Walter Murch - 1. Cook, Surgeon, Conductor

"Editing is a mixture of cooking, surgery and orchestra conducting." Renown editor and sound designer Walter Murch talks about his art and his craft in a first video interview with Benjamin B.

Benjamin B

thefilmbook by Benjamin B

I had the pleasure of interviewing Walter Murch during the 2015 edition of Camerimage, where he received a Special Editing Award.

Walter Murch is a legendary editor, sound designer and cinematic pioneer. This is the first of several video excerpts from my lengthy interview with him.

Editor and sound designer Walter Murch
Editor and sound designer Walter Murch


Walter Murch

Walter Murch is a distinguished filmmaker whose credits for editing, sound montage and sound design include classics like American Graffiti, The Conversation, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The English Patient and Cold Mountain. He also wrote and directed Return to Oz. Walter has won three Oscars, one for the ground-breaking multi-channel mix of Apocalypse Now, and two Oscars for his editing and sound mix work on The English Patient.

Walter is a true cinematic pioneer, and a technological artist. He is credited for coining the expression "sound designer", and has always been at the forefront of technology. He was among the first to use a computerized sound board, and to try digital editing technology: he was an early adopter of Avid, then Final Cut Pro, and recently Premiere for feature films. Walter has also written one of the definitive books about editing: In the Blink of an Eye.


The Interview

Walter Murch is a Renaissance man, and his discourse glides with ease across a range of subjects from cinema, to science and the arts. In this first segment, he discusses the editor's job, standing versus sitting, micro-dancing and cutting on the upbeat.

watch on YouTube

Note: I apologize for the video banding and noise. We had some technical issues during shooting.



wikipedia: Walter Murch

imdb: Walter Murch

wikipedia: In the Blink of an Eye a book by Walter Murch Walter Murch articles



Interview by Benjamin B

Cameraman: Julian Sojka

Editor: Benjamin B


thefilmbook: Walter Murch - 1. Cook, Surgeon, Conductor

thefilmbook: Walter Murch - 2. Editing in Real Time

thefilmbook: Walter Murch - 3. Jump Cuts, Sequences, The Entire Movie


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