WALTER MURCH Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Name: Walter Scott Murch                                                                   
Born: 12 July 1943 New York City, New York                                                 
Walter Scott Murch (born July 12, 1943) is an Academy Award–winning film editor/sound   
designer, the son of painter Walter Tandy Murch (1907-1967). Murch married                 
Muriel Ann (Aggie) at Riverside Church, New York City, on August 6, 1965. Walter           
and Aggie have 4 children: Walter Slater Murch, Beatrice Murch, Carrie Angland,           
and Connie Angland.                                                                       
He went to The Collegiate School, a private preparatory school in Manhattan,               
from 1949 to 1961. He then attended Johns Hopkins University from 1961 to 1965,           
graduating Phi Beta Kappa in Liberal Arts. While at Hopkins, he met future                 
director/screenwriter Matthew Robbins and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, with           
whom he staged a number of happenings. In 1965, Murch and Robbins enrolled in             
the graduate program of the University of Southern California film school,                 
successfully encouraging Deschanel to follow them. There all three encountered,           
and became friends with, fellow students such as George Lucas, Hal Barwood,               
Willard Huyck, Don Glut and John Milius all of whom would go on to be successful           
Murch started editing and mixing sound with Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain               
People (1969). Subsequently, he worked on George Lucas's THX 1138, American               
Graffiti and Coppola's The Godfather before editing picture and mixing sound on           
Coppola's The Conversation, for which he received an Academy Award nomination in           
sound. Murch also mixed the sound for Coppola's The Godfather Part II which was           
released in 1974, the same year as The Conversation. In 1985 he directed his one           
film, Return to Oz, which he co-wrote with Gill Dennis.                                   
Unlike most film editors today, Murch works standing up, comparing the process             
of film editing to "brain surgery and short-order cooking", since both cooks and           
surgeons stand when they work. In contrast, when writing, he does so lying down.           
His reason for this is that where editing film is an editorial process, the               
creation process of writing is opposite that, and so he lies down rather than             
sit or stand up, to separate his editing mind from his creating mind.                     
Murch has written one book on film editing, In the Blink of an Eye (2001).                 
Murch was the subject of Michael Ondaatje's book The Conversations (2002);                 
the book, which incorporates from several conversations between Ondaatje and               
Murch, emerged from Murch's editing of The English Patient, which was based on             
Ondaatje's novel of the same name.                                                         
In 2007 the documentary Murch premiered at the San Francisco International Film           
Festival, which centered on Walter Murch and his thoughts on film making.