first_imgA training center erected by the Bangladeshi Contingent, dub BANBATT 4  that served with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), has now been taken over by grass as the contingent had left the county following the expiration of their call of duty.The center was a place for acquiring technical knowledge in areas of computer science, generator repair, first aid nursing, amongst other specifics.The center named “Bangladeshi-Liberia Friendship,” was constructed and dedicated in 2007 under the leadership of the then Contingent’s charismatic commander, Colonel Abdul Hoque of the Bangladeshi Military ‘4th’ Cantonment.During the dedicatory ceremony, which was attended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and an array of government officials and other foreign guests including a visiting Jordanian Queen, and U.S. Billionaire, George Soro, Col. Hoque remarked that “There was nothing worthy the Bangladeshi Contingent can leave with the people of Liberia other than education.”He believes that after years of war, it was necessary to develop the youth and human capacity to produce what they can eat, noting that, “Any country that fails to feed itself is doomed to poverty.”Since the final batch of the BANBATT Contingent departed Ganta about a year now, training activities have stalled. Now that grass has taken the center, residents are wondering as to what the local education authority would do to revamp the center.As the Bangladeshi left, it was incumbent upon the city authority to take over the training center, but perhaps because of lack of needed equipment and manpower it is abandoned.Before erecting the center, BANBATT Contingent was training Liberians at their base previously located on the Ganta Methodist Mission ground, where hundreds of men and women acquired trainings in various areas of interest.The center is built on the campus of the John Wesley Pearson High School, but whether or not the school administration will take charge of the training center remains uncertain.Ganta City authority that could take over such a facility is in transition as its Mayor, Dorr Cooper, has been appointed as Assistant Superintendent for Development, while Benjamin Dookpa is to replace him.  Both of the new appointees are waiting for confirmation by the Liberian Senate.The newly appointed Mayor in an interview earlier told this paper that his main priority for Ganta City will include opening of streets and resolving the long existing land crisis among the inhabitants.As for the center education purpose, J.W. Pearson Principal, Saye Kardarmein, has expressed optimism that upon recommencement of classes, he would request the students to initiative an all-out clean-up campaign to give the entire campus and surroundings a facelift.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgDrs. Price and Dahn addressing a brief press conferenceThe U.S Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Thomas Price, is currently in Liberia on a two-day visit.  He is the first senior official of the Donald Trump Administration to visit Liberia since taking over from the Obama Administration early this year.On arrival, Dr. Price held a closed door discussion with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was also on her way to the United States to attend some official duties.Speaking shortly after arrival at the Roberts International Airport on May 17, Dr. Price said the visit is meant to “Deliver a message of support, appreciation and commitment” of the bilateral relation between the United States and Liberia.He added that Liberia has over the years worked tremendously and shown resilience in battling infectious diseases, including the devastating Ebola virus disease, and the US working together with Liberia through mutual cooperation to build the needed health system in the country.“Your work to promote global health security and your commitment to find and stop disease outbreaks here and around the world—whether they are natural, accidental, or deliberate—keeps Americans and others around the world safe,” Dr. Price said.During the Ebola crisis, the US government sent about 4,000 military personnel to Liberia and also provided medical equipment and training for local health practitioners in handling Ebola cases and other infectious diseases.Dr. Price, recalling these activities, said they are manifestations of the mutual relations between United States and Liberia. He also said because of the work done during and following the Ebola response, Liberia now has many public health systems and resources that it did not have before, including emergency operation centers, laboratories, stronger surveillance systems, and in-country technical support.”“We are here to show President Trump’s appreciation to Liberians for the work they are doing, and we will work side by side to develop the health workforce to solve remarkable challenges in the area of infectious diseases,” Dr. Price said.He also acknowledged the cooperation Liberians demonstrated to work together in containing the Ebola scourge and expressed the need to work with Liberia to prepare health practitioners to handle cases of infectious diseases.In her welcoming statement, Health Minister Bernice Dahn described Dr. Price’s visit as a “big mark” in the history of Liberia’s health and the bilateral relations between the two countries.Dr. Dahn also acknowledged the US government’s role in building Liberia’s health sector and provided some historical synopses of activities during and after the Ebola outbreak.She said in the post-Ebola period, some health practitioners have studied and graduated in Epidemiology, a branch of medical science dealing with the transmission and control of infectious diseases.She said the program was organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Dahn further indicated that the return of US Peace Corps has also helped to train health practitioners.In response to questions about a recent “strange disease” in Sinoe County, the Health Minister said it was a test to determine how strong the health system is; and it has been proven that the system is becoming resilient, as the response to contain the strange disease has proven.Dr. Price and his delegation were received by Ministers including Marjon Kamara of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Bernice Dahn and some deputy Ministers of Health, Eugene Nagbe of Information and US Ambassador Christine Elder and embassy officials.