Tuesday, July 05, 2011


In The Bellboy, when The Kid steals the plane, we cut the sequence thirty times before finally deciding to drop two frames.  The sequence was in the hotel manager's office.  The camera was positioned about ten feet from him, holding the desk and a secretary.  The manager receives a phone call.  

"Yes, hello.  Stanley, the bellboy?  Yes, he works for me.  Yes."

The camera is moving slowly up to the desk, choking the manager.  As it stops, he says, "He what?"  

Before the t is out of his mouth, we straight cut to the Douglas DC-8 jet taking off.  Bwwwwwooooh!

We had a couple of frames too many.

"He what?"  Then four frames, then the jet engine roar.  Out came two frames, and then the bwwwwoooh was on the manager's t.  It was that critical.

(Jerry Lewis, The Total Film-Maker)


Jaime said...

One of my favorite books about directing.

Yoel Meranda said...

i love it when a director talks about one or two frames... straub-huillet almost kill each other for a frame in pedro costa's doc...