Ron Howard issued a statement mourning the loss of his longtime collaborator and highlighting the positive life Mike Hill has created for himself and his family in Omaha, Nebraska. “He was a gifted and acclaimed film editor, but he was even more proud of his family and the life they built together in Omaha. Mike was a highly intelligent and creative guy who lived his life with honesty, integrity and a great sense of irony and wicked humor. He also had a pretty good corner kick, if I remember our 3-on-3 basketball days,” Howard said (per Deadline).
Hill’s work with Howard also included fellow editor Dan Hanley, and the two were so well matched that they would provide him with a clip of Howard’s films, typically less than a week after filming was completed. Note that this was in the days of film cutting.
“I admire some of these guys [working alone] in these big pictures. We’re having a pretty good couple of days and I’m like how the hell do they get through the whole movie on their own? I’m amazed,” Hanley told CineMontage in 2000 while the two were working on How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Hill’s experience editing images before he teamed up with Hanley and Howard also provided perfect training as he stitched together classic Hollywood footage.