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  • 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
  • By: Paul Hirsch
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Art
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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, a film editor who worked on more than 40 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.

©2019 Paul Hirsch (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about A Long Time Ago, in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away

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Great for film fans, not too technical

This book is both informative and insightful. Covering the realities of the editing process and how it shapes a film, along with intriguing insights from Hirsch, as he was up close with famous filmmakers making many big hits and some notable misses. It may seem dry at first as you work out the author’s perspective, but it’s definitely worth sticking with it as it becomes progressively more and more riveting. I’m off to rewatch the films covered. First up is Blow Out, with its scenes weaving the analog film and sound gear in with the drama.

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Great book about movie editors life!

Loved the book. If you're into film making and want to know how a movie editor can bring a movie to life. This is the book for you. I have learnt a lot about Paul Hirsch! Sir, you are now one of my heroes. The narration is on point as well.

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  • Paul D Lindgren
  • 24-11-2019

A fascinating look “behind the curtain”..

A great longitudinal look at the development of a film editor and his career. It is peppered with fun and insightful morsels from films, both hits and disasters. The performer was an excellent choice, it was easy to imagine that the author was reading his own work. Very enjoyable audio book.

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  • John
  • 12-12-2019

Fantastic Book

Loved everything about this book. I happen to be a filmmaker, so I knew first hand many of things Mr. Hirsch addresses in the book, but even people unfamiliar with moviemaking will find this book a fascinating peek behind the curtain, as well as a wonderful account of a life well lived telling stories.

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  • Clifford
  • 01-10-2020

Editing war stories

I realized near the end that, as a struggling editor, I've been listening to this book as though Paul Hirsch is a Ken Burnsian civil war soldier writing his letters and memoirs from the front lines trenches, faded sepia lettering of editing notes cross faded with Hirsch working at his moviola, only missing a lone violin to warble and close out each chapter. The narration feels akin to voice acting- descriptive, flowing and evocative. personally found the BTS narratives riveting and enlightening. loved it, will definitely repeat.

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  • James M. Patton
  • 19-05-2020

Like you were there! A great book of so many hits

From giving you the sense that you were there, to the education that you would have received with such an in-person experience, the book does a fantastic job of taking you everywhere the author went, enjoying the successes and failures as if they were partly your own. A great listen!!

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  • Jonathan Garland
  • 31-03-2020

A wealth of information on the film industry throughout the years from the editor’s angle

Paul Hirsch dives directly into his work as a film editor over the years, featuring stories from when editing early Brian De Palma projects with Robert De Nero during the New Hollywood Renaissance of independent filmmaking back in early 70’s New York, to stories about working on Star Wars ranging from the Lucas Ranch in Marin County California, to working on set in London to breaking onto working on Hollywood sets as well. Hirsch fairly looks at the ups and downs which his success has given him. He remembers the flops just as much as his successful projects. He also explains the importance of a good director/editor relationship. This is an ever-changing industry, and Paul Hirsch does a real good job at putting a continuity to life as an editor which jumps form working on Steinbeck editing tables to Avid computer software. He has a great respect for the editing craft. I highly recommend this book for folks interested in filmmaking or film history.

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  • D3 Book Reviewer
  • 29-12-2019

Buy The Book, Skip The Audio

The book and content is great, however the performance/presenter is terrible. A very drab performance that is almost unlistenable, which is a shame. The performer has the passion and enthusiasm of a postal worker on Valium.

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  • Francesca D.
  • 17-09-2020

Fascinating insight into Hollywood production

This is a great book for those interested in the behind the scenes action, or if you're thinking of pursuing a career in editing.

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  • T. M. Howsam
  • 28-02-2020

Editing an enigma

Paul Hirsch has written an amazing in site to Paul’s work abd an interesting insight to the life of a film editor Brilliant !!!

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  • Acky
  • 05-01-2020

From one film editor to another, salute!

I bought this book as I’m also a film editor and wanted to learn about the legend, Paul Hirsch. He’s rubbed shoulders with the greatest and remains grounded. It did not disappoint in his anecdotes and is explained in a layman’s style suitable for anyone with an interest in the film industry. It was interesting to hear his approach to specific cuts which are now ingrained in film history. The performance is well read and I can imagine Paul speaking in this way.

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