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A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away
A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away

A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away

My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits—Star Wars, Carrie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Mission: Impossible, and More


448 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Mobipocket, PDF, EPUB, Cloth

Cloth, $30.00 (US $30.00) (CA $40.00)

Publication Date: November 2019

ISBN 9781641602556

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Nov 2019)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: November 2019


The behind-the-scenes stories of the greatest movies of the past fifty years, told by the film editor who pieced them together

A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away is a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most influential films of the last 50 years by Paul Hirsch, the film editor who worked on Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and more than 40 other features. Starting with his work on Carrie, Hirsch gives insight into the production process, touching upon casting, directing, cutting and scoring. It's a riveting look at the decisions that went into creating memorable and iconic scenes and offers fascinating portraits of filmmakers, stars and composers. Part film-school primer, part paean to legendary directors and professionals, the funny yet insightful writing will entertain and inform aficionados and casual moviegoers alike.


"Paul Hirsch, a master of his craft, has written an intelligent, perceptive, compelling memoir of his editing life, starting in the late sixties through today. From the heights of Star Wars to the depths of Pluto Nash, if you want to know how the sausage is cut, this is the book for you. I should know, I was with him in the beginning and through our misadventure to Mars. Congratulations, Paul, for remembering all the things we forgot." —Brian De Palma

"Paul's written a terrific, expert's view of the editing process, which I believe will be an important technical and historical narrative for future filmmakers and film lovers." —Taylor Hackford  

"It shouldn't be surprising that a great storyteller can tell great stories. From the man in the (cutting) room where it happened, on many of our favorite films, comes a glorious piece of work that makes you feel that you were there yourself. How do I feel about this book? NOT 'ipsy-pipsy.' If you want to decipher that, read it!" —J. J. Abrams

Author Biography

Paul Hirsch received the Academy Award for his editing work on Star Wars in 1978. He also has edited George Lucas's sequel The Empire Strikes Back; Brian De Palma's Carrie and Mission: Impossible; Herbert Ross's Footloose and Steel Magnolias; John Hughes's Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Planes, Trains & Automobiles; and Falling Down for Joel Schumacher. In 2005, he received his second Academy Award nomination for Taylor Hackford's Ray. He is the only person to ever win the Saturn Award for Best Editing twice. In 2017 he was given the special Award to Editor with Unique Visual Sensitivity by the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, Camerimage.  He lives in Los Angeles, CA.