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Peter E. Berger

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Peter E. Berger, ACE, is an Academy Award-nominated film editor who edited Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek Generations, and Star Trek: Insurrection. He most often edited films for Paramount Pictures.

Early career

Berger began as an assistant editor on the 1973 film Arnold, in which Star Trek: The Motion Picture actor Norman Stuart played the title role. The score for this film was composed by George Duning. Berger then edited George C. Scott's 1974 adventure film The Savage Is Loose, which marked Berger's first collaboration with fellow film editor Michael Kahn. Berger then worked as one of Kahn's assistant editors on the 1975 horror film The Devil's Rain, which starred William Shatner.

Later, Berger edited the 1976 film Hot Potato, which starred Irene Tsu. His next two films both featured Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Bibi Besch: 1977's The Pack and 1979's The Promise. The latter film also starred Stephen Collins, Robin Gammell, and Laurence Luckinbill. In 1978, Berger edited the television special KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, which starred Anthony Zerbe. Berger then edited the 1980 films The Last Married Couple in America (which featured Stewart Moss) and Oh, God! Book II.

George C. Villaseñor and Fatal Attraction

In 1981, the Paramount Pictures release First Monday in October marked Berger's first collaboration with assistant editor George C. Villaseñor. Berger later brought in Villaseñor to assist him in editing Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Berger and Villaseñor also worked together on the 1987 drama Less Than Zero.

Berger co-edited the hit 1987 Paramount film Fatal Attraction, working with Michael Kahn for the first time since 1975. George Villaseñor was once again Berger's assistant editor on Fatal Attraction, as was Thomas R. Bryant, another one of Berger's assistant editors on Star Trek IV.

Both Berger and Kahn were nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Film Editing category for Fatal Attraction. They also received an "Eddie" nomination from American Cinema Editors (ACE, of which both are members) and won a BAFTA (British Academy Film and Television Arts) Award for their editing of Fatal Attraction.

After the success of Fatal Attraction, Berger reunited with Star Trek IV director Leonard Nimoy as editor on Nimoy's 1988 drama, The Good Mother. Berger, in turn, brought Villaseñor with him to once again serve as his assistant editor. Berger and Villaseñor's final collaboration was the 1991 Paramount thriller Dead Again, for which Matthew F. Leonetti served as Director of Photography. Villaseñor subsequently retired from the entertainment industry; he died in 2009.

Collaborations with Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was the first of four times Berger edited a film directed by Leonard Nimoy. The second was the aforementioned The Good Mother. This was followed in 1990 by Nimoy's romantic comedy Funny About Love, released by Paramount Pictures. The cast of this film included Freda Foh Shen and Celeste Yarnall in small roles. Berger collaborated with Nimoy one more time on the 1994 comedy Holy Matrimony, which co-starred Jeffrey Nordling, Richard Riehle, and John Schuck.

Other 1980s projects

Berger was the editor on Paramount's 1981 biographical feature Mommie Dearest. He later co-edited the 1983 film Staying Alive (the sequel to the 1977 hit Saturday Night Fever) and edited the 1988 comedy-drama Memories of Me. His assistant editor on these latter two films was John Haggar, who also worked with Berger on Star Trek IV and Star Trek V.

In addition, Berger was an additional editor on the 1985 film Vision Quest, which featured Ronny Cox and Raphael Sbarge. Berger then edited Paramount's 1986 romantic drama Fire with Fire, which starred Star Trek: Voyager guest actress Virginia Madsen and featured Voyager regular Tim Russ. In addition, this film was photographed by Hiro Narita, who later directed photography on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Berger edited several made-for-TV movies during the 1980s, including The Face of Rage (1983, which featured John Glover and Keith Szarabajka), Call to Glory (1984, featuring Gabriel Damon and Rosemary Forsyth) and Heart of a Champion: The Ray Mancini Story (1985, featuring Ray Buktenica). Call to Glory camera work by Jonathan West and was produced by Paramount Television.

Berger also edited two CBS movies which featured Bert Remsen: Hobson's Choice (1983) and Burning Rage (1984). In 1989, Berger edited the CBS movie Do You Know the Muffin Man?, which starred Brian Bonsall. This movie also featured Georgann Johnson and Graham Jarvis.

Other 1990s films

Berger provided additional editing on the 1990 Paramount film Internal Affairs, which was photographed by John A. Alonzo, later to direct the photography on Star Trek Generations. He then co-edited the Paramount comedy All I Want for Christmas, which featured a performance by Andrea Martin, production design by Herman Zimmerman, art direction by Randy McIlvain, and set decoration by John M. Dwyer. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine assistant editor Craig Galloway was an assistant editor on both Internal Affairs and All I Want for Christmas.

With George Villaseñor retiring, Berger was in need of a new assistant editor and brought in John Coniglio to serve as an apprentice editor for Internal Affairs, All I Want for Christmas, and Dead Again. Coniglio subsequently became Berger's assistant editor on Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: Insurrection and most of Berger's other films during the 1990s, including the aforementioned Holy Matrimony. Jonathan Cates was also an assistant editor on Holy Matrimony, and soon thereafter worked with Berger and Coniglio on Star Trek Generations.

Berger later edited the fantasy films Stay Tuned (1992) and Hocus Pocus (1993). Hocus Pocus featured Charles Rocket in the cast and marked the second film Berger edited on which Hiro Narita was director of photography after 1986's Fire with Fire. Later, Berger made an uncredited contribution to the 1996 science fiction film Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, which starred Matt Frewer, Kevin Conway, and Richard Fancy. Berger also edited the 1996 Walt Disney Pictures release Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco for director David R. Ellis. John Coniglio assisted Berger on all of these films; Jonathan Cates assisted on Lawnmower Man 2.

With continued assistance from Coniglio and Cates, Berger edited the 1997 films Metro and Red Corner. The former starred Eddie Murphy, while the latter featured Tzi Ma in the cast. This was followed by Star Trek: Insurrection, which is Berger and Coniglio's last collaboration to date.

Recent projects

In 2000, Berger edited the film All Forgotten (aka Lover's Prayer), which starred Kirsten Dunst. Berger was then the main editor of the hit 2001 film Save the Last Dance, which was released by Paramount Pictures. His assistant editor on both of these films was Jeff Canavan, who previously worked for Berger on Star Trek: Insurrection and Lawnmower Man 2. Berger's association with both Canavan and Paramount continued when he edited the 2002 film Clockstoppers. This film was directed by Jonathan Frakes, the director of Star Trek: Insurrection.

Also in 2002, Berger co-edited the film Like Mike along with John Pace, the editor of William Shatner's Star Trek Memories. Berger then edited the 2004 family film Garfield and the 2006 Paramount drama Coach Carter. Berger's first assistant editor on Coach Carter was Ken Terry, his previously served that function on Star Trek: Insurrection.

Berger has since edited the thriller 88 Minutes, which featured Star Trek: First Contact actor Neal McDonough in a supporting role, and the hit family film Alvin and the Chipmunks, both released in 2007. Most recently, Berger edited his first television production in nearly 14 years, the TNT network movie Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, which featured a cast that included Danny Goldring.

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