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe wake-up call to the Senate by former Grand Kru senator Cletus Wotorson to “calm the state” as reported in the May 2, 2019 edition of the Daily Observer has claimed the attention of this newspaper.According to the story written by Legislative reporter Burgess Carter, the former senator, apparently troubled by growing political tension in the country, paid an impromptu visit to the Senate in plenary where he made an impassioned plea for its urgent engagement with the Executive to douse rising flames of passion on both sides of the divide — Government and Opposition.Senator Wotorson put it squarely to the senators, reminding them of the urgency to act to avert what portends to be looming disaster if left unchecked. The reaction of Justice Minister Musa Dean to the letter written by protest organizers strongly suggests that the Minister is clearly out of his element, acting in apparent violation of Articles 1 and 17 of the Constitution of Liberia which is the organic law of the land. Both Articles are quoted below for reasons of clarity:Article 1“All power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require. In order to ensure democratic government which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution, to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments”Article 17“All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations”.The Minister’s action is unprecedented and at best laughable for it simply reveals that he is out of touch with reality. That the tension in the air is palpable is clear and obvious but, apparently, not to him and that could probably explain his disposition.The Daily Observer, being cognizant of history, is constrained to warn Justice Minister Dean that he is playing with fire because he is fully aware that protest organizers will not submit to such shenanigans. And based on sentiments being expressed by callers on various radio talk shows for and against the June 7 event, it appears that confrontation may likely ensue and in such a situation, violence cannot be ruled out.The current situation, in the opinion of this newspaper, is strongly reminiscent of the April 14,1979 “rice riots” whose effects left the Tolbert government hanging by a thread, only to fall a year later. The late Albert Porte’s warning against the use of force and even his pleading on bended knee before President Tolbert to avoid the use of violence, went unheeded as Mr. Porte would later recount in his “The Day Monrovia Stood Still”.Today, this government finds itself in similar straits as did the Tolbert government in 1979. And government officials appear to be acting more by heart than by mind (reason). Utterances on what should otherwise be official policy are coming from several sources, adding even more confusion to the mix.President Weah’s overtures to former Vice President Boakai may have been in good faith; however, the tone of the Executive Mansion press release was rather bland, conveying little beyond pledged mutual commitment to respect for the Constitution and laws of the country.And that raises a concern that, utterances by public officials suggesting that the planned June 7 protest is unconstitutional and illegal, could serve to prep law enforcement officers into acting unlawfully as witnessed in 2011. On a video of the incident, posted on social media, Nigerian UNMIL soldiers can be seen struggling to restrain a Police officer from shooting at the crowd.On June 7 there will be no UNMIL soldiers around and all security will rest in the hands of the Liberia National Police. Based on reports of LINSU officials and other elements carrying arms and justifying same without perceived Police intervention is worrisome especially, in view of the strident rhetoric one sees and hears on various media outlets including popular social media platform Facebook.Thus, Senator Wotorson’s call to his colleagues is but a reminder of duties imposed on them by the Constitution as spelt out in Chapter V Article 34 b and c. They read as follows:b. to provide for the security of the Republic;c. to provide for the common defense, to declare war and authorize the Executive to conclude peace; to raise and support the Armed Forces of the Republic, and to make appropriations therefor provided that no appropriation of money for that use shall be for a longer term than on year; and to make rules for the governance of the Armed Forces of the Republic.As the Senator rightly observed, the Legislature does not only have a moral responsibility in this regard, they also have a Constitutional duty and responsibility to provide for the security of the state and, as he rightly maintains, they cannot shift that responsibility to the Churches or the Mosques.In the final analysis, the bird is in President Weah’s firm grip. Whether it is dead or alive is a riddle which only he can solve. He should above all remember that he is the head of this nation and its fate rests in his hands. Should he become unmindful of history and roll to the brink, it may become very difficult to pull back and the consequences could be damning!Of course, the “Baghdad Bobs” would be screaming “doomsday analysis” but what else do or should the nation expect?In deed Mr. President, “It is your national responsibility to calm the state”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img“Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” is the theme for International Women’s Day 2019.The Sonia Noel