Interview With Ron Kalish (2007)
What follows is a q&a with the film editor for the original Sleepaway Camp in 1983, as well as Return To Sleepaway Camp.
Sleepaway Camp Films: What was your background and how did you get involved with Sleepaway Camp?
My background was in picture and sound editing of feature films. The director, obviously, heard of my work and called me to edit his movie.
SCF: What are your recollections of editing the movie?
The only major point that I remember is that the ending was groundbreaking (frontal nudity of a young boy).
SCF: I know the cut submitted to the MPAA got an automatic R with no cuts needed, but when developing that cut, was there anything you didn't include, or situations where you trimmed scenes down?
Everything that was scripted and shot was edited into the final version. Some scenes may have been trimmed down for pacing purposes.
SCF: In recent years, the various DVD versions of the film have been missing various horror or suggestive shots, removed from the print with the gracefullness of a chainsaw. What's your opinion on that?
I am not aware of any missing shots or re-editing of the film.
SCF: Over 20 years passed and you were brought back for Return To Sleepaway Camp - how did that happen?
I guess I impressed the director enough, so he called me to do Return To Sleepaway Camp. We had a very good working relationship, and still do.
SCF: IMDB credits you as also being 'sound editor' on RTSC. Is that correct?
Yes, I am also the sound editor. Growing up in the industry, and learning from the very best, you had to know all aspects of post production, not like today where everyone is a specialist.
SCF: What was it like cutting the sequel together, and how did it compare or differ to working on the original?
The sequel did not differ in the overall editing technique, except to allow the inclusion of CGI FX.
SCF: Can you tell us a bit about your new film, Sea Of Dust?
Sea of Dust is an incredibly beautiful looking movie. It is interesting that we were able to have borderline humor mixed in with the horror genre. It worked very well. I understand that the European horror market is hot for this movie.
SCF: You have an incredible body of work in film behind you, what have been the standout jobs so far?
Working with talented people (Ron Howard, Woody Allen, Henry Winkler, and many more) has made all the films stand out for one reason or another. What the new filmmakers have to learn is to hire professional people and trust their judgement and then collaberate with them to make the best possible movie.
Thanks to Ron for answering our questions. Visit the official Sea Of Dust website for more info on Ron's new editing project.