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ROBERT FIELD (BR) [252-267]




THE ARTIST
THE SHOWMAN
THE EDITOR
THE MAGICIAN
THE BLOOPERS


Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam

The Artist

[252] To say that Robert Field is an editor would be like saying Michaelangelo painted some walls and chipped off some rocks. Rob Field is more than an editor, he's an artist. Just look at some classic examples, such as the "Truth or Dare" scene between Callisto and Gabrielle in A NECESSARY EVIL (#38), or the funeral pyre scene in MATERNAL INSTINCTS (#57), or the "tree bashing" scene in THE GREATER GOOD (#21), or pretty much all of THE DEBT (#52-#53). And as the series has progressed, Rob has deepened and enhanced his skills. Those who saw Hudson Leick at Burbank may recall that she was introduced by a special video. Rob put that together for Hudson to show her at her best, and that was mission accomplished, in my opinion.


Photo courtesy of Amy J. Putnam



The Showman

[253] Rob is also a great showman for the fans. In all of his convention appearances, which like his editing have become better and more sophisticated over time, he always tries to entertain as well as educate.

[254] At Burbank, Rob showed his (in)famous blooper reel, which contain many hysterical moments. I have seen that horse walk up and take a dump I don't know how many times, and I'm sorry to admit it breaks me up every time I see it. Why? As someone who used to ride horses a lot (and partially for a living) I know that happens in real life. This, and many of Rob's blooper samples, capture not only amusing moments, but many "real life" events that are poignant or exemplary or representative of things we'd never see on the show. He has taken as much care in assembling the blooper reel as he does the episodes themselves.

[255] Rob followed Bernadette Joyce at Burbank, and I am very sorry to have missed her. Rob thanked Bernie and brought props -- this time, large signs (such as "APPLAUSE") to help keep the audience involved and interested.

The Editor

[256] Someone asked Rob how long it took him to edit an episode, especially in the case of an ep like THE DEBT. Rob explained that his cut, the editor's cut, is done first, and then the director comes in with his/her changes and suggestions to make the director's cut. Then the producer makes any other changes he wants to that. The average episode takes about two weeks to cut, sometimes including weekends. THE DEBT took about five weeks for both episodes. THE BITTER SUITE (#58) took four weeks just for the first cut.

[257] He explained that each episode has its own special circumstances that can make things more complicated to edit, such as special action sequences. In those cases, each situation and episode is unique.

[258] Conversely, he said the easiest episode he edited was A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39)".I don't know why", he smiled. "I just walked in, it was done, and I said 'Thank You!'".

[259] Each show is given a production number, and there are two editors, so to determine who edits an episode, Jim Prior edits the odd-numbered episodes and Robert Field does the even-numbered ones. It's been this way since the show started and Jim Prior did the first episode, SINS OF THE PAST (#01).

[260] When asked what his golf handicap was he responded "My swing, of course".

[261] Someone asked what equipment he used for editing. He said the system is called AVID and is MAC-based. There was cheers and applause from the MAC-based part of the crowd. But he also added he has a PC at home and "I hate both systems equally". The audience enjoyed that. He said that each one crashes as often as the other, but the MAC is user-friendly, so it laughs at you as it dies.

[262] He had a little difficulty adjusting to the computer based system as opposed to manual editing because the computer does it so much faster.

[263] There was the inevitable question about the "hot tub" scene and was there anything else to "see" that we did not? Alas, no. There were three takes of the same scene, no one getting in or out of the tub, and the unused takes were the same as the used one pretty much, except for a line flub or other minor error.

[264] Because THE BITTER SUITE is a musical, there is music locked to every scene which makes editing very challenging. He said that cutting action sequences are usually the hardest and cutting TBS was like cutting an hour-long action sequence.

The Magician

[265] Rob acknowledged that he is a semi-professional magician as well after someone requested he do a magic trick. The questioner said she knew Rob had some coins in his pocket and told him "C'mon, pull it out"! This sent the audience into spasms of laughter. One can never have too many double entendres at a convention, apparently! Rob explained that his field (no pun intended) is slight-of-hand and it's really not possible to do that for such a large audience.

[266] Rob then talked through a series of bloopers and supplied commentary. This was a hilarious reel, and after seeing it, you had to ask yourself "How come I didn't notice that at the time?" The audience seemed to have a great time with it.

The Bloopers

[267] There are several bloopers found by fans. Most are continuity errors. Robert Field showed some clips of them including appearing/disappearing chakram, appearing/disappearing armor, a cut on Xena's arm in RETURN OF CALLISTO (#29) moved from one arm to another, a moving wall in CHARIOTS OF WAR (#02), a mountain that moved in PROMETHEUS (#08) Gabrielle's moving staff in WARRIOR... PRINCESS... TRAMP (#30), Meleager's moving coin from THE EXECUTION (#41), a propane tank on set, an extra in BLIND FAITH (#42), the moving chakram from a cave to a rock in A NECESSARY EVIL (#38), and a missing chakram in TIES THAT BIND (#20).


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