Foundation for Creative Arts, in collaboration with the Women’s Association for Sustainable Development, will be launching Women in Business Expo at the Pegasus on Friday, November 23.It will be more than a launch because a mini exhibition will be available to the public from 10:00h to 20:00h. Patrons will have the opportunity to not only view high-quality products but also make purchases at special prices that day.There will be lots of giveaways and chances to win fabulous prizes such as gift hampers, massages and beauty products. Noel will be celebrating one year sinceSonia Noel and a young entrepreneurpublishing the first of her four books, and as such, she will be giving away complimentary courses.The fabulous fashion display will assist patrons to select that special outfit for the festive season.Over the years, the participants have benefited tremendously from the pre events which equipped them for the expo. Some of the classes focused on confidence, dressing for success, technology and business, branding and marketing, and the importance of a healthy body.“I am so grateful to the Women in Business Expo for not only the growth in my business but also in me as an individual,” Bibi Ramlall Khan, owner of Lisa’s beauty Shop said.The ‘Inspire You’ motivational event over the years features many phenomenal women from here in Guyana, the Caribbean and internationally. Women empowerment specialist Anna McCoy, Dr Linda Wallace, Best Selling Authors Hilda Bournes, Dr Jackie Evans, Christine Neblette, Lindan Felex Johnson, Sherry Dixon and Attorney Ayana Mc Claman are some of past amazing speakers. The line-up for 2019 is so powerful that massive transformation is anticipated during and after the event.“It is a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction when I think about the many businesses and women that have experienced tremendous grown over the years. I will encourage women… know you are enough and do not rob the world of your amazing contributions,” Sonia Noel, founder of the expo said.Noel who is extremely passionate about adding value to lives, recently returned from the second phase of her US tour and is extremely busy not only with the expo but her final personal and professional development classes for the year. Persons interested in registering for the expo can do so at the launch or check Fcebook – the Sonia Noel Foundation for Creative Arts and the Women’s Association for Sustainable Development, for details.last_img read more

first_img0Shares0000Egypt’s defender Ahmed Elmohamady (L) and Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan starred as Egypt finished Group A with a perfect record © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANOALEXANDRIA, Egypt, Jul 3 – Hosts Egypt swept into the last 16 of an expanded Africa Cup of Nations and were joined by the rest of the continent’s elite, while newcomers Madagascar delivered the shock of the tournament by advancing as group winners.AFP Sport takes a look at the standout performers and those who failed to hit the heights during the group phase: TopsTrezeguet and Ahmed Elmohamady (Egypt)Mohamed Salah arrived at the tournament shouldering the weight of expectations for a country of almost 100 million, but while influential in his side’s safe passage to the knockout phase he was ably supported by Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan and captain Ahmed Elmohamady. Kasimpasa midfielder Trezeguet bagged the winner in the opening 1-0 defeat of Zimbabwe and shone again as the hosts rode their luck in a 2-0 win over DR Congo, setting up Salah to open his account with a gliding run and incisive pass. Elmohamady, who helped Aston Villa earn promotion back to the Premier League, popped up with a pair of goals of his own — the first an alert finish against DR Congo and the second a sweet strike to seal a 2-0 victory against Uganda.MadagascarLalaina Nomenjanahary’s goal set Madagascar on the way to a famous win over Nigeria © AFP/File / Giuseppe CACACERanked so low that they had to beat Sao Tome e Principe just to reach the qualifying competition for this tournament, Madagascar assured themselves of a spot in the knockout rounds in emphatic style with a shock 2-0 win over three-time champions Nigeria. Midfielder Ibrahim Amada insisted “there is no secret” to their success and said the team was simply “trying to make the most of each second” in Egypt. After a commendable 2-2 draw with Guinea, Nicolas Dupuis’ side earned their first win by edging fellow debutants Burundi by a single goal. That set the stage for a remarkable upset of the Super Eagles, with Charles Andriamatsinoro netting his second goal in three games after Lalaina Nomenjanahary opened the scoring in front of Malagasy CAF president Ahmad Ahmad.North African sidesEgypt, Algeria and Morocco marched into the next round with a perfect three wins from three, the north African conditions clearly suiting a trio of teams capable of going far. Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria got the better of Sadio Mane and title favourites Senegal, while Herve Renard, who is looking to lift the trophy with a third different country, guided Morocco to a series of 1-0 wins — most notably silencing an Ivory Coast attack led by prized asset Nicolas Pepe. However, Elmohamady warned Egypt not to get carried away. “Nine points out of three games is something Egypt is used to – the difficult part is what comes next.”FlopsKnowledge Musona (Zimbabwe)Knowledge Musona (R) looks on in despair as poor finishing cost Zimbabwe victory against Uganda © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANOZimbabwe crashed out in disheartening fashion after a 4-0 rout by the Democratic Republic of Congo, but it was the preceding 1-1 draw with Uganda that will leave the Warriors feeling the most regret. Zimbabwe fell behind to an early Uganda goal before rallying strongly, but a number of glaring misses — the team’s leading scorer in qualifying Musona the chief culprit — saw