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Terry Rawlings, Film Editor on Alien, Blade Runner and more, has passed away

Sad news today: Terry Rawlings, an absolute legend of cinema, has passed away after a long career. Born in London in 1933, some of Terry’s earliest film credits were from working in the sound department, dubbing, sound editing and more, including the now-famous early example of Ridley Scott’s screenwork, The Duellists. It was the start of a number of collaborations with Scott (surely one of the most iconic directors of modern cinema?), as Terry moved into film editing, the arena that would make his name in the industry and garner him both Oscar and BAFTA nominations. He would go on to edit for Scott on some of the most landmark films of the last few decades, including Alien and, one of my all-time personal favourites, Blade Runner.

Terry’s body of work was huge and varied across the decades – in addition to Alien and Blade Runner his films run the range from big-budget blockbusters such as Pierce Brosnan’s 007 debut, Goldeneye and actioneer U.S. Marshalls to musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Yentl (a lifelong music lover Terry often cited working on Yentl with Streisand as one of his favourite film experiences) to more indie and offbeat fare, including another small gem I have very fond memories of, F/X: Murder by Illusion, and probably helping mentally scar a generation of youngsters editing the 1970s animated version of Watership Down (which featured some extremely terrifying and disturbing scenes for a family film).

Terry was nominated numerous times for the BAFTA for Best Film Editing, including nominations for Alien, Blade Runner, and Chariots of Fire, with further nominations for Isadora and Women in Love in the sound category, as well as an Oscar nomination for 1981’s Chariots of Fire. While he was pipped at the post for those, his peers in the American Cinema Editors guild (to which he was inducted) recognised him with a Career Achievement Award in 2006, and other film-makers regarded him with huge respect, as one of those rare editors who brings their own magic and interpretation to the films they cut, creating, suggesting, collaborating with the directors and cinematographers. Terry Rawlings passed away on Tuesday 23rd of April, 2019, at his home in Hertfordshire; his outstanding body of film work, however, remains with us.

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