Richard Harris’ X Factor


Editing is an integral part of creating suspense in a film—anyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) can attest to that. For a film like The X-Files: I Want to Believe (whose creators were so intent on producing a suspenseful aura for its audience that only a very elite group of those involved were given full scripts), having a skilled editor was crucial to its success. It made perfect sense when the moviemakers behind the film called in Richard A. Harris, an editor with plenty of experience (and an Academy Award) under his belt.

Any seasoned moviegoer is familiar with Harris’ talent; it was his editing skills that moved audiences to the edge of their seats (and won him an Oscar) while Jack and Rose raced against time and a jealous fiancé during the sinking of the great ocean liner in Titanic (1997). You’ve probably also listened to your heart pound while watching Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reformed cyborg fight to keep John Connor safe in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), which earned Harris his first Oscar nomination.

For The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Harris creates the spine-tingling suspense necessary for capturing the spirit of the original television show. “The film encompasses all the best things people loved about the show. It’s scary, creepy and has a good mystery. With “The X-Files”, we often scared people by what they didn’t show, and we use that device for the movie,” explains series creator Chris Carter about the intended effect of the film. With Harris’ extensive resume, which also includes movies like True Lies (1994), L.A. Story (1991), Fletch (1985) and The Bad News Bears (1976) it’s no wonder Carter trusted him to help re-create the eerie atmosphere of the beloved show.

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