eNews 26 – December 2011

E-NEWS

EDITION #026

December 2011

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Greetings Editing Colleagues,

 

Wow, what a year for the Australian Screen Editors Guild!  I sure hope you enjoyed all that the State Committees made available to you.  The events were incredibly diverse and numerous, entertaining and educational.

 

The 2011 ASE Winners were announced last night at The Ellies, hosted by the brilliant Rob Carlton. For those who weren't able to attend, the full list of category winners are to follow.  A special mention and congratulations should be reserved for this year's Lifetime Member, Henry Dangar ASE.  Also to our newly Accredited Members: Scott Gray ASE, Sue Schweikert ASE and Matt Villa ASE.

 

Through the results of our AGM, it is my absolute pleasure to confirm that the majority of our hard working Committee Folk have volunteered their invaluable support to our Guild once again.  I welcome the new comers too and thank everyone so very much for what I know will be a brilliant 2012! Click the link below to checkout the Presidents Report:

(NB: This is in the Member’s Only Section of the ASE website so you will need your login details)

http://www.screeneditors.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6451#post6451

 

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.

 

I wish you a happy and safe Christmas and New Year!

 

 

Regards,

Jason Ballantine ASE

ASE President

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2011 ASE Awards Winners

 

Avid Award for Best Editing in a Feature Film

Oranges and Sunshine – Dany Cooper ASE

 

Blue Post Award for Best Editing in a Documentary

Girls Own War Stories – Antoinette Ford

 

Digital Pictures Award for Best Editing in Television Drama

Spirited, Series 1, Episode 2 – Martin Connor

 

Omnilab Media Award for Best Editing in Television Non-Drama

On Trial, Episode 1 – Denise Haslem ASE

 

EFILM Award for Best Editing in a Commercial

NAB ‘3 Year Olds’ – Bernard Garry ASE

 

Level Two Music Award for Best Editing in a Music Video

Schvendes ‘Lay the Noose’ – Matt Osborne

 

AFTRS Awards for Best Editing in a Short Film

Something Fishy – Melanie Annan

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VICTORIAN UPDATE:

 

Somehow we are at December.  Already!  It’s been an awesome year for Victoria thanks to the efforts of the committee and the generosity, openness and humour of the panelists.  As the committee is thanked in the Victorian AGM article (please do seek it out) a shout out to the panelists that contributed to the wonderful year is in order.

 

A huge THANK YOU to the panellists starting with the AFI panel from December 2010 - Dany Cooper ASE, Alexandre de Franceschi ASE, Marcus Darcy, the participants of the Young Editors Night who’s names I don’t have, Caitlin Spiller, Alethea Jones, Tom Baricevic, Mark Warner, Ben Joss, Brett Manson, Peter Webb, Nic Smith, Denise Haratzis ASE, Peter Carrodus ASE, Kate Dennis, Maryjeanne Watt, Patrick McCabe, Patrick Hughes, Dimitri Golovko, Kelly Sheeran, Luke Doolan, Ken Sallows ASE, Andy Canny, Kate Williams, Shaun Smith, Belinda Fithie, Sasha Dylan Bell, Adam McKenzie, Dee McClelland, Rosie Jones, Jane Usher, Phillip Watts, Mark Atkin ASE, Annabelle Johnson, Craig Carter, Billie Brown and Jon Barrie.

 

But wait can you believe there’s more! We have two events to go. The joint Guild Christmas party is going to be a cracker.  7thDecember at 7pm at St Kilda Memo, rear of RSL on Acland Street. Please RSVP rsvpvic@screeneditors.com by 5th of December, as we do need to know numbers.

 

Then on the 13th December the wrap up event of the year that will go down in history - cue Ennio Morricone music - Shoot Out At The Golden Gate.  Ben Joss, Billie Brown and Jon Barrie will put Avid,  Lightworks and Adobe through their paces with lightning challenges.  This isn’t about which is the best software but what can each do with the same footage and technology setup in the hands of masters.  There is a charge of $10 for the joy of drinks, nibblies and awesome door prizes including editing software packages so go the Digistor website to pre-purchase tickets www.digistor.com.au/Events/editchef.aspx. You will be sorry if you miss out.

