a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


The principal challenge of our documentary


Our documentary rejected at film festivals
Walter Murch Film-maker
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

And so Mark [Levinson] went to Geneva, and worked with CERN. He had a very good relationship with the person who supervises the media for CERN, mostly because, you know, he's a personable fellow, and also, he has a PhD in particle physics, so they trusted him. He's... He'd been through the hoops that they had all been through. And I, then, I wound up working on the film for almost... For over a year. The... even when we had this ending for the film, the film was turned down by film festivals. There was no studio behind it. And so the only venue for getting a distributor was to take it to film festivals and try to see if somebody would pick it up. But film festivals wouldn't take it because it was too science-y, even though it's, you know, it's not, but just... People are scared of physics. Physics, for some people, is like, 'I don't want to know about that.' And we finally were accepted thanks to Taghi Amirani, who saw the film in New York, and had an in with the programming committee at the Sheffield Film Festival. We were able to get into the Sheffield Documentary Festival, and it wound winning the audience's favourite film. And after that, doors opened up. And eventually, it did get a distributor.

Born in 1943 in New York City, Murch graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. His career stretches back to 1969 and includes work on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather I, II, and III, American Graffiti, The Conversation, and The English Patient. He has been referred to as 'the most respected film editor and sound designer in modern cinema.' In a career that spans over 40 years, Murch is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola, beginning in 1969 with The Rain People. After working with George Lucas on THX 1138 (1971), which he co-wrote, and American Graffiti (1973), Murch returned to Coppola in 1974 for The Conversation, resulting in his first Academy Award nomination. Murch's pioneering achievements were acknowledged by Coppola in his follow-up film, the 1979 Palme d'Or winner Apocalypse Now, for which Murch was granted, in what is seen as a film-history first, the screen credit 'Sound Designer.' Murch has been nominated for nine Academy Awards and has won three, for best sound on Apocalypse Now (for which he and his collaborators devised the now-standard 5.1 sound format), and achieving an unprecedented double when he won both Best Film Editing and Best Sound for his work on The English Patient. Murch’s contributions to film reconstruction include 2001's Apocalypse Now: Redux and the 1998 re-edit of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil. He is also the director and co-writer of Return to Oz (1985). In 1995, Murch published a book on film editing, In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, in which he urges editors to prioritise emotion.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Sheffield Film Festival, Sheffield Documentary Festival

Duration: 1 minute, 49 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2016

Date story went live: 29 March 2017