Paul Barnes attended the New York University Institute of Film and Television from 1969 to 1973 and studied under experimental filmmaker Len Lye and documentarian George Stoney. While still a student, he was chosen to edit a federally funded film on pre-school education, and he's been editing ever since. Some of the most noteworthy films from Paul's career are: Wasn't That A Time!, for which he won the 1982 Best Documentary Editing Award from the American Cinema Editors; Say Amen Somebody, which was accepted at the prestigious New York Film Festival; and The Thin Blue Line, which was chosen as the best documentary of 1988 by the New York Film Critics.
Since 1984 when he edited Statue of Liberty (which was nominated for an Academy Award), Paul Barnes has collaborated with Ken Burns at Florentine Films. Their partnership has produced some of the most seminal work in the history of documentary filmmaking. The Civil War premiered in September 1990, and became the highest rated series in the history of American public television. It won more than forty major film and television awards, including two Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, the Peabody Award and the Lincoln Prize. Since then, Paul has gone on to edit or supervise the editing on most of Burns's films, including: Baseball; Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio; Thomas Jefferson; and Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery. In May 1997, Paul began producing his first film with Ken Burns, the story of suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony aired in November 1999. It won a Peabody Award in 2000 and Emmy Award for Julie Harris' voice performance as Susan B. Anthony. Paul was the supervising editor on the ten-part Burns production of JAZZ, the history of jazz music. JAZZ aired in January 2001, and went on to receive 5 Emmy nominations, including one for Best Editing. Most recently, Paul is the co-producer and co-editor of Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.
Besides editing and producing responsibilities, Paul Barnes has also held teaching positions in the film departments at New York University and Keene State College. Paul was born in Everett, Massachusetts, in February 1951 and presently resides in Alstead, New Hampshire.