporter: How old were you when you did "The Phantom Edit?"

Jack: I'm 35 now, and I did it within the last year. I'm
an old dude.

DIYReporter: There's no issue with the legality of this?

Jack: No. It's nothing I've ever sold, though I know some people have it available
for download on some private ftp sites. But it's for just checking it out. I mean, who's
a huge enough fan to NOT go buy the DVD in favor of a poor quality, re-edited copy ;)

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