them fail to collect maximum points which could well have prolonged their adventure.Amr Warda (Egypt)Amr Warda’s controversial recall to the Egypt squad sparked heated debate © AFP/FileEgypt brushed their group opponents aside but the host nation’s title push has been overshadowed by sexual harassment allegations surrounding midfielder Amr Warda. The Greece-based player was initially booted from the squad after multiple women posted screenshots and testimonies of Warda’s alleged lewd comments, as well as explicit videos attributed to the player. But after appeals from team-mates Warda was reinstated less than 48 hours later amid a heated debate about women’s rights. Reactions have ranged from the pious to the political, with many celebrities coming out to defend Warda and others pointing out his lurid history of sexual misconduct. One of the most popular Twitter hashtags in the wake of Salah and others defending the midfielder was “National team of sexual harassers”.TunisiaTunisia were one of five African representatives at last year’s World Cup, but they have performed well below expectations as the continent’s second-ranked side. At 25th in the world they trail only Senegal but the Carthage Eagles edged through to the last 16 on the back of three draws in a favourable group featuring Mali, Angola and first-timers Mauritania. “We are not satisfied with the performance,” said midfielder Youssef Msakni. Former France star Alain Giresse’s chances of winning the tournament at the fourth attempt as a coach look remote.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_imgClark helped lead the Bulldogs to a 3-0 start of the season with wins over Tennessee Tech, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan and was the lone Bulldog to notch a 3-0 singles mark. He topped TTU’s Wenceslao Albin (6-3, 7-5) and NIU’s Kristopher Ortega (6-2, 7-6) in straight sets and rallied to best WMU’s Lenard Haupt (4-6, 7-5, 7-6). In doubles, Clark teamed with Ben Wood for No. 2 doubles wins over NIU (6-3 and WMU (7-5). Clark and the rest of the Bulldogs head to Chapel Hill, N.C. for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Drake opens the two-day event against No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Print Friendly Version ELMHURST, Ill. – Drake University’s Ben Clark was named Summit League Men’s Tennis Player of the Week, marking the Comberton, England native’s first career weekly honor, the league announced on Tuesday.last_img read more

first_imgThe Voodoo Vintage lounge in Letterkenny is the location of a very fashionable Titanic- catwalk evening from the students of the Fundamental fashion course at LYIT.The event takes place on Friday next, May 15th at 8pm.It promises to b a great night for anyone interested in what the younger generation have to say about fashion. All money raised goes towards the Oncology Bus service at Letterkenny General Hospital.See you there.Full pigtail coverage of the event will also appear on Donegal Daily.   A TITANIC EVENING OF FASHION IS PROMISED BY STUDENTS OF LYIT! was last modified: May 10th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgIt’s been seven years since the 49ers had a real quarterback controversy, but those itching for that kind of drama with Jimmy Garoppolo may be disappointed.While some reports suggest the 49ers may be open to changing quarterbacks and going with Nick Mullens should Garoppolo continue to struggle, general manager John Lynch pumped the brakes on that notion.“I think those are other people’s opinions,” Lynch said Thursday on 95.7 The Game’s “Joe, Lo & Dibs” show. “I can tell you, we do think …last_img

first_imgBritish Airways says it making good progress in restoring its full flight schedule in the wake of Saturday IT meltdown as one estimate has put the cost of compensation for the major systems failure as high as £100 million ($US128m).The meltdown affected the airline’s operations worldwide and caused chaos as all flights were halted at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.The airline blamed the crippling IT problems on a power supply issue and said there was no evidence it was the result of a cyber attack. It denied a claim by a British union that it was due to a decision to outsource hundreds of IT jobs to India last year.The airline operated a full schedule at Gatwick on Sunday and virtually all of its scheduled long-haul international flights from Heathrow, although the knock-on effects of the disruption resulted in a reduced short-haul program.It expected to improve on this on Monday.“As our IT systems move closer to full operational capacity, we will again run a full schedule at Gatwick and intend to operate a full long-haul schedule and a high proportion of our short-haul program at Heathrow,’’ it said on its website.“Our terminals at Heathrow are still expected to be congested so we ask that you do not to come to the airport unless you have a confirmed booking for today and know that your flight is operating.”He airline said there was a significant number of bags at Heathrow which would be reunited with customers via couriers as soon as possible.The meltdown affected BA flights worldwide as its check-in and operational systems crashed, including call centres, forcing the carrier to communicate via its website and Twitter.Coming during a British bank holiday weekend, It caused long queues and confusion at airports and left planes stuck on runways.The airline extended its flexible booking policy to allow passengers due to fly from the airports Sunday and Monday to rebook to travel up to June 10 even if their flight was operating.Apologising for the disruption, BA said affected customers could claim a full refund or rebook to a future date for travel up until the end of November 2017.It also urged customers to keep any food, transport or accommodation receipts so they could make a  compensation claim.The airline also faces compensation claims under European Union rules requiring payments of up to 600 euros, depending on the delay and the length of the flight.This could mean a compensation bill as high as £100 million, according to The Guardian newspaper.The head of compensation claim site Resolver, James Walker, told the newspaper BA handled BA handled about 120,000 passengers a day in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick, indicating a bill of close to £50m under EU-backed compensation rules.Added to this was the cost of meals, accommodation and courier services for bags.“This is not like an ash cloud or traffic controllers’ strike that can’t be predicted,’’ Walker said. “The computer system breaking down is within its control. BA is going to have to pay out and it looks like its costs will be north of £100m.”last_img read more