 

It’s been fantastic to meet and to get to know some of you through the year. It’s been a blast.  Most of all have a fabulous festive season. Rest up because we have some great stuff cooking for 2012.

 

Cindy Clarkson

Victorian ASE Chairperson

 

NEWS:

 

Victorian Committee Member Belinda Fithie has written an article on the relationship between Production and Post - and what can be done to make it all work better. To read the full article on the discussion board please click here.

(NB: This is in the Member’s Only Section of the ASE website so you will need your login details)

http://www.screeneditors.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2083

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ASE LIFE MEMBER


Henry Dangar ASE is the latest recipient of the Life Membership of the Australian Screen Editors Guild

(note: parts of this article are from Fiona Strain's introductory speech at the ASE Awards night dinner)

As well as being one of Australia's leading Editors, with an enviable credit list, Henry has also been one of the driving forces and advocates behind the ASE, from it's inception to today. In 1995, Henry became the ASE's first President and proud owner of ASE Membership number one. It was the start of the guild becoming extremely active within the industry, lobbying for Editors and Assistant Editors rights. Henry quickly set the agenda, in particular ensuring that Editors and Assistants had the support to confidently move forward in their careers.

He mooted the idea of a mentorship scheme to support emerging Editors. He rallied a library of rushes from recently completed productions for Editors and Assistants to practice on. It began a time of incredible generosity of spirit as seasoned editors gave over weekends of their time to run creative workshops in both drama and documentary. We even managed a newsletter and started advertising jobs for Editors (quote nudist colony ad in 1st Newsletter).

The highlight of Henry’s time as President was participating in the Fade To Black conference held in May 1996. This was initiated by the ASE in conjunction with the other craft guilds to highlight the perilous state of postproduction at the time. In his speech to the conference Henry said, “The ASE holds the view that it is quite acceptable to ask the editing team to go the extra yard to realise the dream. But the ASE finds it wholly unacceptable to ask the editing team to make up the shortfall in the budget.”

This conference began a new era of collaboration between the various guilds with the Producers, Composers, Directors, Editors and Sound Editors all gathering regularly. The ASE progressed from educating each other to educating those that employ us and work alongside us - taking a lead in guiding schedules and budgets. We also began lobbying government and funding bodies. Henry was President of the ASE for three years.

Henry career as an Editor started over 35 years ago when he was introduced to the ABC. He quickly became enchanted with the craft. He traveled overseas, worked at the BBC and came back and said “I am an Editor, employ me”. When he edited “Stir” in 1981 he was probably one of the youngest feature film editors in Australia.

After editing 24 feature films including WINTER OF OUR DREAMS, THE CROSSING, SPIDER AND ROSE, KISS OR KILL, and LUCKY MILES, he is now considered one of the best in the country. He won the AFI Best Achievement in editing for KISS OR KILL. He has received many nominations for his work from the AFI, IF, FILM CRITICS CIRCLE and the ASE. Many of us have settled in to enjoy his television dramas among them: LOVE LETTERS FROM TERALBA ROAD, the ambitious BANGKOK HILTON, LOVE MY WAY and RAKE.

And it is not just the audience who love his work Peter Andrikidis, the director of MARY BRYANT says: "Henry Dangar will find every nuance in my rushes and create a brilliant scene - even when I direct it badly.

Bill Bennett with whom Henry enjoyed a great partnership in six films including KISS OR KILL, says, “I would hate to think how many hours all those films represent, being together in the cutting room, at very close proximity. ...I work with Henry because apart from the fact that he’s a good bloke and a very real gentleman, I trust his judgment, he’s a crack technician and a true artist, and. he likes cricket’’.

