February 2012



Greetings Editing Colleagues,


HaPpy, HAppY nEW YeAr!


Well the year is off to a great celebrative start with the editing winners announced for the inaugural AACTA Awards.  A warm congratulations to ASE Members Veronika Jenet ASE for her work on feature film 'Snowtown' and Bryan Mason for his work on Documentary 'Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure'.


The ASE, as well as many individual ASE Members, gave support to Deb Peart's (and Director Peter Andrikidis) proposal to AACTA for change in the (lack of) allotment of Awards in recognising Television Drama.  There is also discussion on the means for judging.  We are challenging why there are so many new International Categories at the detriment of promoting local Industry.  More news to come.


The ASE is conducting an anonymous survey into the wages and conditions met in 2011. Please read Vice President Mel's introduction to this questionnaire below. Take a moment to assist...



The ASE gratefully welcomes our new Gold Sponsor Autodesk.  They will be featured in next month's 'Meet the Sponsor' article.  In the meantime, take a moment to check out their diverse product range at www.autodesk.com.au


I'm sure you'll agree that 2011 was a fantastic year for our Guild.  Your State's Committee is endeavoring to make this year just as special, if not more so.


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





What can be said but welcome to 2012.

The committee is working to get some events up and running soon so keep an eye on the website.  We'll be running a Young Editors Night so those of you who have either a short or a work in progress (maximum of ten minutes) start thinking about what you want to show.  We're hanging to give you feedback.

We have other adventures that will come together in due course - some social, some technical and some well just down right fun!  The committee certainly had fun thinking them up.  I'd like to thank Patrick McCabe for once again putting his hand up and taking on the role of Treasurer for Victoria and am thrilled that one of our newest members Jaklene Vukasinovic (Jak) has taken on the role of secretary.

Have a great February.

Cindy Clarkson

Victorian ASE Chairperson





AACTA Q&A Session

The ASE and AACTA run a Q&A session with the AACTA Best Editing Nominees. It was a very insightful panel and we thank all those who took part - Jill Bilcock ASE and Jane Moran for Red Dog, Rochelle Oshlack for The Tall Man, and Ray Thomas ASE and Sophie Raymond for Mrs Carey's Concert. It was interesting to hear about such a diverse bunch of films and the different editing techniques. Thanks also to Karen Pearlman, head of Screen Culture at AFTRS for chairing the event. Highlights from the panel will soon we available as on online video.


(Panel - Jane Moran, Jill Bilcock ASE, Rochelle Oshlack, Ray Thomas ASE, Sophie Raymond)


Sydney Film School Awards
The ASE would like to congratulate recent graduates of the Sydney Film School and wish everyone the best of luck in their careers. Melanie Annan, ASE Vice President, attended the Sydney Film School Awards Ceremony at the end of 2011. It was fantastic to see such high quality student work and there was a great sense of friendship and support amongst students. The ASE sponsored the Award for Best Editing in a Documentary and congratulations to the winner (and new ASE member) Angus Taylor. Angus edited a 15 minute doco - Parke Bum. He had 40 hours of footage to edit and did an incredible job.


(Angus Taylor accepting his award from the ASE Vice President Melanie Annan, at the Sydney Film School Awards)





The ASE is conducting an annual survey into wages and conditions for Screen Editors and Assistants across the country. Please take a moment to fill in our 2011 survey. The responses are completely anonymous.


We ask you to fill in one survey per job completed in 2011. If you are freelance and have worked on a few different jobs, please fill in one survey per project. If you are a permanent employee then you just fill in the survey once.


Please take the time to answer the questions accurately as this information collated will inform of our collective experiences.

Results will be shared with ASE members and will assist the Guild address Industrial matters.




Wages Negotiations

By Bin Li


While watching Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, I wondered if these IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agents get paid per mission, or are they on an overall salary package? Do they get overtime? Are they on a 10 hour or 12 hour day? And how does that work when they’re planted in a Moscow prison for a year?


Wages negotiation is an unavoidable part of the job for freelance editors and assistants. It’s something we face at the start of each job and it’s something I’ve always found difficult, although now I’m more at ease with it by following these simple tips....


To see the full article please click link below. Please remember this is in the members only section of the ASE website and you have to be logged in to see it.




First Job In Londontown

by Tommy Meadmore


Former VIC ASE Committee member Tommy Meadmore in London with his sister Kelly.


