On April 23, 2019, Terry Rawilings died from heart failure at his home in Hertfordshire, England. He was 85 years old. While he is best known for his work on “Chariots of Fire,” “Alien”, and “Blade Runner”, he has decades worth of films under his belt. So in honor of Terry Rawlings, I would like to tell you the story of his life in pictures.
According to a conversation that took place at the Signals Media Centre, back in 2012, Rawlings said that he was not interested in working in the film business. “I had no ambition to be in the film business at all, it was just, they were going to pay more money…then where I was earning at the time. So I went to Rank Screen Services which was the advertising section of J. Arthur Rank…” So in 1956 he got a job where he changed the letters on the marque for the local cinemas. But 18 months later, he had a falling out with the person who ran the department. He decided then that he was going to leave, but at the point he was hooked and was interested in becoming part of the business. So he went to the union department and said that he wanted to work somewhere else.
So they sent him to Shepperton Studios, and he got the chance to work as an assistant editor. At this point it was 1957, and the first film he got the chance to work on was called “Town On Trail.” He spent 8 weeks on the film and even got the chance to do some sound design. Something he would come back to later in his career. After he finished working on the film, he went to Associated British Pictures because they were taking on trainees. There he got the chance to work hands on on films that were being made at the time by studios like Pinewood and of course Shepperton. He even got to meet and work along side people who worked at the studios. One of the people Rawling’s was excited to meet was Jack Harris, who was one of his heroes.
From there he went on to work on films like “Small Hotel”, “Mark of The Hawk”, and “The Lady Is A Square”. He worked uncredited for most of these early films, with the exception of “She Didn’t Say No!” in 1958 and “Petticoat Pirates” In 1961. But then in 1962, he decided to take a break from editing and work as a sound editor and occasionally doing some dubbing work. He asked a producer whom he had worked with before to get help him get his next job. The film was called “The Pot Carriers” and jump started his love of sound design. For the next 15 years he did the sound design for 31 films. Including “Run With The Wind,” “The Joker,” “Bedazzled,” “The Music Lovers,” “The Mechanic,” and “The Great Gatsby.”
Then at some point, he came to the realization that he could now work as a film and sound editor. “…I kept on doing all these sound pictures which I was loving. But I was also thinking to myself, I could do this editing…I’m sure I could do it well as the people I’m working for. And being that I was doing the sound, I knew how I could time things to give myself a better soundtrack.” From here, he went on to work with Ridley Scott on the “Duelist,” “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” and “Legend.” As well as working with Hugh Hudson on “Chariots of Fire.” And he continued to work as an editor until 2004 when he finished “The Phantom of The Opera.” By now Terry was retired and decided to take a break from film making. While he did occasionally do some work on projects over the years, he never went back to being a full time editor. And that is the story of Terry Rawlings’ incredible career. Rest in peace, you will never be forgotten.