first_imgThe Oscar-winning editor behind Whiplash and La La Land describes cutting First Man like a documentary.If you’ve seen First Man, you know there are a few scenes that were so unbearably tense and perfectly executed that you’d be thinking about them for weeks. For example, the undocking scene from the Agena is one of the most well-executed, chaotically beautiful moments in film history. So, taking a step back, we should ask what makes a scene like this so good? Is it the sound design, the acting, the cinematography? The answer is yes. All of these art forms collide in one seamless sequence, pieced together by someone who, frankly, rarely gets the credit they deserve. Tom Cross is that someone with First Man.Cross’s past work already speaks for itself — between winning an Oscar for Whiplash and receiving a second nomination for his collaboration with Damien Chazelle, La La Land, the Los Angeles-based editor is far from slowing down from 2017’s, The Greatest Showman, which pushed him into the stratosphere. Which brings us to 2018’s First Man.One of the key technical aspects of First Man is the visual aesthetic chosen by Chazelle and Director of Photography Linus Sandgren. Shot (mostly) on handheld 16mm and 35mm, the scenes are just as rough and lived-in as they are polished and detailed. The result is a film that eloquently mirrors the real events of the Apollo 11 mission — and the lives it affected. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Tom Cross about his process for tackling something as daunting as the moon landing, and what led to some of the decisions he made in the cutting room.Preparing for LaunchCross’s and Chazelle’s collaborations always involve narratives with driven characters striving for greatness. However, First Man’s distinct style is a combination of creative and stylistic decisions, both during shooting and in the cutting room. I asked Cross how he approached this new project and what discussions he made with Chazelle prior to shooting.Damien always likes to tell his stories through the editing. On Whiplash, he wanted the musical scenes and the practice scenes to feel brutal like the boxing scenes from Raging Bull. With La La Land, he wanted long takes, and with the camera movement, he wanted it to be slow and romantic. On First Man, he was really inspired by NASA archival footage and the footage that was shot at that time, like the 16mm gritty footage that was shot inside the space capsules. A lot of this footage was shot by the astronauts themselves, so it was claustrophobic, but it was also very personal and intimate — almost like the astronauts were filming their own home movies. This is what inspired Damien to shoot it in a very cinéma vérité fashion; he wanted to do something new and was a big fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, that movie is very clean, minimal, and modernist — and almost omniscient in its point of view. This inspired him to take a gritty, subjective approach. He wanted these scenes to be immersive and visceral, so he leaned heavily on the subjective shots and a cutting style where we would really try to put audiences inside the space capsule so you could feel how dangerous it was.The structure of First Man is linear for the most part (with the exception of a few important flashbacks, but more on that later). There’s trial-and-error, heartache, and many tense space sequences filled throughout the film’s 141 minute runtime. For the scenes on earth, specifically in the Armstrong household, the scenes are beautiful, Malickian vignettes of family life — all shot in a way that feels like we’re watching an actual family live day to day. This was no accident. Cross details the planning and shooting methods Linus used for these scenes:With the earthbound stories, he really wanted to lean into the cinéma vérité style, so the audience could feel like a fly on the wall in the Armstrong home. That way his hope was it would feel more personal and intimate, that we’d be showing the audience details that they hadn’t seen before. Our hope was that we could show personal moments between Jan and Neil and their children that you wouldn’t get in a documentary. So they shot in this handheld documentary fashion, and in fact, some of the scenes were very documentary-like, in that a lot of the material was improvised. He got the principal actors together early on to get them comfortable with each other. So he had two weeks of rehearsal before principal photography started and put them in full makeup and hair in the fully dressed sets of the Armstrong home and had them kind of play house. He wanted the actors to get comfortable enough so that they felt like a family. Then he had Linus and Linus’s crew follow them around like a documentary. So this two weeks of footage was all unscripted and a lot of that material made it into the movie. So, in that way, the vérité footage made the editing process very different from our experiences on La La Land and Whiplash.So First Man was already off to a uniquely collaborative start. Directorial decisions to stage the rehearsal, Linus’s eye for the scenes at play, and Tom with the foresight to see the bigger picture about how these shots would play into the