Cutting to the chase

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Given a free hand with Endless field, editor hopes it makes the cut

He was just a kid when he watched the 1933 version of "King Kong," but Folmer Wiesinger says he knew then that his destiny was with the movie industry.

"I told my mother that I wanted to make movies and we, my brother and I, were certainly serious about it. But the difference is my brother tired of it while I did not."

The crew of Canh dong bat tan (Endless field) describe him as a humorous, professional editor. From the US, Wiesinger is working for the first time in the Vietnamese film industry.

The film, which is inspired by Nguyen Ngoc Tu's novel of the same title, is a dramatic story of a peasant family's unexpected involvement with a prostitute. Ut Vu is a singer and father living with his daughter and son after his wife left him. He has totally lost his faith in love when Suong steps into his family's life. The film has a star cast including Do Hai Yen, Dustin Nguyen and Tang Thanh Ha.

Graduating from the filmmaking department of Illinois

Japan's "Devils on the Doorstep", the Grand Jury winner at Cannes 2000.

Asia is one of his favorite destinations, having spent nearly 5 years in China, Thailand, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, where he fell in love with a girl from Hanoi five years ago.

"Actually, I first came to Vietnam in 1995 and at that time, I had a three-month teaching job, for there was no film editing work. About my relationship, I have never told this to anyone before, but we broke up a year and half ago. Now I am just focusing on Endless field."

Free hand

Wiesinger is happy with the shooting and grateful for director Ngo Phan Quang Binh's trust, allowing him a free hand to edit the film on his own.

"Different from other directors, who will sit next to me and tell me "do this, don't do that", or "oh, how can you cut my favorite parts?' Binh has given me the right to make the best story. If the film succeeds, that means Binh and I were right," Wiesinger said, laughing.

Besides being a film editor, Folmer's forte is also making trailers and promos. He did this for noted Chinese director Wong Kar Wai's "2046" and "My blueberry nights". "My blueberry nights", was nominated for the Palme D'Or at Cannes 2007, and was also Wong's first English feature, starring jazz singer Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz.

In Vietnam, there has not been any real focus on making interesting trailers and promo materials, but the realization is dawning that this can draw the attention of both the audience and prospective buyers.

Folmer has done the trailer and promo for Canh dong bat tan which will be screened next year after attending several international film festivals.

"Usually, trailers and promos are made after a film is completed, but here, I had to do it earlier. So it was a bit difficult to pick the best shots and create a striking 2- minute promo and five-to-seven minute trailer."

Before returning to the US last Tuesday, Wiesinger also expressed his hope for the movie's success.

"I still have reality shows to work on, but maybe I will come back in the coming months to complete my task and troubleshoot in case it's needed. I know that the film was inspired by a famous dramatic novel, and hope it will meet the audience's expectations. Moreover, I think Dustin Nguyen and Hai Yen have done a great job."

University and then the USC School of Cinema -Television in 1986, Folmer went through the paces, first as an apprentice editor, then as assistant editor before becoming a full-fledged film editor.

He became a familiar post production personality in Hollywood, collaborating with famous studios like NBC, ABC, HBO, Paramount, Colombia, Twentieth Century Fox and MGM, taking different positions in diverse genres like feature, reality, game shows and TV series.

But Wiesinger's heart lay in features.

"I spent nearly four or five years doing reality shows in the US but I still prefer features. Reality shows are really difficult and are a challenge for filmmakers, when you have to form a story out of nothing. But making features gives great satisfaction and is always rewarding," said Wiesinger.

Some spotlights in Folmer's film editing career include "Tears of the Black Tiger", the first Thai film ever to be screened at Cannes in 2001 and Sundance 2002, and

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