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This Episode | Background Information
Alan Collins is a close dear friend of mine. This man mentored me through my early career of film editing and taught all he knew. He also gave me my first major editing break when he allowed me to be the editor on his feature documentary, The Voyageur. Alan is a very unique individual who has been in many situations where he has influenced or interacted with some of the worlds great directors and thinkers. I remember I was working part time for him while studying cultural studies and I happen to be reading Roland Barthes Camera Lucidia. The book was good but a bit to much theory not enough practical proof. Alan saw what I was reading and the following day came by with Roland Barthes Mythologies. He insisted that I read it as it would be a much more important book to read. When he handed it to me the cover of the book was slightly tattered and the pages well worn. This was a book that was loved. I read this book from cover to cover over a summer. It isn’t light reading and Alan and I would discuss the book over coffee.
A year or two later I was reading Stewart Hall’s Encoding/Decoding which examines how messages are encoded into media. I left the essay out and when Alan passed by he exclaimed, “Your reading Stewart Hall!” Not knowing where this was going I confirmed it. Stewart and I use to run a communist coffee shop in England together. Not that it was actually a coffee shop of workers but a coffee shop in which students at the local university, in need of money could get shifts when they needed them. In essence there is no staff.
This is just a great way of showing Alan’s influence on many important figures of our time, he has similar stories from his work in LA and from the NFB in Montreal but I promised I wouldn’t mention them as he doesn’t want to upset anyone. Not that they are terribly controversial but he didn’t want to upset anyone, just in case.
Alan is an editor who has worked for such directors as David Cronenberg and Roger Corman. He’s also edited television shows such as Degrassi Jr. High. The Cutting Room interviewed Alan via Skype from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
You can check out Alan’s IMDB page for more on his work.