Husband and wife Richard Halsey and Colleen Halsey at the 2014 A.C.E. Eddie Awards where Richard received the lifetime achievement award from the guild.
This week, we take a look inside the cutting room with husband and wife editing team Richard Halsey and Colleen Halsey. The couple have been working together for almost 30 years. Colleen started as Richard’s assistant in the mid 1980s on “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” before becoming an editor in her own right, cutting the classic Tim Burton film “Edward Scissorhands” written by Road to Cinema guest Caroline Thompson. Richard and Colleen edited on-location from the “Edward Scissorhands” set in Florida. You’ll hear how Colleen would eventually work closely with director Tim Burton to influence some important scenes including the Vincent Price flashbacks.
In 1977, Richard won an Oscar for editing “Rocky” along with editor and Road to Cinema guest Scott Conrad. Halsey was instrumental in hiring composer Bill Conti when constructing the iconic “Rocky” training montage. It’s difficult to imagine the montage without that powerful music score. Take a look below to watch one of the most famous montages in cinema history cut by Oscar winning editor Richard Halsey.
Richard was also a key collaborator with late director Paul Mazursky. Richard has incredible praise for Mr. Mazursky as you’ll hear in the podcast, “By far the best director I have ever worked with and my favorite. The actors loved him.” Films Halsey and Mazursky collaborated on include: “Harry and Tonto”, “Next Stop, Greenwich Village”, “Moscow on the Hudson”, and “Down and Out in Beverly Hills”.
As you saw earlier with “Rocky”, one of Richard’s incredible talents is identifying the perfect composer for a film. Director Paul Mazursky took Halsey’s suggestion to hire composer David McHugh. (You’ll hear in the podcast how Halsey also advocated to use McHugh’s song “Freedom” for the film’s end credits.) This is a perfect example of how important collaboration can be in the filmmaking process. In my opinion, it is also one of the best piano scores I’ve ever heard in a film. Take a look at this emotional scene from “Moscow on the Hudson” performed exquisitely by the late Robin Williams, directed by the late Paul Mazursky, edited by Richard Halsey, and a phenomenal music score by David McHugh.
To learn more about Richard and Colleen Halsey’s editing process, transitioning from film to digital editing, and to hear more about the making of classic films such as the Bette Midler tearjerker “Beaches” and the John Patrick Shanley cult classic “Joe Versus the Volcano” starring Tom Hanks, listen to episode #5 of The Road to Cinema Podcast!