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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

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

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  • TK
  • 2020-01-13

Better than I could have imagined

I was excited at the prospect of learning some about the film industry and the decisions that happen in the cutting room. This book was all that and so much more, one of my favorite audiobooks in awhile. I've already gotten some friends and family on to it. The orator was an excellent choice, it's hard to believe it's not Paul himself.

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  • Paul D Lindgren
  • 2019-11-24

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
  • 2019-12-12

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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  • Brad Crisler
  • 2021-01-02

Excellent, coherent and transparent.....

Unlike many Hollywood bios, this one, by arguably the finest editor of the '80s, is transparent and humble and resonates truthfulness that is refreshing and informative. Hirsch's love and respect of and fascination with his particular field is apparent through the telling of his own interesting narrative while the grudges and bitterness that is usually present in many of these types of bios is noticeably absent. Well worth the time.

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  • Parker Posey
  • 2020-12-17

Very Enjoyable!

Having spent many hours in a Avid Bay shaping storylines this book was an obvious choice. It delivered too! His ascend in Hollywood working on Star Wars and Ray were especially interesting as was the times he went to London working on the score for various films. It was neat seeing the many connections and people who disappointed Paul. It’s also a little sad the friends you make only to realize many decades later many are short term when you run into them or they pop up as you ended up never seeing them again. Although this book is in my wheelhouse; I finish it by thinking anyone who loves Hollywood and movies just a little bit will enjoy this book.

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  • Kristopher KR
  • 2020-12-03

Amazing...for the Film Buff

A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away is astonishing. What one can learn from a book sometimes is amazing. I didn’t go into this audiobook looking to learn anything. However, Paul Hirsch demonstrated just how important editing is to a movie. Some people just slap things together and hope for the best. But a great editor will look at every frame as if they are puzzle pieces and put them exactly in the right spot. Whether it’s cutting out an entire subplot of a film or something so minuscule as putting a line of dialogue from later in the picture in the beginning - editing is an art and Hirsch is its Picasso. Paul Hirsch has been doing this for 50 years and has some great stories to tell along the way. His interactions; from the great Bernard Hermann to helping out the up and coming directors of today like Duncan Jones are all fascinating to a film buff such as myself. In addition, Hirsch is humble beyond measure. He has become friendly with some of the truly great Hollywood artists and never once has he lost sight of the end goal: make the movie the best it can be! The only qualm I have with the audiobook is the narrator and his habit of stretching out the last bit of every sentence. For instance: it seems as if he’s saying Star Warssss instead of just Star Wars. It’s totally a minor nitpick, but it’s very noticeable.

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  • Clifford
  • 2020-10-01

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
  • 2020-05-19

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
  • 2020-03-31

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
  • 2019-12-29

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.