Paul Hirsch


Editor

About

Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA

Biography

Distinguished editor Paul Hirsch's notable credits include his work with directors George Lucas, John Hughes, Herbert Ross, and his most frequent collaborator, Brian De Palma. Known more for his artful handling of action and suspense than his underused comic proficiency, Hirsch emerged as one of the leading editors of modern cinema, working steadily throughout his career and turning out ...

Biography

Distinguished editor Paul Hirsch's notable credits include his work with directors George Lucas, John Hughes, Herbert Ross, and his most frequent collaborator, Brian De Palma. Known more for his artful handling of action and suspense than his underused comic proficiency, Hirsch emerged as one of the leading editors of modern cinema, working steadily throughout his career and turning out a great number of celebrated motion pictures.

In 1970, the editor got his start with De Palma, making his feature debut as both editor and actor with 1970's well-made satire "Hi Mom!." Three years later, they reteamed on the thriller "Sisters," an early example of the editor's interesting spin on the eerie and his masterful use of rhythm to emphasize the suspenseful script. He gave the musical "Phantom of the Paradise" (1974) an interesting flow and odd structure that helped to make the largely unsuccessful film a cult hit in later years. Hirsch's best work with De Palma may well be 1976's "Carrie"; he perfectly set up the film's evocative drama as well as created a visually stunning ending, incorporating split screens and quick cuts to convey agonizing suspense and terror.

Following his "Carrie" success, Hirsch did notable work with George Lucas on 1977's "Star Wars," sharing an Academy Award for his efforts. The editor skillfully handled this forerunner of special effects-driven pictures, arranging the futuristic film's elaborate action scenes and perfectly establishing the space atmosphere. He also did a masterful job of maintaining the film's narrative thrust in the midst of the overwhelming effects, creating a legendary modern fable. Hirsch had similar success with the more character-focused spirited sequel "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980).

Hirsch teamed with Herbert Ross for 1984's story driven musical "Footloose." The editor helped to make an energetic and endearing modern musical, setting up a rhythm to the film that fit the narrative portions and the dance numbers together in a believable framework, depending less on traditional musical conventions. That same year he edited Ross' somewhat ill-conceived "Protocol." "The Secret of My Success" (1987) marked the pair's third collaboration, but their fourth effort, the entertaining comedy-drama "Steel Magnolias" (1989) would prove more memorable. Well-structured, with a strong and logical flow, the film offered Hirsch the opportunity to show his adeptness, reconciling the often overlapping moving drama and uproarious comedy with his sharp rhythmic structure.

Hirsch's debut work with John Hughes, the 1986 favorite "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," proved the cutter's versatility and keen comic timing. Hirsch set an elaborate and effective tempo in the film, balancing the dry humor of Matthew Broderick's Ferris and cohorts with the more slapstick fate suffered by Principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones). He followed up with an equally fine showing in Hughes' bittersweet "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (1987) and the well-timed if unremarkable Hughes production "Dutch" (1991).

After a 14-year separation, Hirsch rejoined Brian De Palma on the satirical and suspenseful actioner "Raising Cain," creating a fast-moving and gripping thriller about twins. In 1996, they took on their eighth film together, the ambitious espionage tale "Mission: Impossible." Reportedly one of the most befuddling scripts to be shot, the exciting film ended up just this side of comprehensible due largely to Hirsch's efforts.

Hirsch's notable work with other directors includes Joel Schumacher's jolting drama "Falling Down" and Randa Haines' intimate and compelling "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway" (both 1993). In 1998 he took on two larger scale projects, the Mikael Salomon disaster/heist combo "Hard Rain," an exercise for his noted suspense and action skills, and Disney's hi-tech remake of "Mighty Joe Young" (directed by Ron Underwood), a film best served by the editor's superior balancing of special effects and storylines.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

I Love Trouble (1994)
Music For the Movies: Bernard Herrmann (1992)
Himself

Editing (Feature Film)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
Editor
The Mummy (2017)
Editor
Warcraft (2016)
Editor
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Editor
Oldboy (2013)
Editing
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011)
Editor
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)
Editor
Source Code (2011)
Editor
Love Ranch (2010)
Editor
Righteous Kill (2008)
Editor
Lions for Lambs (2007)
Editing
Date Movie (2006)
Editor
Deck The Halls (2006)
Editor
Ray (2004)
Editor
The Fighting Temptations (2003)
Editor
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Editor
Mission to Mars (2000)
Editor
Lake Placid (1999)
Editor
Hard Rain (1998)
Editor
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Editor
I Love Trouble (1994)
Editor
Falling Down (1993)
Editor
Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993)
Editor
Raising Cain (1992)
Editor
Dutch (1991)
Editor
Coupe de Ville (1990)
Editor
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Editor
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Editor
The Secret Of My Success (1987)
Editor
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Editor
The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)
Editing
Footloose (1984)
Editor
Protocol (1984)
Editor
The Black Stallion Returns (1983)
Editor
Creepshow (1982)
Editor
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Editor
Home Movies (1979)
Editing
The Fury (1978)
Editor
King Of The Gypsies (1978)
Editor
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Editor
Carrie (1976)
Editor
Obsession (1976)
Editor
The Money (1975)
Editor
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Editor
Sisters (1972)
Editor
Hi, Mom! (1970)
Film Editor

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Titan A.E. (2000)
Production Consultant

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Music For the Movies: Bernard Herrmann (1992)
Other

Life Events

1970

Feature debut, served as editor in first collaboration with Brian De Palma, "Hi, Mom!"; also acted

1973

Reteamed with De Palma for the thriller "Sisters"

1974

Edited De Palma's "Phantom of the Paradise", a rock musical loosely based on "The Phantom of the Opera", starring William Finley and Paul Williams

1976

Fourth and fifth collaborations with De Palma, on the horror classic "Carrie" and the thriller "Obsession"

1977

Edited George Lucas' groundbreaking "Star Wars"; shared the Academy Award

1978

Sixth collaboration with De Palma, on the violent thriller "The Fury"

1980

Edited the successful "Star Wars" sequel "The Empire Strikes Back"

1982

Was the editor of "The Crate" segment of George Romero's aptly titled horrorfest "Creepshow"

1984

Collaborated with Herbert Ross on "Footloose" and "Protocol"

1986

Edited the popular John Hughes comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

1987

Reteamed with Hughes for "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

1987

Was editor of Ross' "The Secret of My Success"

1987

TV debut, edited the syndicated sci-fi series, "Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future"

1989

Fourth collaboration with Ross, "Steel Magnolias"

1991

Edited the Hughes production "Dutch"

1992

After a 14-year absence reteamed with De Palma on the thriller "Raising Cain"

1992

Appeared as himself in the documentary, "Music For the Movies: Bernard Herrmann"

1993

Edited Joel Schumacher's gritty drama "Falling Down"

1993

Worked with director Randa Haines on "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway"

1996

Edited his eighth De Palma film, the action thriller "Mission: Impossible"

1998

Was editor of Mikael Salomon's "Hard Rain"

1998

Edited the Disney remake "Mighty Joe Young" directed by Ron Underwood

2000

Again collaborated with Brian De Palma on "Mission to Mars"

2002

Worked again with Ron Underwood on "The Adventures of Pluto Nash"

2004

Edited Taylor Hackford's award winning "Ray" starring Jamie Fox as Ray Charles; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Film Editing

Bibliography