Some interviews promise you the moon - this one delivers! This week MI6 caught up with John Grover, Assembly Editor on "Moonraker"...

Interview - John Grover (Part 2)
15th September 2003

MI6 had the chance this week to chat to John Grover about his work on "Moonraker". In this two part interview we will look discuss his memory of the film and career so far...


How long did it take you to cut "Moonraker" together?
The editing started when they started shooting and finished the day before the premiere, 10 months approximately. The picture was assembled a week after shooting and the process of elimination and tightening took 6 to 8 weeks, 7 days a week! We also had masses of optical effect shots to wait for. Very busy and a very tight schedule.

Which is your favourite Bond film?
My favourite Bond film is "The Spy Who Loved Me".

What has been you favourite film you have worked?
My favourite film that I have worked on was "Labyrinth", Jim Henson was such a gentleman and we got on well together, it also lasted for nearly 18 months. A lot of me is in that picture!

The advances in editing film are improving rapidly, with the advent of digital camera's do you believe that removing hands on process will take something away from film making?
Film editing systems are improving rapidly, not necessarily the film editing! Digital cameras do not alter editing; it is just a different way to supply images for editing.

Digital editing is so quick and so many versions can be stored at little expense, unfortunately this means that nobody ever makes a decision. When one worked with film a lot more thought went into making a cut before the physical cut was made.

Today many films are cut much too fast and with far too many gimmicks, all because of electronic editing systems. Everybody thinks that they can edit films! This is a sore point with many of the older film trained editors.

Have you seen the latest Bond film "Die Another Day", and if so, how do you think it compares to the last few?
Yes I did see it and enjoyed it. For me it was much too loud, no highs and lows just continuously loud and pictorially much of the ice palace was repetitive. I found the use of digital effects overused, the Aston Martin disappearing sequence was so improbable as to be laughable. And I did have a feeling of déjà vu in many of the sequences!

It made a lot of money and was marketed very well, it compared quite well with all the Bonds that Pierce was in, he has set his own style and keeps to it!

What is you next project?
My next project may be a TV series, or it might be a feature. Nothing is settled. As I get older I feel that I do not have to work all the time, there is not nearly as much fun and job satisfaction as there used to be.

Many thanks to John Grover.


MI6 Biography

Name: John Grover

"For Your Eyes Only" - Assistant Editor
"Moonraker" - Assembly Editor
"For Your Eyes Only" - Editor
"Octopussy" - Supervising Editor
"The Living Daylights" - Editor
"Licence To Kill" - Editor

Related Articles:
Interview - John Grover (Part 1)
MI6 "Moonraker" Coverage