Neil Travis

Editor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Neil Travis (1936-2012) talks about his work as an editor on such television projects as Roots (for which he won the Emmy Award), and feature films such as Dances with Wolves (for which he won the Oscar). Travis notes his early work on Please Don't Eat the Daisies, where he supervised the sound mix and had the opportunity to write an episode.  He speaks about working on the feature film The Cowboys, and how in awe he was meeting legendary screen star John Wayne.  He describes the emotions he felt while working on location during the filming of Roots and how the experience informed his editing of several parts of the landmark miniseries. Other TV and film projects he talks about include: The Atlanta Child Murders, Cocktail, and Patriot Games.  Throughout the interview, Travis discusses his method of editing: the importance of rhythm and clarity in editing, how he presents a first cut, and how he approaches each project differently. Karen Herman conducted the interview in a joint venture with American Cinema Editors (ACE) in Universal City, CA on February 26, 2010.

"There's a scene in 'Roots' where Kunta Kinte is trapped.  And I thought it had to be bigger than a shot… I had to find some way to make it a big moment.  And it just kind of popped into my head.  Superimpose him over himself."

Highlights
Neil Travis on his definition of editing
00:22
Neil Travis on the importance of rhythm and clarity in editing
01:39
Neil Travis on how being on location for Roots helped inform his editing, leading to his Emmy win
01:23
Neil Travis on the experience of winning the Oscar for (on the live broadcast)
02:29
Neil Travis on supervising the sound mix on Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and being paid for writing one of the episodes
02:06
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his background; on joining the editor's union; on writing an episode of Please Don't Eat the Daisies; on being mentored by Verna Fields; on his editing technique; on a scene he hated to cut from the feature film "Dances With Wolves"
15:27
On his father's work as a sound effects editor; on working with Morgan Freeman; on being opinionated but still following a director's vision; on supervising the sound mix on Please Don't Eat the Daisies
14:01
On working on the feature film "The Cowboys"; on being in awe of meeting legendary screen star John Wayne
05:53
On working on the landmark miniseries Roots: the experience of being on location, the editing of Kunte Kinte's capture, and the feeling that Roots would be a successful miniseries; on his dissatisfaction with The Atlanta Child Murders (for which he was fired)
24:45

Chapter 2

On working on the feature films "Premonition," "Cujo," and "No Way Out"; meeting Kevin Costner on "No Way Out"
09:11
On how he likes to present a first cut; on appearing on location for "Cocktail"
07:50
On the experience of winning an Oscar for "Dances With Wolves"; on working on "Dances With Wolves"
06:16
On his definition of editing; on the score of "Dances with Wolves"; on what winning the Oscar meant to him
06:33
On approaching each movie differently; on working with the Montage editing system for "Patriot Games"; on working with director Philip Noyce; on working on "Terminator 3"
22:01
On his advice to aspiring editors; on his experience winning the ACE Award for lifetime achievement
06:58
Shows

Academy Awards, The

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Neil Travis on the experience of winning the Oscar for "Dances with Wolves" (on the live broadcast)
02:29

Atlanta Child Murders, The

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Neil Travis on his dissatisfaction with The Atlanta Child Murders, from which he was fired
01:20

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Neil Travis on how producer Stan Margulies described him while accepting Travis' Emmy for Roots
00:33

Harry O

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Neil Travis briefly on working on detective series Harry O
00:59

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

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Neil Travis on supervising the sound mix on Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and being paid for writing one of the episodes
02:06
Neil Travis on writing an episode of Please Don't Eat the Daisies
00:55

Roll Out!

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Neil Travis on the schedule he worked for Roll Out!
01:41

Roots

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Neil Travis on how producer Stan Margulies described him while accepting Travis' Emmy for Roots
00:33
Neil Travis on how being on location for Roots helped inform his editing, leading to his Emmy win
01:23
Neil Travis on editing Kunte Kinte's capture in part one of Roots
02:22
Neil Travis on feeling that Roots would be successful
00:29
Neil Travis on the atmosphere on the set of Roots
01:02
Neil Travis on how the history affected him on Roots
00:51
Topics

Classic TV series episodes

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Neil Travis on editing Kunte Kinte's capture in part one of Roots
02:22

Drama

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Neil Travis on editing Kunte Kinte's capture in part one of Roots
02:22

Memorable Moments on Television

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Neil Travis on how being on location for Roots helped inform his editing, leading to his Emmy win
01:23

Pop Culture

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Neil Travis on editing Kunte Kinte's capture in part one of Roots
02:22

We Considered

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Neil Travis on how being on location for Roots helped inform his editing, leading to his Emmy win
01:23
Professions

Editor

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Neil Travis on the importance of rhythm and clarity in editing
01:39
Neil Travis on how each project should be approached differently
00:56
Neil Travis on his definition of editing
00:22
Neil Travis on how a director could err in not giving an editor creative freedom
00:34

Post-Production Professionals

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Neil Travis on the importance of rhythm and clarity in editing
01:39
Neil Travis on how each project should be approached differently
00:56
Neil Travis on his definition of editing
00:22
Neil Travis on how a director could err in not giving an editor creative freedom
00:34
Genres

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Neil Travis on how being on location for Roots helped inform his editing, leading to his Emmy win
01:23
People

Kevin Costner

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Neil Travis on meeting Kevin Costner when would come to the cutting room during the shooting of "No Way Out"
01:27

Phillip Noyce

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Neil Travis on working with director Phillip Noyce
00:32

John Wayne

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Neil Travis on meeting John Wayne while working on "The Cowboys"
01:16

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