Case in point: in his Paul Thomas Anderson tribute, where he skillfully strings together the differing onomatopoeic moments — crack! crash! thwack! — of the coke dealer's Chinese firecrackers in Boogie Nights, Adam Sandler kicking in plate-glass doors in Punch Drunk Love, and the frogs falling like rain onto windshields in Magnolia.
If Proulx's montages are perfect for the short-attention-span Web, they're also strong evidence that he might have a future working in slightly longer form, perhaps joining the ranks of such renowned editors as Joel Cox and Michael Kahn, who go beyond merely articulating a particular director's vision — Eastwood and Spielberg, respectively — to put their own identifiable stamp on a film. (Proulx's favorite editor is long-time Martin Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker.)
"They say in a well-edited movie, you shouldn't be able to notice the editing," he says. "I don't agree with that. You should be able to have fun with it."
And if the Massachusetts 'burbs aren't the ideal proving ground for an aspiring auteur, Proulx will keep leveraging the Web to get himself noticed.
It's working, slowly. His videos have gotten him a decent amount of editing jobs in the area. His montages have merited brief mentions in the LA Times and Empire magazine. An Italian theme park called MovieLand asked to use his Tim Burton tribute this past Halloween.
Most gratifying was seeing his Paul Thomas Anderson clip featured on the director's fan site — which he thinks may mean the man himself has seen it.
Who knows? Maybe Anderson will call up looking for help in the editing room?
"It would be great to edit a feature film," Proulx admits. "But it would be better to direct a feature film and help edit it."
Mike Miliard is busy splicing and dicing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.