larger narrative. The fact these scenes were shot at the beginning of production gave Tom and company an idea of what type of film First Man would become along the way.The style of this messy handheld footage also meant that the way I looked at dailies was different than our previous movies. So the style helped us bring out more unique performance moments because the style allowed certain camera imperfections like snap zooms or shots where Linus is trying to find focus or a messy pan or tilt. All those shots were fair game, in other words. We discovered that I was allowed to use those. So that allowed us to use certain performance moments that we might otherwise not be allowed to use in something like La La Land, so it opened up possibilities in terms of performance. We also discovered these camera imperfections and vérité aesthetics could be used to enhance the emotion and excitement while adding visual punctuation to the storytelling.This visual storytelling going on in First Man is crucial to the time period and the characters. Every department head is essential on a project like this. I asked Cross how he and Sandgren communicated prior to and after shooting.I always try to communicate with Linus before the shooting starts. Linus and I have done three movies together. We worked on Joy, and La La Land together and then first man. We have a really good relationship. Sometimes we can’t communicate often because he’s so busy on set, but we do try to communicate as much as we can. During pre production on First Man, Damien liked to create a list of reference films — other movies that inspire him — and he creates these lists and shares them with key department heads so that everyone can all get on the same page in terms of references and inspiration.There were several times when I would get together with Damien and Linus and Production Designer Nathan Crowley and Costume Designer Mary Zophres. We would all get together and sit in the theater and watch a double bill of two movies that Damien thought were important and interesting to look at for First man, so we would kind of have a dialogue about the movies and the creative choices we would make in the shooting and the editing of the movie. We definitely talked about the vérité approach, and we definitely talked about the possibilities. But we didn’t get into too many details right away. I let Linus’s footage tell me how to cut it. I discovered that we could use camera imperfections and certain moments to enhance the storytelling.I asked Tom if there were any particular scenes that needed this documentary-style cutting.For example in the press conference scenes and the mission review scenes after the Gemini 8 scenes, it’s meant to be and feel like an attack on Neil. He feels like he failed on these missions and now has to answer to that. There’s a way we felt like we could use the footage, and the roughness of it, the grittiness of it — there’s a way we felt like we could cut it together to try to visually create an experience that feels like an attack. So we cut it, and later Linus came to see a rough cut of the movie and was surprised that we used some of these visual moments. We used some of these messy pans and focus racks and he didn’t expect it in some ways because he did those things as a means to an end while he was shooting.Cross’s past work includes everything from documentaries to commercials. This range of storytelling means his technical skills are well above most editors. Cutting documentaries and cutting narrative films are different animals, but he finds a balance between the two, crafting an experience that feels like something entirely new. Combined with Linus’s way of shooting, both auteurs found themselves looking at their crafts in new ways.He did not merely try to replicate cinema vérité style. He did some of these things on purpose — to replicate what a documentary felt like. He just treated it like a true documentary moment. In other words, he was just following action the way a documentary filmmaker would. These little moments were just an end result of that. There’s a way that the performances and the way Damien staged it and designed it for there to be highs and lows where we’re focusing on Neil’s face and then these loud, cacophonous, intense moments where reporters are screaming trying to get Neil’s attention. Damien and I realized we could amplify it by making the scenes cuttier, faster at moments and leaving the organic messiness of the handheld footage all in the final scene.Damien and screenwriter Josh Singer did extensive research, and all this was shared with me and the department heads through a big binder that became known as “The Notebook.” Basically, it was a book that contained reference materials and a lot of stills and photos related to NASA, Neil Armstrong, the mission, and moments in Neil’s home life. There were reference photos from LIFE Magazine, and you really felt like at times you had a Neil Armstrong family photo album. All of that really helped put you in a certain frame of mind for the edit.There are a few scenes in the film that involve some pretty significant visual effects, so I wondered how Cross worked with these sequences. Given Damien’s extensive planning and research, were there any pieces of footage or storyboards for him to use as he built the sequences in the edit?So, he usually creates extensive storyboards for his movies, but with First Man, he knew he’d have to find a lot of the scenes in the editing room, strictly because of the vérité way it was being shot. For the big action scenes, he did plan them out really well and created these animatics with sound effects. In them, he used a combination of storyboard materials and actual NASA archival footage. That was really helpful to me as an editor because it gave me a blueprint for how he wanted the scene to be cut, but it also gave me, the production crew, and the VFX team (led by Paul Lambert and Kevin Elam) a blueprint as well for certain