‘You’re moving to London, now?’ was in the eyes of almost everyone I spoke too in the lead up to my departure to the United Kingdom in May this year (2011). Well, not everyone… but in these life-changing moments it can be really confidence building to read into the facial expressions of others, especially when the wake of a global economic crisis is tickling your paranoia.


Honestly, I was terrified. I was moving country, friends and family. There had been fallout in the TV industry in London and I had been getting mixed messages from everyone who supposedly knew the situation over there (including those actually there). I would be breaking into the industry all over again… and that means sales, cold calling and shameless self-promotion. Crap.


But, luckily I was armed with a brand new milestone credit on my CV, ‘The Amazing Race Australia’. In TV-savvy United Kingdom I was sure this global uber-hit format would carry me right to the big guns!


‘What the hell is ‘The Amazing Race’?’ was in the eyes of almost every industry person I met upon landing in London. ‘You know… the Americans have done 18 seasons, very popular? It’s the Australian version”. Blank faces. Crap. I could feel the Aussie Pubs calling for a new barman.


Plan B. I discovered in London that editors have agents. Yes – I could let someone else do the work for me! So I went out and got myself rejected from several.


I then proceeded to make 250 phone calls. After A couple of hundred people told me politely to piss off I finally got a call about a job for BBC1... Jackpot!!!

But, on AVID. I had never used AVID and I was imagining the producers face, under deadline as I casually uttered… ‘Just bear with me while I figure out what this red arrow button does…’


The show was an observational documentary series following environmental enforcers who pursue fly-tippers. I mentioned I hadn’t used AVID since a training course a long long long time ago… so if I appeared shell shocked, that was why - and they went for it (I thought they must have been desperate). But it was my first gig in the UK, it was for the BBC, it was on a system I had hardly touched… time to panic?


So, I got in early. Too early – It was still dark.


The tech guy showed me to my edit suite. It was a cupboard conversion in the middle of the building. No windows. Generous with it’s lack of amenities. The chair was an OH&S court case. But the tech guy was nice. I casually asked him about the red arrow button (solving that mystery really helped move things along). ‘Have you used AVID before?” ‘Tchyeah, course… ahem!”… with a smirk, he then kindly pointed out the benefits of the yellow arrow key. Marvellous, two buttons now. Tim Tams for the tech guy – check.


CUT TO: Five Weeks Later. Job done. Not sacked. Now have AVID on my CV. Whew.


I am not sure if it’s luck or persistence or both, but I have been working consistently since. The two editors agent who now represent me have been wonderful, but most unsuccessful in securing me a job. It has been through my own resources the work has come. So far my experience has confirmed that if you’re competent at what you do and good to work with there is nothing to worry about. And I think if you knock on enough doors something will always happen. My mentor, Brian Kavanagh said to me, ‘Work creates work, Tommy’. In Melbourne, and now in London – he is right.


Keep sending good vibes mon Aussie amis!


Tommy Meadmore



Coffee with the Creative Content Industry Guild of Malaysia

By Jane St Vincent Welch ASE


On the 19th Of January this year I met with the Creative Content Industry Guild of Malaysia, (CCIG) in Darlinghurst.


The coffee was great and so was the company, Khir Mohd Noor (Deputy chairman), and Akma Suriati Awing (Council member).

I didn’t know anything about the Malaysian film industry, but its huge, they make over 100 features a year as well as a lot of television. Primarily they are trying to work out how to negotiate on behalf of their members better working conditions, contracts and more sustainable career pathways.


The CCIG is an umbrella guild that represents all the film guilds and associations in Malaysia from animators, lyric writers to directors and producers as well as groups like the Association of Malaysian Chinese Artiste etc. This is a very different setup to what we have in Australia.


The CCIG is on a world wide hunt for information on how guilds and associations are run, in 2011 they visited Hollywood and Britain to meet with guild representatives, in 2012 they visited Australia whilst here they had met with the Directors Guild, Cinematographers Guild, Producers Guild and Screen Australia. They would like to build on these affiliations to maintain a climate of change as working conditions can be pretty tough in Malaysia with long hours, little paid overtime and short turnaround times between shifts. Maintaining standards of craft and creativity becomes an uphill battle under these conditions. They were very impressed by the vibrancy and strength of our guild, the awards and accreditation system and the ongoing workshops and screenings with editors and directors.


We are in a good position to promote and celebrate our craft,

lets keep it that way with your support.



