October 2011



Greetings Editing Colleagues,


The AFI/AACTA Festival of Film starts this week in Sydney and Melbourne. We have a tremendous ASE Member presence in those works being screened. Some Editors will be available for a Q&A after their session also. Pop along and give support! Remember the screenings are free to all AFI/AACTA Members. As an ASE Member you receive AFI/AACTA discount. Check the website for screening details: www.afi.org.au


Save the date - Sunday 4th December is our night of nights, 'The Ellies'.  The 2011 ASE Awards are now in full organisational mode.  Our Judges are consumed eating popcorn and the Committee is working with our Sponsors to make it a night to remember. The Vanguard will be our host again, located in Newtown NSW. This year's Nominees will be announced soon, with ticketing details. Who will take home the Elephant Stamp this year?


Remember, it really is a matter of "what can you do for your Guild?” Please let us know what you'd like to contribute or make available to share. Let's find great comfort in supporting each other.



Jason Ballantine ASE

ASE President





The next few paragraphs should get you excited about what's happening in Melbourne.  As we get better at running these events we are tweaking the way we do things.  From now on after each event we will be going to a nearby local pub or bar to socialise so please come along and say hello we'd love to catch up.


It's been a super September with the well-attendedHow to Freelance evening run by Belinda Fithie. There was a great mix of fresh faces, those hitting their stride and a few of the seasoned all contributing to the night.  Look for Rob Nairn's article to get the lowdown. Thanks to Jill Holt for arranging and providing tea and coffee. Love ya work B!


We held the last of our Sundowners in Richmond and I was blown away to find out that in early seasons of Mythbusters there was 200 hours of rushes for an episode! We followed that up with an evening with editor Sasha Dylan Bell and assistant Adam McKenzie on the low budget Face to Face.  Thanks guys you were awesome! Kudos to those souls who braved the freakish weather to get to the VCA and a shout out to Ka Yin who spent 2 hours in her car to travel all of 3 kms so she could film the event for prosperity. There will be a cutdown for the web so keep a lookout for that. Seek out the article in the newsletter for an in-depth look at the night.


We have an awesome October charged and out of the blocks already.  Dee McClelland and Brett Manson have dazzled us with their awesome colourist skills using Snowtown, The Eye of the Storm, The Loved Ones, City Homicide, Winners and Losers and Cloud Street to show what is possible. Thank you to Dee, Brett, Rachel Knowles and Digital Pictures for providing an informative and entertaining evening.  There is an article so read up on it for more on the night.


On Tuesday October 18th with the Doco 3000 group we are excited to present the documentary The Triangle Wars with Director/Editor Rosie Jones with editors Jane Usher and Phil Watts talking about taking over a large long term documentary at the SAE institute 235 Normanby Road South Melbourne at 7 pm.  The Triangle Wars is on at selected screens from October 6 so please go and support local filmmakers and see it in the cinemas.


I can announce we have an event on The Slap locked in for Monday the 7th of November at the VCA so keep checking the website for updates.  This will be our last craft event this year so please come along and make the next few weeks fun.


Cindy Clarkson

Victorian ASE Chairperson




How to Freelance Victorian Event

Article by Rob Nairn & photos snapped by Maz


Some of the friendly faces at the How to Freelance event


About 40 ASE members gathered for the How to Freelance event on Wednesday 7th September at Swinburne University, Prahran. Belinda Fithie whose experience ranges from editing to post supervising led the conversation. She’s done a lot of hiring as well as being hired so knows what works well from both sides of the fence.


Many people relatively new to the industry were looking to find out ‘what their worth is’.  More experienced members commented they were please to find out they sold their skills at about the right price delivering good value for money at a wage they were happy collecting.

Click here to


Experiences in Editing...with Bin Li


ASE Member Bin Li

Bin Li is a Sydney based editor with over 20 years experience in the industry. An editing graduate of the Australian Film TV and Radio School (1999), Bin has worked on numerous international and Australian feature films including Moulin Rouge, House Of Flying Daggers, Mao’s Last Dancer and The Way Back. Bin has worked with distinguished film directors Bruce Beresford, Zhang Yimou, Baz Luhrmann and Peter Weir. Bin is currently in Sydney, working as an Additional Editor onWalking With Dinosaurs 3D.

