Just who is Roderick Jaynes?
[Editor's Note: This video essay is part of our "Everything You Need to Know" series created exclusively for No Film School by Senior Post. To revisit other entries in the series, click here and here.]
The name "Roderick Jaynes" should be familiar to anyone who fancies themselves a fan of filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. Credited as the editor of the Coen brothers' vast filmography, Jaynes has remained a loyal contributor, choosing to work exclusively with the two men and, as a result, receiving multiple Academy Award nominations for his troubles.
Although the long-time British editor rarely (if ever) makes public appearances, choosing to forego his invitations to the Oscars ceremony to instead watch games of cricket from home, Jaynes has been cited as one of the smartest people in Hollywood. But who is he really? And why he is so afraid of making public appearances? Watch our video below to find out.
As it turns out, Roderick Jaynes does not actually exist. The name serves as a pseudonym for Joel and Ethan Coen, the two men choosing to take a rather auteurist approach by editing their own work. Why the use of an alias? Directing, writing, and producing their own films left the Coens with the realization that their names were appearing too often in the credits and thus, the name "Roderick Jaynes" was born.
The Coens aren't the only filmmakers to go this route. Steven Soderbergh, another prolific filmmaker who often wears multiple artistic hats, uses the pseudonym "Peter Andrews" for his work as a cinematographer and "Mary Ann Bernard" for his multiple stabs at editing. Who would've guessed that a number of filmmakers who wish for more control over their projects would get tired of seeing their name repeated multiple times on screen?
Sadly, Roderick Jaynes is not currently available for hire.
What's your favorited edited Coen brothers film? For a list of all of the films referenced in our video, scroll down below.
- A Serious Man (2009) dir. Joel & Ethan Coen
- Barton Fink (1991) dir. Joel Coen
- Blood Simple (1984) dir. Joel Coen
- Burn After Reading (2008) dir. Joel & Ethan Coen
- Fargo (1996) dir. Joel Coen
- Hail Ceasar! (2016) dir. Joel & Ethan Coen
- Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) dir. Joel & Ethan Coen
- Miller's Crossing (1990) dir. Joel Coen
- No Country For Old Men (2007) dir. Joel & Ethan Coen
- O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) dir. Joel Coen
- Raising Arizona (1987) dir. Joel Coen
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) dir. Joel & Ethan Coen
- The Big Lebowski (1998) dir. Joel Coen
- The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) dir. Joel Coen
- The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) dir. Joel Coen
- True Grit (2010) dir. Joel & Ethan Coen