Conrad Buff IV

Conrad Buff IV (born July 8, 1948) is an American film editor with more than 25 film credits since 1985. Buff is known for winning an Academy Award for Best Film Editing and an ACE Eddie Award for Titanic (1997); the awards were shared with his co-editors James Cameron and Richard A. Harris. He won the 2000 Satellite Award for Best Editing for Thirteen Days.

Conrad Buff IV
Born (1948-07-08) July 8, 1948[1]
OccupationFilm editor
Years active1969 present

Life and career

Buff was born in Los Angeles, the son of architect Conrad Buff III,[2] and the grandson of children's book creators Mary and Conrad Buff (painter Conrad Buff II). He attended Pasadena City College for two years before joining the U. S. Navy. Buff learned film editing while working for the Navy's Motion Picture Office in Hollywood.[3] In the first phase of his civilian career Buff was the "visual effects editor" on several successful films, ranging from The Empire Strikes Back (1980) through Ghostbusters (1984). Buff was an assistant editor on Return of the Jedi (1983); he worked with editor Sean Barton and director Richard Marquand. His first editing credit was as the co-editor with Barton for Jagged Edge (1985), which was also directed by Marquand.

Buff is noted particularly for his editing of four films directed by James Cameron, including Titanic. Buff edited The Abyss (1989) with Joel Goodman. Buff was nominated for an Oscar and an Eddie for the editing of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991 - with Mark Goldblatt and Richard A. Harris). He was again nominated for an Eddie for True Lies (1994) (also with Goldblatt and Harris). In addition to its actual awards, Titanic was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing.

Buff has edited four films with director Roger Donaldson: The Getaway (1994), Species (1995), Dante's Peak (1997; co-edited with Tina Hirsch and Howard Smith), and Thirteen Days (2000), which won the Satellite Award for Best Editing.

Since Thirteen Days, Buff has edited four films directed by Antoine Fuqua: Training Day (2001), Tears of the Sun (2003), King Arthur (2004; with Jamie Pearson), and Shooter (2007; with Eric Sears).

Buff has been elected to membership in the American Cinema Editors.[4]


Filmography based on the Internet Movie Database;[5] the director of each film is indicated in parenthesis.

Year Film Director Notes
1970 Equinox
1978 Battlestar Galactica
1980 The Empire Strikes Back Irvin Kershner
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark Steven Spielberg
1982 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Poltergeist Tobe Hooper
1983 Return of the Jedi Richard Marquand
1984 Ghostbusters Ivan Reitman
2010: The Year We Make Contact Peter Hyams
1985 Jagged Edge Richard Marquand
1986 Solarbabies Alan Johnson
1987 Spaceballs Mel Brooks
1988 Short Circuit 2 Kenneth Johnson
1989 The Abyss James Cameron
1990 Side Out Peter Israelson
1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day James Cameron Nominated — Academy Award for Best Film Editing
Nominated — ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic
The Last Boy Scout Tony Scott
1992 Jennifer 8 Bruce Robinson
1994 The Getaway Roger Donaldson
True Lies James Cameron Nominated — ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic
1995 Species Roger Donaldson
Virtuosity Brett Leonard
1997 Dante's Peak Roger Donaldson
Switchback Jeb Stuart
Titanic James Cameron Academy Award for Best Film Editing
ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic
Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Editing
Satellite Award for Best Editing
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Editing
1999 Arlington Road Mark Pellington
Mystery Men Kinka Usher
2000 Thirteen Days Roger Donaldson Satellite Award for Best Editing
Nominated — Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Editing
2001 Training Day Antoine Fuqua
2002 Antwone Fisher Denzel Washington
2003 Tears of the Sun Antoine Fuqua
2004 King Arthur
2005 Harsh Times David Ayer
Get Rich or Die Tryin' Jim Sheridan
2006 Seraphim Falls David Von Ancken
2007 Shooter Antoine Fuqua
The Seeker David L. Cunningham
2008 The Happening M. Night Shyamalan
2009 Terminator Salvation McG
2010 The Last Airbender M. Night Shyamalan
2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes Rupert Wyatt
2012 Snow White and the Huntsman Rupert Sanders
2016 The Huntsman: Winter's War Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Monster Trucks Chris Wedge
2017 American Assassin Michael Cuesta
2018 The Equalizer 2 Antoine Fuqua


  1. Birthdate and birthplace are taken from the California Birth Index.
  2. Iovenko, Chris (2007). "Buff’s house, still shining", Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2007. Online version retrieved 2008-06-29.
  3. Spark, Nick (September–October 1998). "From Navy Documentaries to Titanic". Motion Picture Editors Guild Newsletter. 19 (5). Archived from the original on 2009-05-31.
  4. Archived 2008-05-21 at the Wayback Machine, webpage archived by WebCite from this original URL on 2008-03-04.
  5. Conrad Buff on IMDb

Further reading

  • Tahmizyan, Arman (July–August 2010). "Conrad Buff: The Editor as Manipulator". Editors Guild Magazine. 31 (4). Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Editing is not a subtractive process; it’s an additive process. We’re basically cutting in the good parts. We’re saying that we like this, this and this––now how do we marry those elements and make it moving, scary, dramatic, emotional, affecting? Mainly an interview with Buff, this article also provides a short biography and a filmography.
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