Scott Conrad – A.C.E., AMPAS
Scott Conrad, the Academy Award-winning film editor (Rocky), began his career in 1964 at 20th Century Fox in the mail room. The more he learned about the craft of film making, the more he was drawn to film editing. Producers and directors such as Frank Schaffner, Vincente Minnelli and Robert Wise encouraged Conrad, explaining that editing was the key to good filmmaking. After working as an apprentice and assistant for two years, Conradreturned to college, majoring in Cinema at the University of Southern California where he was mentored by legendary professors Bernie Kantor and Herb Farmer and exchanged ideas with fellow students John Milius and George Lucas. While engaged on his senior project, Conrad, who had been working part time at 20th Century Fox to pay his tuition, was offered an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down: The film editor on Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid was fired by director George Roy Hill. The assistant editor, John Howard, was given the job of editor and in turn asked Conrad to move up from apprentice to assistant editor. Needless to say, even though it meant dropping out of USC, he accepted. George Roy Hill’s assistant on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was Ron Preisman, a close friend of Conrad. While on location in Colorado, Preisman asked Hill if he could use Hill’s 16mm Bolex to shoot a few of the background scenes, such as the train’s safe being blown up. Conrad and Preisman began collaborating on what other scenes they could film and came up with the idea of doing a behind-the-scenes documentary: The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It won an Emmy for Best Documentary. The documentary launched Conrad’s career as an editor and in 1972 he was finally able to attain recognized status as a film editor. At first he worked as an Associate Editor under the legendary editors Lou Lombardo (The Wild Bunch) and Danford Greene (M.A.S.H.). In 1974 he teamed up with director-actor-producer L.Q.Jones to edit A Boy & His Dog. That film was not only a success at the time it was released, but has gone on to become a cult favorite and is still played in art house theatres today. Finally, in 1976 Conrad was given the opportunity he had been looking for when fellow editor Richard Halsey asked Scott to help him edit Rocky. Their collaboration resulted in an Academy Award for Best Film Editing and his career took off.