“You’ve Gotta Kill Your Darlings”: Editor Adam Carter Rehmeier on Dinner in America

Filmmaker Magazine | 1/27/2020 | Filmmaker Staff
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by Filmmaker Staff

Adam Carter Rehmeier certainly enjoys “the pressure of wearing a lot of hats,” and his latest film, Dinner in America, comes as no exception. Serving as both writer and director, Rehmeier also worked as editor of his feature, which premieres at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. The story follows an unlikely duo–a punk rock singer on the run from the law and his band’s biggest fan–on an absurd and comedic journey through the suburban Midwest. Here, Rehmeier deconstructs his similarly trying journey through the editing process, breaking down the ways in which the film’s score helped guide him, and how his background in documentary has influenced his work.

Filmmaker - How - Editor - Film - Factors

Filmmaker: How and why did you wind up being the editor of your film? What were the factors and attributes that led to your being hired for this job?

Rehmeier: I think initially, from a budgetary standpoint, it made a lot of sense for me to edit the film, that way we were able to put every dollar on the screen. But beyond that, I have the skill set, having edited several features, docs, shorts and web content. I had a very clear vision for Dinner in America, and spent almost the entirety of my pre-pro planning everything shot-for-shot with my DP, Jean-Philippe Bernier, so it was very easy for me to articulate the style and rhythm of the film with my producers, who were all very supportive of me cutting the film myself.

Filmmaker - Terms - Film - Assembly - Cut

Filmmaker: In terms of advancing your film from its earliest assembly to your final cut, what were goals as an editor? What elements of the film did you want to enhance, or preserve, or tease out or totally reshape?

Rehmeier: My rough cut clocked in at 2:19:54 and my final cut lands at 1:46:17,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Filmmaker Magazine
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