In 2002 Henry was one of the very first Editors to receive ASE accreditation. It is with great pleasure that the ASE awards Henry with a much-deserved Life Membership in 2011.

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Victorian ASE AGM

 

ASE members at the Victorian AGM

 

The Victorian AGM was a lively notion with bowling balls hitting the mark, rolling ever so depressingly to the gutter and on occasion being bowled from a backwards stance with a lot of laughs, cheers and general frivolity.  That aside 2011 has been a great year thanks to the energy and generosity of the committee who volunteered their time with an abundance of support from David Price at the Victorian College of the Arts who allowed the ASE to use the fantastic 90 seater cinema to host events plus our sponsors: Digital Pictures, Roar Digital (Evelyn Cronk attended the AGM to show her support and appreciation) and newcomers Blue Post and Digistor. By mid December Victoria would have held 20 events this year most of which occurred in the last six months. An extraordinary year indeed.

 

The people you need to thank are:  Mark Atkin ASE, Sasha Dylan Bell, Karen Fleming, Richard Greenhalgh, Jill Holt, Ka-Yin Kwok, Tommy Meadmore, Patrick McCabe, Rob Nairn, Dani Raulli, Dave Redman, Steven Robinson ASE and Maz Swierczak.

 

So if you see them in the corridor give them a high five, on the street toot your horn and wave, in a supermarket buy their groceries….okay not the last one but a thank you in a form you feel appropriate would be awesome. They deserve it and then some.

 

And so the 2011 committee was thanked, dissolved and the 2012 committee formed.  The merry band who’ll be giving you more thrills and spills than a tobogganing trident missile are: Sasha Dylan Bell, Andrew Brinsmead, Rob Buttery, Cindy Clarkson, Karen Fleming, Belinda Fithie, Richard Greenhalgh, Jill Holt, Ryan Howard, Ka-Yin Kwok, Patrick McCabe, Rob Nairn, Dani Raulli, Dave Redman, Steven Robinson ASE, Maz Swierczak and Jaklene Vukasinovic

Again our thanks to stalwart Mark Atkins ASE whose 7 years on the committee can really not be thanked in words.  Mark, we love you, we thank you and we miss you!

 

Cindy Clarkson

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The SlapPost Production

Words and photograph by Karen Fleming

 

Assistant editor Annabelle Johnson, editors Andy Canny and Mark Atkin ASE and sound designer Craig Carter

 

I really think there is something rather special about the television adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’s book The Slap. An evening with editors Andy Canny and Mark Atkin ASE, assistant editor Annabelle Johnson, and sound designer Craig Carter shed some light on just why it is one of the strongest series to appear on our screens in a long time.

 

Naturally having such well-honed, divisive material as a basis is a strong place to start. But as everyone acknowledges, television is very different medium to the written word. Impressively some aspects of the series not only remained true to the book, but also managed to take certain ideas and themes further, in part through the choice to allow each episode to have its own identity. This can be attributed somewhat to the involvement of four vastly different directors Tony Ayres, Robert Connolly, Jessica Hobbs and Matthew Saville, but it was also more considered than this.

 

There is no doubt the series has a cinematic feel. It pushes boundaries rarely explored by television. Andy Canny described how Matt Saville was interested in staying with the character that the episode was focusing on, quite literally, not cutting away from them, staying with their reactions and allowing other characters lines to be delivered off screen or out of focus. Andy showed a sequence from the Connie episode that clearly demonstrated this style. Jump cuts and frenetic camera work were also used in order to convey characters' emotional states where appropriate, in particular with Harry’s story.

 

Andy and Mark both noticed actors’ performances shifting for different directors but felt that this enhanced the story as the perspective is shifting. The first episode, which is essentially Hector’s but has the task of setting up all the characters and the event at the center of the story, proved a little tricky. The main challenge was managing to convey a lot of information while still making the audience feel like it was Hector’s story. Mark found that generally the first take of the argument surrounding the slap, which was filmed on three cameras, was the most dynamic and so it was used for the majority of the scene but he and Jessica did decide it would be useful to pick up a close up of Hector’s reaction. As they were assembling during the shoot it was easy enough to do because there was another day scheduled at the same location.