The first time I saw an editor edit was in the late 80s, while I was in High School. After explaining the process to me, the editor (Stewart Young) demonstrated by trimming a shot. This was all done on film, a 16mm Steenbeck. Suddenly I had this notion that one day I too can trim a shot in a dark room while sipping Earl Grey tea. Cut to 2011 and I'm doing exactly that, but I've moved onto better tea, Olong.

Hans Pomeranz and Simon Dibbs gave me my first paid job at Spectrum Films. During the 6 years there I gain an enormous amount of knowledge in post-production. It was also a great place to meet editors, most of whom are endearing characters. This was in the early 90s, during the change from film based editing to computer based editing.

After completing a degree at the AFTRS, I went freelance. Tim Wellburn, Nick Beauman, Dany Cooper, Lee Smith and Mark Warner were some of the editors I had the good fortune to assist. What I find fascinating is the ' inner peace ' these editors have when all hell is breaking loose. Recently many projects I've worked on involved overseas shoots, which I was fortunate enough to attend. How great it is to be in another country working on films and getting paid for it!

The thing I love most about assisting is the challenge of anticipating what's about to happen. Like a chess game, planning out the moves and trying not be cornered by a mistake. I also love the exploration in the constant changing technology, it's like we're on the frontier, always discovering better ways of doing things.

As an editor I love sitting for hours over a sequence and feeling good about it when I'm done. Then I would make another pot of Olong tea and think about the next sequence.



'Meet the Members'

…with Paula Zorgdrager


ASE Member Paula Zorgdrager

Paula Zorgdrager is smart, quick with a smile and dedicated to her art - when not skiing.  Paula is about to role up her sleeves and throw herself into her second series of the Amazing Race - Australia.  You gotta respect someone who cheerfully takes on a job where the average footage is 400 hours for an hour of TV!

I knew I wanted to work in post when… I first played with Steenbecks in Uni. It was like playing with a big jigsaw puzzle.

My first break in the industry was… I did work experience at a top post-house for a few days in about 1999, and as it turned out their assistant editor was leaving, so they offered me a job. Right place, right time and got to learn from some amazing editors!

The thing I love most about editing is… When something's not working then you have that 'click' moment where you find a solution. Very satisfying!
Also I'm a frustrated writer so building a story on a timeline is the next best thing.

The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is... Pick the brains of people you look up to. Get in the edit suite and watch what other editors are doing. Learn the 'rules'... then break them with your own style!


If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be… a snow-bum.



'Meet the Members'

…with Shaun Smith


ASE Member Shaun Smith with daughters Imogen & Nina


Shaun Smith has a wealth of experience in the industry and has served his time on the Victorian ASE including being Chairman 2003- 2005.  Do not be fooled by Shaun’s affable manner he has the heart of a lion!  The lucky man has just started work on the Kath and Kim moovie!


I knew I wanted to work in post when… I sound edited my own sound recordings. Using a Nagra Analogue recorder, it was my first job in the film industry. Just jumped in at the deep end. A small company in Singapore. Our office was in Raffles Hotel. Travel docos & TVCs were the staple, with an exception being 2 films for a Gun Manufacturer. A 16mm Acmade Pic-Sync was the tool of the day – picture viewer with 4 sound heads. Laying up the audio, building the soundtrack. Gunfire, explosions, bloody marvelous! Then I was lucky enough to attend the mix, thus taking me right through the sound process. Taught me heaps while thoroughly wetting the appetite for my new vocation.


My first break in the industry was… Answered above.


The thing I love most about editing is…Watching the rushes for the first time. Film Konstruction or Re-Konstruction as it’s sometimes referred to. Putting it all together. Creating.


The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is...

Beyond the creative & technical, acquire the skills to relate & communicate with those connected to the cutting room. People like the director, DOP, Sound Recordist, Script Supervisor, Producer, etc  …. It’s very much a collaborative process. Further to that: Networking is important.


If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be… A Sound Recordist, Camera Operator or if I had 20-20 vision, I might’ve been a pilot.



'Meet your Committee'

…with ASE Victorian Treasurer Patrick McCabe


ASE Victorian Treasurer Patrick McCabe


Patrick is currently the treasurer of the Vic branch having served as treasurer and secretary simultaneously the year before.  His calm manner and easy laugh hides the creativity sitting just below the surface.  Ladies and Gentlemen Patrick McCabe!


I specialise in… editing drama and music video. I'm currently working on a VCA Masters short film and a couple of experimental music clips. In the last few years I've done quite a bit of assisting for very experienced editors, and assembly editing shows likeOffspring has really helped hone my drama and comedy skills.

