"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."
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.