Edit Royale 2020 - In an Edit Suite Far Far Away!
COVID-safe restrictions provided new challenges for Edit Royale this year.
Social distancing meant we were able to have only the 5 competitors, our hosts, tech support and producers in the room, and the greatest challenge of all was working out how to make the event fun and inclusive without the presence of a live audience!
Working with Digistor, we embraced new technology to deliver a webinar event, adding pre-recorded videos to the feed, as well as live polls and a Q&A function. While the 5 Editors in the room competed in a battle for best edit in a 2-hour period, the online audience enjoyed commentary from our fabulous hosts, Scott Walmsley and Sally Fryer ASE.
As with previous years, each competitor had the same set of rushes with a choice of 3 unique and diverse music tracks provided by Audio Network. This year the rushes were from Pexels stock footage library.
Carly Anne Kenneally, Matt Hodges, Bettina Otterbeck, Angus Roche and Keaton Stewart explored the material and supported each other while tapping into their creative best. Working on systems of their choice across PC, Mac, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve and Avid Media Composer, it was fascinating to see the different ways the competitors approached their work.
Digistor engineer Greg Taylor and ASE member Emily Clulow managed the impressive set up to ensure the smooth running of the night. Greg had a chat with Scott about the complex technical aspects involved in the delivery of an event like this, which was a first for us all. Later in the evening, Greg talked us through Avid On-Demand. The ASE’s Adrian Barac caught all the night’s action on a camera provided by Videocraft.
Running polls were also conducted, with our online audience answering questions about how COVID has impacted their work, which systems they cut on, and whether they’d consider participating in Edit Royale themselves. We also used the poll function to tally votes for the winner at the end of the night. In previous years, we’ve relied on a clap-o-meter, so the poll function made a welcome upgrade.
We also featured some messages of support from contestants from previous years, including winners Marlena Ianni (2017), Pete Ward (2018), Emily Clulow (2019), and Nick Allan and JJ (2017).
One of the best things to come out of the move to a Zoom webinar was the opportunity to include audience members from all over Australia. We had a much bigger audience than we can usually fit at Digistor, with 93 people online. Our Victorian friends were deep in lock-down, and being able to connect with them and support the VIC community was an absolute highlight.
Another highlight was chatting to some of our Victorian members – Jessica Leonard, Ben Lane and Jim Nicholls – who managed to scoop Lucky Door Prizes. We were able to connect the winners with the sponsors on screen, enabling a face-to-face chat.
Jessica won a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, and Jim received an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Ben collected an Avid Media Composer Ultimate subscription, and competitor Angus Roche’s mum, Anna, won DaVinci Resolve Studio.
Thrilled to be a winner, Jessica said: “Thanks so much, I am so excited to have won this, it has been by far the most exciting moment of my day/week/month... I'm not even sure what day it is, but I am very happy. Thank you!”
Ben said: “Thanks again for a great event! Looking forward to sinking my teeth into a bit of Avid education!”
Jim said: “We rely very heavily on Adobe CC products at work with great support from another Adobe employee Brett Chinnery. Having high level of support from employees like Brett and Jon with reach back into deeper expertise in the company provides a lot of confidence to use Adobe products. Also hello to Mark whom I met decades ago back in Sydney in the Dimension Graphics days and many thanks to Digistor for hosting this very interesting event. Providing sponsorship and support for events like this indicates a real passion for your business. Something I always look for with my supply partners! With regards to ASE, it was amazing to see how the contestants were able to create a coherent presentation from random clips of people having fun! You just can't beat a good Editor!”
Rebecca Burke missed out on claiming the Avid Media Composer prize thanks to an internet drop-out, but Shauna from Avid was incredibly generous in providing one for her as well.
Rebecca said: “Oh wow!!! Thank you so much for your generosity. I really appreciate it. I'm so excited to try out Media Composer. It looks like fun.”
Massive thanks to our wonderful sponsors and friends. Their continuing support makes the different for the ASE and for the Australian editing community.
After the 2-hour time limit was up, the 5 final cuts were screened and it was a tight race with many impressive edits on display. Carly Anne was awarded the Golden Scissors for her work. Congratulations to Carly Anne and to all of the competitors for fantastic work under these fun but unusual conditions. They each won a prize pack filled with amazing contributions from our lovely sponsors.
Speaking to the contestants after the event, here are some of their comments:
Keaton Stewart: “Being part of the Edit Royale was a cracking good time. Not an everyday scenario to edit under, so was a great challenge to take on. Filmmaking and certainly editing is not a competitive pursuit by any means, so to frame it that way is something out of the ordinary. What is the greatest part of the night is seeing how artists all approach the same challenge in their own unique way and that is the crux of all productions. We bring our experiences to a story to add to its flavour. The Edit Royale really highlights this about the process of filmmaking! Thanks again to the guild, Digistor, Avid, Adobe, Blackmagic and all those involved!”
Matt Hodges: “It really was a blast. The chance to see how other Editors approached the same brief was great to see. I think we can all agree that it would have been even better with an IRL audience, but you know – this is 2020! Thanks for putting on a cracking event!”
Angus Roche: “Awesome night and a great opportunity for us Editors to showcase our chops and meet other people in the industry. I was nervous before arriving, but there was a great atmosphere in the room, I felt comfortable and supported from the get-go despite the camera and time pressure. Thanks for the organisers for making it run so smoothly and hopefully next year we can do it again with an in-person audience!”
Bettina Otterbeck: “In every Editor's life I think there are jobs/people/times which dent your confidence and make you doubt your ability. Fear of failure made this event seem daunting. But it was such fun, a fantastic confidence boost, and I'd recommend it to anyone who gets a kick out of deadlines. “
And from the winner, Carly Anne Kenneally: “The Edit Royal was a thrilling experience and it was so great to have my Melbourne family and friends able to view in this year too. I encourage everyone to get involved as it was a great night to nerd out and meet new people in the industry.”
If you'd like a recap on all the night's action, you can watch on-line at https://www.digistor.com.au/the-latest/events/ase-edit-royale-2020.html where you can also view the competitors' final edits.
Huge thanks to Mark Richards, Greg Taylor and the whole team at Digistor for their continued partnership on this event, for their technical vision in a complex and changing world. As Fiona Strain ASE, President of the guild said: “It was a fantastic miracle of technical genius!”
Thanks also to Heidi Tobin at Videocraft, Jon Barrie at Adobe, Shauna Purcell at Avid, Mel Atherton at BlackMagic Design, Leo Soenario at Wacom Australia, and Ruth Bailey, Josie Farriss and the team at Audio Network for your generous support.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the wonderful ASE committee and our members.
It was a great night, and we’re already looking forward to the next Edit Royale! Here’s hoping we can go even bigger in 2021!
ASE Vice President
(On behalf of the ASE committee, a HUGE thanks to Danielle Boesenberg for the massive amount of work she put in once again in organising Edit Royale.)