My first break in the industry was… a postproduction assistant job on Adam Elliot's stop motion feature film, Mary and Max. The job ran for fourteen months and my role evolved into second assistant editor by the end of that time. The lucky break came when, just after relocating to Melbourne, I attended my first ASE event - a young editors night. There I met Henry Karjalainen and Glen Whelan, the postproduction producer and assistant editor on Mary and Max.


The highlight of my career so far… has been cutting Exit, my first feature film as editor. The film has recently premiered with a couple of sold out screenings at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.


I was inspired to join the ASE committee… because I found my first few jobs by networking with ASE members, and I wanted to give something back to the guild, while continuing to meet more members.


The ASE is important… for two big reasons. One, it fosters a 'real life' community for postproduction people who often work in isolation. It's much more fun to talk about the challenges of editing and share knowledge of technical issues in person, rather than online. And two, the guild promotes the work of editors throughout the film and television industry, and in the wider community.



'Meet our Sponsors'

…with Blue Post


(L to R) Peter Millington and Peter Carrodus, from Blue Post


The ASE would like to welcome our newest Gold Sponsor Blue Post

Even if you don’t know the name Blue Post chances are you’ve seen their work with series such as Rush, Bed of Roses, and Offspring, telemovies Hawke and Beaconsfield, and documentaries including Curse of the Gothic Symphony, Autoluminescent, and The Triangle Wars all of which screened at MIFF 2011, passing through their doors.


Blue Post was set up in 2007, by editor Peter Carrodus ASE, and postproduction supervisor Peter Millington. They originally met working on The Secret Life of Us, and there in lies the secret to their success. As industry practitioners themselves their approach to servicing clients is influenced by the fact that they know the process thoroughly.


Several years ago Peter Carrodus noticed a worrying trend in the industry where because post houses could sync rushes he was being asked to work without an assistant. One way of addressing the problem was to set up a facility and offer and alternative way to do things. On the first series of Underbelly (2008) they provided an assistant editor that did all the syncing overnight in house.

Concentrating on long form projects Peter Millington says they aim to give control of previously expensive processes back to productions. He credits the shift in technology away from film and affordability of more recent grading software for making this possible. It’s all about efficient post paths. They understand that editors like to see rushes first thing in the morning, and producers don’t want to pay for individual DVD duplication. Considering the repeat business they’ve had from companies such as Southern Star and Renegade Factual the system obviously works.


Blue Post is excited to become a guild sponsor and particularly happy to be supporting the award for “Best Editing in a Documentary”. The ASE is very pleased to have them.


Please check out their website: www.bluepost.com.au





Upcoming AFTRS Short Courses:


Avid Media Composer –An Introduction

10th – 13th October (6 – 9.30pm)

Tutor: David Forsyth


Final Cut Pro – Beyond the Basics

31st October – 3 Nov (6.15-9.45pm)

Tutor: Paul Healy


Avid for Final Cut Pro Editors

5th November (9am – 5pm)

Tutor: David Forsyth


Avid Media Composer – Advanced techniques

19th and 20th November (9am-5pm)




***A reminder that the joint “Guild/AACTA” memberships offer for $55 is still available - this provides full complimentary access to the entire Screenings program.

The AFI | Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts

Members of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) play an important role in shaping the Australian screen industry, particularly by privilege of voting in the AACTA Awards.

For further information please email AACTA membership.

Visit aacta.org/events for full event details.


***Members receive 10% discount to AFTRS courses.


***Members also receive discounts to the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals, so check their websites for details.


***Palace Cinemas in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney are now offering ASE members $13.50 entry to any film, any session (not including festivals or special events) upon presentation of membership cards.


***Did you know ASE members get concession rate at Popcorn Taxi events? We do! So just remember to show your ASE members card.


***Online Membership Payment:
There’s never been an easier way to join or re-new your membership to the
ASE! We are excited to announce our new online payment facility. You are
now able to pay online with your credit card. If you would like to join the
guild follow the link for Online Application Form:
Or if you are renewing your membership access to all the ASE benefits will
be yours at the click of a button:





“I’d just crank it through the viewer and close my eyes where I think the cut should be. And then I’d crank it four turns or so to where the next shot was, try and visualize the cut, then cut it. Once it was cut that was it.”

(Legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown on editing his classic 60’s surf film The Endless Summer)



Until next time

The ASE Committee