shots that Damien wanted to recreate. In terms of shooting, Damien would insist on almost exact recreations of NASA archival shots, so when I took these animatics and put them into my Avid, I used that as a bed for my sequences. As soon as the dailies would come in and get shot, we would cut them on top of this animatic. Eventually, the idea would be to completely replace everything in the animatic. A lot of the archival footage got replaced by new shots that were exact recreations, except usually done with photography of miniatures.I asked Cross if any of the actual archival shots ended up in the final cut.So we loved the feeling of the archival footage, but those real archival shots for the most part got replaced. However during certain sequences like the Apollo 11 launch, there is NASA archival footage in them, in that some of the launch shots are partial archival footage. Our VFX team worked with NASA and found there existed some extremely high-quality 70mm footage of an Apollo launch. It was done in a proprietary military format, so nobody really had any equipment to run the footage. But, they told our VFX team if we found a way to scan it and give them a copy for their archives, we could use it. So our VFX team found a way to scan it and incorporate it into the launch. So what you see in First Man when the Apollo 11 takes off are some shots where the middle part of the frame is 70mm archival footage of Apollo 14 taking off. Paul and the VFX team would use CG to build out the side of the frame to fill the wide cinemascope frame. So there are pieces of actual launch footage in the finished film.There’s a reason First Man‘s VFX team has been nominated for an Oscar (in addition to the film’s many other well-deserved accolades).Cutting the IMAX SequenceA good storyteller knows how to take the audience in any direction they want. If the story takes a turn, everything you’ve done prior has prepared the audience to go with the flow willingly. First Man‘s pivotal moment is the IMAX sequence. Cross told me he’s never cut a film in IMAX before, but like any historically great artist, he thrives on tackling bigger and bolder projects.I hadn’t cut anything in IMAX before. I’m a big fan of big screens, so I love movies in 70mm and Cinerama and IMAX, so I was really excited when Damien said he was going to shoot the movie in all these ways, including IMAX. Damien shot over 1.7 million feet of film, so he loves telling his stories through motion picture film. The IMAX photography was really interesting to work with because he wanted the lunar sequence to be presented differently than what had come before, so the idea was to have a “Wizard of Oz” moment where the camera would go through the hatch, crossing a threshold, and that’s when we would be transitioning from dark and grainy 16mm (2.40), to the IMAX format (1.43), which is astonishing with resolution and clarity.The IMAX sequence was shot on 15-perf 65mm IMAX with Kodak 5219 using Hasselblad and Zeiss lenses in a quarry outside of Atlanta. The gravel looked similar to the lunar surface, lit by a 200k Soft Sun light attached to a crane 500 feet in the air. The shift from 16mm to IMAX literally expands the screen to 1.43 — most noticeable if you saw the film in IMAX. Cross explains why and how they pulled off this transition:That clarity really made us edit the sequence differently than other scenes in the movie. Instead of it being cutty, messy, and rough, the richness of the image invited us to slow the pace down, allowing us to linger on shots so that you could really look at these tiny little details like the richness of the soil and the stitches in the gloves. This shift invites you to stay and hold onto shots longer. It also allowed us to double down on this subjective style that we had set up in other scenes, so it let us linger on these POV shots of the hands going to the ladder, so you really feel like you are in his spacesuit climbing down the ladder, and its you the audience taking the first step on the moon. So the IMAX led us to a different take and rhythm but Damien really wanted the moon sequence to feel like another world.It worked. The images, the audio, and the familiarity in certain shots puts the viewer in Armstrong’s shoes. Part of Damien, Tom, and Linus’s approach with First Man was subjective, POV shots with Neil scattered throughout the missions. This forethought is another example of how you shoot can tell a story. By the time we get to the moon, we feel as if we are Armstrong himself. We’re in the suit, and the stakes are just as high for us.Through the other space missions, even starting with the opening sequence, he wanted to set up a very visceral editing style that would put the viewer inside the craft and give them this immersive experience. I think the idea was once we got to the moon to double down on that. The resolution of that invited the audience to participate. The screen opens up if you see it in IMAX. In terms of an IMAX experience, that invites the audience to be enveloped in this new location and in a participatory experience.Cross’s edit summons emotions through pacing. The contrast between editing styles is so visceral you can’t help but feel a different way once that style switches up. This filmic instinct is proof that a good filmmaker can sway emotions however they want.Once we’re on the moon, Chazelle and company tug at our heartstrings in a number of different ways. The journey has brought so much pain to our hero, both at work and at home. It’s in these moments that Cross cuts to flashbacks of Neil, Janet, and Karen — before Karen passed. There’s literally no audio except the haunting score from Justin Hurwitz as we see Neil walk, alone, across the surface of the moon. Cross explained why the flashbacks he used were crucial to crossing the finish line with Neil as he looks back at his life across a sea of darkness towards home.The Karen flashbacks on the moon were not in the script. They were things and moments that