Q: Tell us about your involvement in the C.H.U.D. movie, and working with Claire Simpson…
Dennis O’Connor: Claire and her editing staff were great to work with. I came on to help with some scenes and make the schedule. Claire was a pleasure.
Q: Which scene was the hardest to get right during the editing stage?
Dennis: The parallel editing of every character at the end was the most challenging because where to leave them and leave the audience hanging was the toughest overall.
Q: Which scene from the movie is your favorite?
Dennis: Again I haven’t seen it in years but anything with Daniel Stern was my favorite. He was always adding neurotic moments when a CHUD was on the screen.
Q: Looking back, would you have changed anything?
Dennis: No not really, but there was the scene where a CHUD came up on a store freight elevator on the sidewalk and I feel we never nailed the best scare. To see the CHUD or just have the people on the street react. To be honest they looked better when not that well lit.
Q: Did you get to meet John Heard or any of the actors, directors, etc?
Dennis: Yes, I knew John before working on the film; we were acquaintances at the Cafe Central, which was a NYC star hangout. Stern I met and he was as friendly as can be. But allow me to say that whenever an actor meets the editor of a film they’re in, they are always friendly and some not so after they see your work and then say, “You didn’t use my best takes.” That’s their opinion.
Q: What was your favorite moment about the entire experience?
Dennis: Working with the whole editorial staff really.
Q: What are you doing these days?
Dennis: Semi retired editor, I’m waiting on a script by Second City Chicago, a comedy about an all girl band, The Girls of Summer. I’m also a working voice actor in animated features, Turtle Tale 2: Escape from Paradise and The Wild Life. I do lots of different voices and accents.
Overall the short time I was there helping was a great time. Cutting rooms can sometimes be not so great if you’re trying to make a bad picture good or the best it can be.