'Meet the Members'

…with Matthew Walker


ASE Member Matthew Walker


After mucking about with film clips and TVCs, I cut a bunch of short films, (Splintered, The Saviour) did a couple of docos, (My Home Your War, On The Trail Of Genghis Khan) a reasonable chunk of factual television (Go Back To Where You Came From, Bondi Rescue) and just completed my first feature (Not Suitable for Children).


I knew I wanted to work in post when... during a temp travelling job calling in bad debts at a post-production house in London I became curious about what the hell was going inside that room where the BBC doco guys were. They arrived at work before me, left after me and through their ajar door I could see they had pictures of wartime Britain all over the walls, some kind of little world they had created in there that they were in fact living in....Someone showed me the basics of an Avid, after hours I went to the miscellaneous off cuts library, grabbed some random footage, digitised it, and dissolved a spaceship into a woman eating dinner - a very, very long dissolve.......


My first break in the industry was... caused by discovering there was only one Avid back home in Newcastle and it was at Peach Advertising. So I rang them up and said “I want to be an editor” and they said “that’s good buddy” and I said “righto catch ya.” Then about two weeks later they rang me up and said “you know how you said you wanted to be an editor, well ours just quit and we don’t know anyone else who wants to be one so do you wanna come in and hang out?” So I went in and did a weeks work experience... on the final day the creative director gave me an editing assignment, make an animatic for this important client to this upbeat jingle, using these graphics. I threw everything I had at it and made a horrible mess, shit flying everywhere. He came back in the afternoon, I played it for him, he said “right”, turned and walked out of the room, then out of the front door of the building without saying goodbye to the receptionist. Non sequentially, a couple of weeks later they rang me up and gave me a job.


The thing I love most about editing is... that spooky adrenalised period just before lock off when everything suddenly - touch wood - comes together.


The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is... explore every dead end even when you and everyone else know well in advance it’s never going to work which, almost certainly, will ultimately be the case.


If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be... going for a long walk, then later maybe dropping into the pub for a beer with a mate who no doubt would ask why I wasn’t in post production and I’d explain to him that it’s not for real it’s just a question in a quiz.



'Meet the Committee'

…with Scott Gray ASE


ASE Committee Member Scott Gray ASE and son Max.


Scott Gray ASE is an AFI and MTV Award winner whose editing career spans commercials, music videos, television drama, documentaries and feature films. Rodrigo Balart has been nominated for his feature and television work by the AFI, IF, the Film Critics Circle of Australia and the ASE.


Both began their careers as assistant editors at the Guillotine School of Editing, that is, as assistants for Alexandre de Franceschi.  It was having the same mentor that led Scott to hire Rodrigo as his assistant on SOMERSAULT, Scott's first feature.  Thus, Scott became mentor to Rodrigo, teaming up for CLUBLAND and THE BOYS ARE BACK.


Both will tell you that the editor/assistant relationship is precious, and that the passing on of skills from mentor to apprentice is still the best way to learn the craft of editing.  Scott will also tell you that becoming a dad to little Max is the best thing that's happened to him, next to meeting the lovely Rachel, and (of course) Faheem Fast Food.


I knew I wanted to work in post when… Having had many roles on set I was eventually bored silly waiting around for everyone to do their particular job. As I was never one for banal small talk I quickly figured I could close myself in a dark room, not be bored and not have to talk small to many people.


My first break in the industry was… As a runner I made daily visits to editors’ rooms and became very interested in the editing process.  One day a producer overheard me tell someone that I’d like to try editing.  She was Andy de Franceschi and her husband Alexandre was looking for a new trainee.  I called him and that led to a ten-year relationship in which I learnt much.  We went from editing TVCs on 35mm to learning Avid together from the instruction manual.  I sat at Alexandre’s side for the first couple of years handing him trims and learnt by trying to predict his next edit.


The thing I love most about editing is… That joining two pieces of film can create a reality for the audience.  Where the two pieces are joined determines whether we laugh, cry, love, hate or yawn.  This simple process still thrills me even on the most tiring of days and with the crappiest of subjects.  I absolutely love being sucked into the illusory world of moving pictures and love the part that my role as editor plays in that.  Being on set has never been as rewarding for me as finishing a scene, a music video or cracking a troubling sequence.