 

Shot on the Arri Alexa by Andrew Commis ACS in ProRes 4x4 the files were transcoded to ProRes LT at Deluxe, where they added a basic grade so the rushes didn’t look flat. The schedule was a little more generous than conventional television. Each block (2 episodes) consisted of a 3 week shoot/assembly period, followed by a 2 week edit, and then later there was a period where Tony Ayres examined the series as a whole to ensure the balance of elements such as the use of narration. Mark and Andy both noted that in a block there was usually one episode that took a little more time to refine, so the 10 days was rarely split down the middle.

 

Sound designer Craig Carter also took a cinematic approach to the sound. He recorded every location in detail so he could then strip out the grey noise and add in individual details from a fridge humming to a clock ticking. When Craig began sound design all eight episodes were close to locked off so he didn’t have to deal with a lot of changes. He was interested in using sound for story telling rather than just in a literal manner of hearing what you see on screen (or what you assume must be just beyond it). He used sound to convey emotion, an example of this being the distortion of sound when characters were taking drugs.

Annabelle described a wonderfully inclusive environment where everyone was invited to screenings and asked their opinion. She was also encouraged to edit as much as possible and was responsible for assembling a significant portion of episode 7 Aisha, when one of the other episodes took a little longer to finish than originally planned.

Narration was always considered necessary in the series, as the book inhabits the internal worlds of characters. They played around with the idea of having different narration for each character but settled on an authorial voice to bind the series together.

As the evening at VCA drew to a close it became obvious that The Slap was made based on great material, with a reasonable schedule and strong collaboration. No doubt these things are at least in part, the key to its success.

The ASE thanks VCA once again for providing space, and Mark, Andy, Annabelle and Craig for sharing their experience.

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'Meet the Members'

…with Sue Schweikert ASE

 

Newly Accredited ASE Member, Sue Schweikert ASE

 

Sue Schweikert has been a stalwart of the Sydney commercial editing scene for over 30 years. As the mainstay of the Film Graphics post production department for many years she has edited over 1500 television commercials including McDonalds 'James Dean', Shell 'Great Escape' Tooheys Dry 'War of the Appliances' and the 2004 Tourism Australia campaign. Now working through Guillotine she continues editing top local and international projects.

 

I knew I wanted to work in post when… That's quite difficult. I knew I wanted to be in the film industry from the day I started the Visual Communication course at The Brisbane College of Art in the late seventies. I thrived on the technical mixed with the artistic. The course had only started that year and was very general.... animation, filmmaking, photography as well as drawing and behavioral science. I had had no experience with filmmaking before starting the course and took to it like a duck to water. During the course I worked on a feature as a runner and in a small animation studio as a painter but still hadn't narrowed my ambitions to anything in particular. To be honest I didn't think it was necessary. When I graduated and decided to move to Sydney to pursue a career in filmmaking my options were open.  

 

My first break in the industry was… walking up the stairs at Film Graphics in June 1979. As I mentioned I had had some experience in an animation studio in Brisbane so I figured that's the animation studios were the place to start. In those days almost all the studios were in Crows Nest. I had already dropped in my resume at Hanna Barbera, Yoram Gross Sudios and Zap and Film Graphics was the last on the list. The rest as they say is history. I started the next week in the darkroom making photographic prints to be used in the animation. That was a pretty thankless task though. In fact I was getting a bollocking one day for being a little short with one of the animators and Peter Blaxland the general manager and editor asked me what I wanted to do. 'I want to be your assistant!' I announced boldly. I figured I new how to handle film and he obviously needed help with the rolls of film that would relentlessly arrive from the lab each day. 'I've tried to train boys before and they haven't been able to do It.' he replied.

