Damon Wayans in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled.

Investigate the possibilities.

The one piece of advice that I would impart to anybody
who is looking to be an editor or any other aspect of this business
is always remember that making movies is about investigating all
possibilities. You should always be open to different options. If
you get focused into making something one way, you may not make
the best film.

Take your time to do it right.

I just got hired to do four weeks on a proposed reality
show about comedians. They want to do a half-hour show in two weeks.
That really is not, to me, the proper way to make it in the best
way possible. It can be done, and with my years of experience I’ll
be able to figure out how to do it. But to me it’s not the best
way to do it.

Put your money where your mouth is.

I wanted to produce because as an editor for the 10
previous years I used to hear a lot of editors who do documentaries,
say ‘Oh, I could do better than this guy.’ So I finally said ‘Put
your money where your mouth is.’ [laughs]

The script is the template.

The thing that you learn when you’re writing a film
is that it’s the template; it’s the foundation. It gives you the
opportunity to have a template in front of you. Then when
you go into the editing room, that process is the next level of
the template. First you have it on paper, now you have it visually
and then you have to make it a film.

Pain is pleasurable.

To me, what I love more than the finished film is
the process of making it—even when it’s painful (and most times
it is). Because it’s always an evolving process where I’m learning
something, not only about the material, but about myself and my
response to the material. I think it’s one of the greatest things
to do.

Filmography for Samuel Pollard

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2003) [Executive producer]
Time Enough at Last (2003) [Post-Production Mentor]
25th Hour (2002)
The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (2002) [Producer]
Jim Brown All American (2002) [Editor/Producer]
Bragging Rights: Stickball (2001) [Executive producer]
Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks (2000)
The Making of ‘Bamboozled’ (2001) [Director]
Bamboozled (2000)
4 Little Girls (1997) [Editor/Producer]
Girl 6 (1996)
Clockers (1995)
No Dreams Deferred (1994)
Surviving the Game (1994)
Jungle Fever (1991)
Mo’ Better Blues (1990)
Eyes on the Prize II (1990) [Director/Producer]
Private Resort (1985)
Body and Soul (1981)
Night of the Zombies (1981)
Just Crazy About Horses (1978)