Damien and I found in the editing room. He wanted to show the private unseen moments of Neil Armstrong on the moon. He felt that a lot of people would be familiar with Neil as the icon, and he really wanted to take a look behind the curtain and show moments that were more personal and intimate. This led us to moments where we lingered on his face but also lingered on his experiences of looking at Buzz from afar hopping on the moon. We really loved holding on Neil during these private moments. That invited us to try to get into his head to suggest what he might be thinking about. That led us to use some of the improvised rehearsal footage, so these flashbacks were pulled from that footage. Damien really liked it in a formal sense that he was trying to really present the moon as a dead place. He wanted the moon sequence to feel like a black-and-white, silent, horror film, so he played with the shadows and the stark, black sky, and it ended up looking very monochromatic. He knew that we could play with that with juxtaposing the 16mm gritty rehearsal footage, which almost looks like Kodachrome home movies. We knew it would be a very stark juxtaposition that would be very exciting while enhancing the emotional effect.Those moments in rehearsal came back several times throughout the film, and each appearance hits harder than the one before as we live with these characters as the film progresses. Damien and Tom’s relationship shines with their openness to going off script in service of the story. That openness didn’t just help enhance the moon sequence — it also improved several other moments throughout the film.The unscripted footage — we’d put scenes together with this footage that we really liked, and those scenes would end up replacing scripted family scenes in some cases of the movie. During the Gemini 8 sequence, we often check back in with Janet listening on the squawk box, but we found some great rehearsal moments that gave us some more unique details and felt more real, in terms of seeing their real life at home. So we would take some of these scenes that we would create in the cutting room and replace the scripted scenes. So with the Gemini 8 sequence, the moment where the son, Rick Armstrong, whips Janet Armstrong with a towel and then she chases him down the hallway, these are all fly-on-the-wall moments that felt vérité; they reminded us of some of the movies we watched in pre-production like something from Frederick Wiseman, Robert Drew movies or something from the Maysel Brothers. But this stark contrast was what Damien felt like would be the power of First Man — the juxtaposition of the space missions and the ordinary mundane earthbound scenes. Damien always said First Man was going to be about the moon and the kitchen sink. So the challenge was to find the balance between the two things.Hearing Cross say that blew me away. As you’re watching the film, you have little to no time to stop and think about the narrative in this way. The film plays out in a seamless thread from point A to B. It’s only after the film — or even once Neil is looking out over the crater — that you realize what just happened. Between the vérité style, the intentional cutting, and every technical aspect of the film, the First Man team kept the story grounded with a simple message — that these momentous occasions and accomplishments can be taken by anybody, even you.You Have to Start SomewhereI asked Cross what advice he had for anybody starting out as a video editor, but his response could apply to anybody at any stage in any aspect of film production.No matter what you’re doing, if you’re an assistant editor or trying to break into video editing, always try to edit things. It doesn’t matter what it is; you can edit a short film, a documentary, a commercial — I think you should always try to cut something. Sometimes the road is long. It took me many years as an assistant editor to make the jump to editor. Never give up, but always edit. All the experience, no matter the genre, makes your storytelling better. When you become an editor, you bring all of those things to the table. If you’ve worked in documentary, that’s an invaluable experience that can inform your narrative storytelling.Finally, I asked Cross what type of work he started out on and how that work informed his take on something like First Man.When I started out, I worked in New York, and I always dreamt of working on feature films, but sometimes you can’t. It’s hard to get those jobs. I experienced that when I worked in New York. They’re not always making movies there, so you end up taking whatever jobs you can get to pay the bills, so I worked on commercials, TV promos, reality TV, documentaries, fashion videos — but all that experience informed my storytelling and work, and all of that comes into play when I work on feature films. So with First Man, my early documentary experience helped prepare me for this vérité approach. So, always be open to learning and working in different styles. When you work in these different genres and different projects, all these people who you connect with, no matter what you’re working on, they might be the ones to give you your great break. So it’s about connecting with people and always nurturing your creativity, no matter the project. You don’t know who the people are who are going to give you your big break. Sometimes [it’s] the people that you don’t expect. The opportunities that you don’t think about will be pivotal, and the ones you often think are going to lead to something big, are not fruitful, so you just never know.All images via Universal.For more in-depth conversations with Editors, DP’s and Directors, check out our past interviews:Adam Salky on Directing Projects with Powerful Emotional ThemesThe Editor of Green Book Offers Insight Into the Art of BalanceSet Photographer Matt Kennedy on Shooting for MarvelComposer Dan Marocco of Brooklyn Nine-NineHow the Editor Behind I, Tonya Recreated Historylast_img read more