Obviously, he gave me the break and I took on his challenge.

 

The thing I love most about editing is… I used to love handling the film but we don't get to do that anymore. I love getting everything into the computer and going through it, sorting out what's good and what's not so good. I love making that one problematic cut work. I love those serendipitous moments when you turn to the director and they just smile back because they know it works. And specifically with commercials I love it when you send the director out of the room to lose those last 2 seconds and they come back and can't see where you've take those pesky 50 frames from. That's really good.

 

The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is... go to the movies, read books, go to art galleries, exhibitions, theatre, experience life. Seeing it on UTube is not good enough.

Editing is so techo these days and you can get bogged down in codecs, workflows and transcoding. You've got to do it but it's not where the fun is. Also, don't be afraid to ask stupid questions.

 

If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be… There were some days when things weren't going so well that I would have opted for 'a lady in a frock shop.' But I was always a bit arty and love painting now so I think an artist or maybe a colourist.

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'Meet the Members'

…with Jeremy Hill-Brooks

 

 

ASE Member Jeremy Hill-Brooks

 

I knew I wanted to work in post when… I felt how heavy the camera equipment was.

 

My first break in the industry was… I had to leave Uni because I got so busy doing training for the old MEDIA100's for the reseller. I would spend a day or two showing the people how it worked and then 9 times out of 10 they were all like "COULD YOU JUST DO ALL OUR EDITING FOR US NOW?"

 

The thing I love most about editing is… Creating something from nothing... when a scene is not working and then you move a cut point or swap a shot and it works... magic!

Example: Camera man buttons off when they should be rolling and all you've got is the junk before and after and somehow it still works, and the director dries their eyes and we get on with the job.

 

The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is... Cut cut cut until it hurts! and then go back to you first version...

 

If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be… Selling exotic sports cars on the French Riviera!

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'Meet the Committee'

…with Christine Cheung

 

ASE Committee Member Christine Cheung

 

Christine has been an Assistant Editor since 2003, starting at Yoram Gross. She has worked mostly on film and television. Her credits include, Happy Feet, Animal Kingdom, Legend of the Guardians, Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Australia and Tomorrow When the War Began, she is currently working on The Great Gatsby.

 

My first break in the industry came when… while I was studying Film and Television at Tafe, I was also the work experience kid at Island Films (then at Balmain) and to earn some cash I was also their cleaner. I was hugely excited that all these esteemed editors and their assistants would let me observe them at work. Bin Li was one of those generous people; he gave me a great learning opportunity/job to assist him on a film he cut.  I think he was impressed that I worked hard at cleaning and decided to give me a go. The other big break was meeting Christian Gazal at the 'Meet the Assistants' event the ASE held, 3 million years ago (date is approximate), he later interviewed me and gave me a job on 'Happy Feet', I was on that film for about 2 and half years.

 

My highlight of my career so far... definitely highlights are working and learning from so many great Assistants and Editors, also learning new technologies and workflows is a big one, and in terms of jobs, Happy Feet and Australia still remain my biggest accomplishments because they really push you to the limit, so surviving them is a huge feat. Most recent highlights are working on a short film with my mate Luke Doolan and the job I'm on now is also a bit of alright.

 

I was inspired to join the ASE committee… because I was complaining about what it wasn't doing for me, then I realised that probably meant I should be doing it. One of my favourite phrases I've ever heard was 'you do something by doing it, not by not doing it'.

 

The ASE is important because… as most of us are freelance or are not part of a union, so we need to give one another support, not only with the hard stuff such as improving working conditions, but the good stuff as well, such as recognition of a colleague's achievements.

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MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS:

 

***Members receive discounts to the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals, which are both coming up soon so check their websites for details.

 

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

 

***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.

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH:

 

"For a writer, its a word. For a composer or a musician it’s a note.  For an editor or a filmmaker, its a frame."

(Quentin Tarantino: Director of Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill)

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Until next time

The ASE Committee

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