film editor, Anne V. Coates.
One of my favorite love scenes of hers is in Out of Sight. I transcribed an editing film I watched in school in which Coates explains her editing choices for the scene. You can read it and watch the video here.
The interview is 10 years old, but I recently got interested in her after watching a clip in which she discusses intercutting in the sex scene for Out of Sight. Here’s an excerpt:
MURCH: When you were growing up, did film interest you in a particular way, and if it didn’t, then how did you get involved in film?
COATES: I didn’t go to the cinema very much as a child. When my parents divorced, my father used to take us to the cinema for his treat. I remember seeing films like “Lost Horizon,” which I thought was magic, “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights.” I fell madly in love with Laurence Olivier. When I saw the magic on the screen, what it could do, it suddenly came alive to me. It held my imagination in a way that made me become interested in films. When I had my first job, I had never seen a piece of 35mm film in my life.
COATES: No. I was a projectionist and sound recordist. I sent the films out, and when they came back, they were nitrate-filled. I learned how you do those lovely patches, things like that. And it was kind of fun. Then I got into the real world of film.
MURCH: How did that happen?
COATES: Well, they unionized us, and nobody wanted to go into the union except me. Then I heard there was this job at Pinewood Studios for a second assistant, so I applied.
But I was not qualified, so I wasn’t truthful in my interview. I said I could make tracks and order opticals and do all these things which I had never done in my life. Then I had a crash course for a week with a friend of mine in the editing booth.
The first film I did was for Michael Powell, who was making “The Red Shoes” at the same time. Reggie Mills, who was his top editor, took the picture over to recut it. Reggie Mills didn’t want the first assistant to go up with the film, so I went up. And he was wonderful. I mean, he never actually taught me anything as such, but watching him and the discipline were so good for me. And, you know, he never spoke. I just used to hand him the trims and ask for the trims. Then I got into working on “The Red Shoes” for a little bit, helping out on that, and was able to go on the set to watch, so it was an interesting time.