Film editor Mike Hill now has a BAFTA Award to go with his shiny Oscar.
Hill, an Omaha native who still lives here, shares the award won last weekend with editing partner Dan Hanley for their work on “Rush.” Director Ron Howard's movie about Formula 1 race car drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt opened here in late September.
The BAFTA is Britain's equivalent of an Academy Award. Hill and Hanley had not won one before but were nominated for “Frost/Nixon” in 2008 and “Apollo 13” in 1995.
They won an Oscar for “Apollo 13,” the first of four Ron Howard movies that earned them a trip to the Academy Awards (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Cinderella Man” and “Frost/Nixon” were their other nominations). But they got no Oscar love this year, despite editing work singled out in many positive reviews.
In winning the BAFTA last week, Hill and Hanley's work was chosen over that of Academy Award nominees for “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave,” who were fellow BAFTA nominees.
Hill and Hanley currently are in Greenwich, Conn., editing Howard's next movie. “Heart of the Sea,” starring Chris Hemsworth and Ben Walker, is a whaling-ship yarn based on a true story.
“We weren't able to get away over the weekend,” Hill told The World-Herald by phone. “But we didn't want to go that badly. I don't think we really thought we were going to win.”
The two were facing an editing deadline to screen “Heart of the Sea” for producers earlier this week. Hill's assistant editor, who is British, predicted “Rush” would win. The movie was a much bigger hit in England than in the United States, Hill said.
In London, Howard accepted the award on their behalf, saluting “the creative energy they bring to every project, and particularly 'Rush.' ”
Hill told The World-Herald a year ago that “Rush” may have been the most technically difficult of the more than 20 movies he and Hanley have made with Howard. It was their first using digital camera work rather than film, which meant they had far more hours of images from which to choose shots.
Hill said he and Hanley “made a huge leap in the last few weeks” on “Heart of the Sea,” editing it down from four hours to two and a half. He expects the final version to be slightly over two hours.
“It's a huge visual effects movie,” he said, “but the whole thing hinges on the whale. We've gotta make that whale awesome.”
He said he'll be working until at least summer on the film, which has no opening date yet.