Rowland: Bond editor emerges stirred, unshaken

November 13, 2008 

Gonsalves, Robin Gonsalves.

While the name may not ring a bell, the 28-year old Beyer High graduate spent the last year in Her Majesty's Secret Service, so to speak, working on the new James Bond film, "Quantum of Solace."

"It's a surreal experience for everyone because it's bigger than all of us," Gonsalves said while home visiting family in Modesto.

"It was a very fun and friendly environment. Everyone, from Daniel Craig to the production assistants, was fabulous. People were just amped that they were making a Bond film."

The 1998 Beyer and 2002 Chapman University graduate served as the first assistant editor on the latest installment of the 007 superspy franchise.

For the past six years, Gonsalves has worked for "Quantum of Solace" director Marc Forster and his editor Matt Chesse.

Her credits include "Finding Neverland," "Stranger Than Fiction" and "The Kite Runner."

Gonsalves was the only American member of the editorial assistant crew to make the trip to England.

As first assistant editor, she was one of the first people to see the raw footage. She would log, capture and sync the dailies and prepare them for the editor to cut together.

She also would coordinate the footage with other departments — from sound to composing and effects — to make sure everyone had the same cut of the film.

Gonsalves spent most of her time in editing rooms in and around London. She arrived last year just before Christmas and returned home last month.

The editing staff worked down to the wire on the big-budget international production, turning in the final cut on Oct. 16, just two weeks before its UK première Oct. 31. The film opens across the United States today.

The project was Gonsalves' first action film, but she said working on footage of car crashes and explosions really wasn't that different from the dramas and comedies she has done.

However, there was heightened security around the project and a conscious effort to keep the plot and footage under wraps.

"You are much more aware of the fact that there are millions of people highly anticipating this and waiting for it to come out," she said. "We're not used to that. It's not like on 'Stranger Than Fiction,' people were standing over our shoulder and saying, 'Hmmm, what's that mean?' "

While Gonsalves said she wasn't a Bond fanatic before she started work, she caught up along with other crew members thanks to the complete Bond DVD set all the department heads were given beforehand.

She attended the London première party last month. The event included royalty, with Princes William and Harry in attendance, as well as all of the stars.

"I've never seen a movie première where they had trumpeters come out. The princes walked in and everyone sang 'God Save the Queen.' They shut down Leicester Square in London," she said. "It was a huge media circus. Everyone who was anyone was there — it was crazy."

Gonsalves said the première was the first time she got to see the movie start to finish without taking notes or looking for mistakes. She plans to see the film again over the weekend with family and friends, then head back to her home in Los Angeles.

While she has no immediate projects lined up, Gonsalves said she is excited to see how the world responds to the new Bond.

"It was a crazy experience, but good," she said. "Once you come out the other end, you say, 'I can't believe I was a part of that.' "

Elsewhere around the Scene:

Musicians are singing for someone else's supper.

The annual Food 4 Music benefit show is Saturday at the Queen Bean Coffee House in Modesto. The event, hosted by "Good Day Sacramento" correspondent Alan Sanchez, collects food for donation to the United Way.

Performing are Reggie Ginn, The Ivy Lines, Alyssa Poppin, The Jon Valenti Band, The French Cassettes and A La Lune.

Show starts at 4 p.m. Bring two nonperishable food items for admission. Call 551-6690. ...

And finally, check out a screening of the award-winning public television special "Roberto Clemente" today at California State University, Stanislaus.

The film features commentary by CSU Stanislaus history professor Samuel Regalado. Filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz and Regalado will be on hand to answer questions.

Movie starts at 6 p.m. in the Gemperle Lecture Hall (Room 167) of the Demergasso-Bava Hall.

The screening is free and open to the public.

Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at 578-2284 or mrowland@modbee.com. Read her blog SceneIt at thehive.modbee.com/sceneit.

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