The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is... Watch as many films as you can.  I went on a two-year film binge in the early nineties while working at Guillotine.  I would leave JM’s video store on Crown St with 12 VHS tapes and be back there three or four days later.  (Needless to say I didn’t have a girlfriend for those couple of years.)  I asked each director I worked with to write a list of their favourite films and I would commit to watch them all.  I still have some of those lists in my keepsake box today.


Alexandre would constantly remind me “there’s no rush”.  He’s so right, particularly if you aspire to work on feature films.  Most first time feature editors I know are in their mid to late thirties. Your first feature will be incredibly tough, physically and mentally.  No two films are ever the same, so you can expect to learn much as your career progresses.  I still feel a nervous rumbling when the first rushes come in.


If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be…George Clooney (or, if that wasn’t possible, I’d be a chef at some fabulous Italian restaurant cooking pasta.)



'Meet the Committee'

…with Rodrigo Balart


New ASE Committee Member Rodrigo Balart


I knew I wanted to work in post when… I'd been assisting on commercials on and off for about a year when Alexandre asked me to assist him on Jane Campion's IN THE CUT. Sitting in the back of the room watching him and Jane searching, finding, and ultimately letting that film become, floored me. At the end of the job Alex drew me aside and warned me that, being my first film experience, I might get a bit emotional and fragile when it finally sunk it that the film was over. Sure enough, that night I broke down, cried like a baby and called Alex asking him what the hell was wrong with me?! It was like a break-up!  I had fallen in love with editing.


My first break in the industry was… I got a job as in-house PA at @radical.media just before turning 25. I'd quit my job as an account manager with Roy Morgan Research and had been knocking on the doors of production companies for three months. It was about the third or fourth interview. The person interviewing me thought I was over-qualified and too old to be starting at the bottom but Loewn Steel, the EP at the time, gave me a crack. It was the luckiest of breaks: @radical.media was one of the best production companies in the world and we were churning out million dollar TVCs. The people I worked for and got exposed to were the best in their fields. Drew Thompson ASE cut a lot of the major work for @radical and, when I was ready to move on, he offered me my first gig as an assistant editor.
The thing I love most about editing is… Creating. Discovering.


The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is… what Alexandre told me: keep it in sync and don't cut in the middle of the frame.


If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be… a sad bastard in a suit.






RoughCut is a film event presented by Tropfest to celebrate their 20th year:



Apple recently announced the launch of Final Cut Pro X v. 10.0.3 with a number of enhancements:





World of Women: WOW Film Festival 2012 will launch at City of Sydney Library, Customs House on Tuesday 6 March from 12.30 to 1.30pm. Screening for 3 evenings at Dendy Opera Quays 6th to 8th March at 7pm (6pm drinks), at NSW Parliament House Theatre 7th March, 12.30pm (refreshments 12noon), at Surry Hills Library 15th March, 9pm and at Theatre 322, UTS 16th March, 7pm.

Experience a different storytelling and a unique perspective presented by Women in Film & Television (WIFT) NSW which celebrates its 30 years anniversary in 2012. Information & bookings: www.wift.org/wow, ph (02) 9357 1490



Submissions for the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films close on Monday 27th February. Shortlisted films will be screened during the Sydney Film Festival and winners receive a cash prize, with Live Action and Yoram Gross Animation Award winners being eligible for Academy Awards consideration. Past Award holders include Jane Campion, Phillip Noyce and Gillian Armstrong. To view full rules and regulations, visit:http://sff.org.au/public/faq/rules-regulations/.





Well the ASE Sundowners are back for 2012. First port of call is one of our favourites “The Clock” in Surry Hills (NSW). Come on down and enjoy a casual drink and a chat about editing. All are welcome at this very informal get together. We will have a table up on the top floor with some red balloons so you can spot us.


Where: The Clock Hotel (Top Floor), 470 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW

When: Sunday 11th March @3pm


If you can’t find us give us a call:

Melanie (0402 248 831) and Chris (0420 361 500)


Also for upcoming details you can join the ASE Facebook Group:






***Online Membership Payment:

There’s never been an easier way to join or re-new your membership to the ASE! If you would like to join the guild follow the link for Online Application Form:http://www.screeneditors.com/ase_membership/membership_application_form.htm.





“A good editor is a jack of all disciplines: part musician, part magician, part physician, part mathematician, this man or woman must also have a sheer love of the craft, for his or her contribution to a film will be only subliminally appreciated by the masses “

(Walter Murch ACE: editor of “Jarhead”, “The Talented Mr Ripley”, and “K19”)



Until next time

The ASE Committee