Kahn was born in New York. He is a member of the American Cinema Editors (ACE). He is one of the few editors who still edits on film (though he has edited digitally on projects not directed by Spielberg). Kahn acknowledged "People find it hard to believe that Steven and I still edit film on a Moviola and a KEM. [But] Steven feels that film got us where we are today and he loves the smell of it and feel of it. We started that way and both really enjoy it."George Lucas remarked "Michael Kahn can cut faster on a Moviola than anybody can cut on an Avid."The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn became the first film Kahn edited digitally using Avid for Spielberg though he has edited digitally before for projects like Twister.