Richard Halsey ACE Eddie Awards Rocky

'Payday' and and tennis helped elevate editor's career

For two-time ACE Eddie winner Richard Halsey, three rules govern his work: be organized, trust your instincts and always tell the truth.

“Rule number three is the hardest,” Halsey says. “It has a lot to do with dealing with producers and directors about material. Telling the truth is hard.”

After getting a job in the mailroom at Warner Bros., Halsey eventually worked his way up and has served as an editor on numerous popular films, including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Sister Act” and “Rocky.”

Halsey says one of the fondest memories of his editing career is working on location with his wife, Colleen.

“We were co-editors on ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ ” Halsey says. “We were on location in Florida at a place called Saddlebrook, which is a golf and tennis resort.”

The avid tennis player says playing the sport is also how he first got to know writer-director-actor Paul Mazursky.

“I invited him to a screening of one of my first films, a film called ‘Payday,’ ” Halsey says.

“And Mazursky, after he saw the picture … turned around and gave me the thumb’s up, and then two months later he hired me to edit ‘Harry and Tonto.’ ”

Halsey says “Payday” was the film that made film critics “take a look” at what he was capable of.

He stresses that editing films has been more fun than work.

“The bottom line is, for me, it’s never been a job,” he says. “It’s like a hobby.”

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