On Landing My First Job in the Business on Martin Scorsese's 'Mean Streets'

10 pm. Nyu Film School, The East Building 8th floor, Editing Room. "Who wants to work on a movie?" a voice pitched, over the din of old time moviolas. We worked on the same ultra durable film sewing machine used by all the studios in their heyday. (It now occurs to me that maybe these are what inspired "Star Wars Episode V’"s At Walkers.) We used a form of scotch tape to make temp edits, and carefully scraped the tape with razor blades to carve the film sprocket holes, a frustrating and messy business. Hours melted away. Time stood still.Every wannabe filmmaker in the editing bay just wanted to finish and be done. "I need two camera assistants… a gaffer and…a script girl," announced the voice I now recognized as Mitchell, our Ta. Groans were heard. "Ok, there’s coffee in it, on me," definitely sounding like Mitchell.
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