Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards

Goofinger is a short action-comedy about a CIA agent on a secret mission that is interrupted by his immature, jobless roommate. The Talk in the Night is a dramatic horror film about a man who confronts death after he murders his girlfriend in a heated argument. What ties these two films together? Two film majors from Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Joe Carter and Chris Hanna. Carter and Hanna were nominated by the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for “Best Editing” in a Student Production. Carter and Hanna were elated to share their success and editing processes with Jackalope.

Carter says with wide eyes and intense emphasis that his film Goofinger took six months to complete.”It looks like something that shouldn’t have been made almost. And I say that just because it’s just a very wild, convoluted film, but with a lot of thought behind it.”

Carter utilized his editing skills to make Goofinger a simple masterpiece. With swift but fluid cuts and intention behind every shot, Goofinger is impossible to look away from and if you do you’re sure to miss a vital piece of the story.

Andre Szarmach in Goofinger.

Andre Szarmach in “Goofinger”

After watching the film a multitude of times, one will begin to notice how each scene plays into itself. Every character move is intentional and propels the story further. Carter exemplifies his editing expertise through sound effects, visual effects, animations. Carter usually works alone but sought out assistance from Mike Henson for color correction and Maximiliano Paularena for the film score.

In terms of his editing process, Carter says he follows the tried-and-true methods of editing he learned from Professor Brad Wolfley. “You start with an assembly cut, you move into a rough cut, you move into a fine cut, you picture lock, you color all the footage, you do the audio of all the footage, and then you finish it all up with a bunch of screeners. And then you go back, fix it, screen it, go back, fix it, screen it and then after all that, you’re done. But you need to start with the assembly, which is the barest bones version of the edit, in order for it to, in my opinion, get better,” Carter says.

As for Hanna, he knows Carter is no stranger to winning awards for his editing and he has a lot of respect for Carter and would consider working with him in the future. “When I saw I was going up against him I was a little intimidated.”

The Talk in the Night won “Best Horror” at the New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase in Albuquerque over the summer. “This is our biggest recognition for the film,” Hanna says. He wears a new shade of confidence but reminds himself to remain humble. Hanna has worked with his close friend Julian Fox and girlfriend Nina Hedberg multiple times due to their productive work ethic and respect for one another and their ideas. Hanna says that he recognizes this was a group effort. Without Hedberg and Fox, he says, he wouldn’t have been able to pull off The Talk in the Night.

Robert Henkel Jr. in "The Talk in the Night"

Robert Henkel Jr. in “The Talk in the Night”

Fox, co-producer, stepped in and out of the production of the film, as he was working on another project at the time. “Primarily, I came on after things were kind of, pretty well started off. Crew and cast were pretty much in place. I just helped him really to coordinate scheduling, locations, getting the finer details in place. And being his cheerleader and supporting him and his vision,” Fox says. He aided in finding the brewery, Duel, to film the movie in, which plays a huge part in the film.

“I put his name on it because he really helped me a lot. So did Nina,” Hanna says. Hedberg worked as sound editor, the mastermind behind the very meticulous effect that sound plays in The Talk in the Night. She also worked as the boom operator and created the music score at beginning of the film. The editing in the film is meant to cue viewers to every sound the main character, Greg (played by Robert Henkel Jr.) hears while sitting alone at a bar. Each sound heightens the tension Greg feels after murdering his girlfriend, exemplifying the main character’s paranoia without words and giving the audience an amplified sensory experience similar to white noise. The Talk in the Night succeeds in the very scrupulous process of balancing the amount of showing versus telling.

Jeff Poole in "The Talk in the Night"

Jeff Poole in “The Talk in the Night”

Although The Talk in the Night was filmed in roughly two days, Hanna had been tirelessly working on it from October 2015 to February 2016. “Post production for Nina and me was about three months. Then we had to give it to Zachary Kelly to do color correction,” he says. When Kelly colored the film to match the sinister film score and morbid plotline, Hanna finally stepped back and allowed the film to be finished.

Carter, Hanna and Hedberg will be attending the award ceremony together via carpool while Fox is in Denver filming his new documentary Coming Out of the Psychedelic Closet, a film focusing on the spiritual, life altering experiences produced by psychedelics. Goofinger and The Talk in the Night are two out of four student productions nominated for “Best Editing” in The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter. The winners will be announced on Oct. 8.