Sally Menke Interview on The Treatment

by Melissa Silverstein
February 28, 2011 6:40 AM
1 Comment
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Last night at the Oscars editor Sally Menke was one of the people remembered. She died last fall in a freak accident while hiking.

I found out recently that her friend Elvis Mitchell of The Treatment had gotten her on tape, but neither of them was happy with the segment so they were going to do a redo. Then she passed away.

Elvis and his producer Gemma Dempsey took another shot at the interview. Here's a comment from Dempsey on putting together the interview:

Elvis and I wanted to air the interview with Sally Menke because she had some really fascinating things to say about working with Tarantino, her process of editing, her film and editing inspirations etc. But it had been a bit stilted, and as they were friends, they chatted about it and decided we could do it again another time, and tape it when they were both in the same studio since Elvis was based in New York and Sally had been with me here at the at KCRW studio in LA.

Sadly they never got to re do the interview as she passed away in September.

It happens from time to time that being in different cities and being connected via ISDN throws guests off, and sometimes it is because they are friends they expect it to be easier than it is. I was at KCRW with Sally before and after the interview and found her to be a lovely warm person. I was in awe of her amazing accolades and funnily enough, she was kind of in awe at being at the station! She was a big fan of KCRW and enjoyed the tour I took her on of the studios, in particular our music library.

Elvis had allowed the interview to run on for a while after it had officially ended and I was able to edit it to make it flow and I think its actually a really great conversation between two friends and two passionate cineastes.

Check it out here: Sally Menke on the Treatment

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1 Comment

  • Kerr Lockhart | March 1, 2011 1:27 AMReply

    Just listened to the interview and the problem is not that it's stilted, but that it's vague. Few if any specific examples were given, ideas and terms were tossed around without definition. How exactly to do you "cut for character"? When an editor is faced with a pile of footage, how does cutting for character inform her choices? What is the procedure? As a film studies teacher, I got literally no information, no analysis, just glittering generalities. I know that Elvis prefers discussing themes to craft, but he is turning into the James Lipton of NPR.

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