Born in Catania, Scalia moved to Switzerland with his parents and attended Swiss-German schools until high school. After graduation he spent two years at the University at Albany, The State University of New York, to later join UCLA where he earned his Master of Fine Arts (MFA).
After his MFA, a couple of short films, a screenplay, two video documentaries, and a 16 mm thesis film, he returned to Europe to pursue his desire to become a film director. He returned to United States to pursue his career in Hollywood as a film editor and began as an editor on Andrei Konchalovski’s Shy People. Later, he received an assistant editor position working with Oliver Stone on such films as Wall Street (1987) and Talk Radio (1988). He later continued as an associate editor on Born on the Fourth of July and as an additional editor on The Doors.
After five years of working with Oliver Stone, Scalia was finally asked to fully edit a film. It was JFK, for which Scalia and his co-editor, Joe Hutshing, were honored with an Academy Award for Film Editing. Craig McKay was nominated the same year for editing The Silence of the Lambs. Interestingly enough, Scalia would edit a sequel to the movie, Hannibal ten years later. He also received a BAFTA Award and A.C.E. Award for his work.
Pietro Scalia worked with Bernardo Bertolucci on Little Buddha (1993) and Stealing Beauty (1996), as well as with Sam Raimi on The Quick and the Dead (1995). He earned two more Academy Award nominations: first in 1997 for Good Will Hunting and second in 2000 for Gladiator, and a second Academy Award for director Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down. He also edited G.I. Jane and a pilot episode of a TV series American Gothic in late 1990s.
In the recent years, Scalia edited such movies as Levity (2003) directed by Ed Solomon, a documentary entitled Ashes and Snow, The Great Raid directed by John Dahl, and Memoirs of a Geisha, one of the most publicized movies of 2005, directed by Rob Marshall. Scalia also worked on Hannibal Rising, a movie that tells a story of a teenaged Hannibal and his young sister Mischa Lecter after their parents are killed in World War II. It was directed by Peter Webber and released in 2006. He has a long lasting relationship with Ridley Scott working on movies such as American Gangster in 2007, Body of Lies in 2008 and Robin Hood in 2010. Most recently he worked with director Ridley Scott on The Martian, released in October, 2015.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Teresa Sparks
1. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietro_Scalia