March 2012


Greetings Editing Colleagues,

The final rounds of international awards have been dealt ... and didn't Australians figure prominently! Congratulations to Aussie Kirk Baxter ACE (and Angus Wall ACE) on their consecutive Academy Award win, this time for Fincher's 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'.  That's two wins and one nomination in four years.  Not bad at all!

Also, congratulations to Aussie Craig Wood ACE for his ACE Editing Award win with Verbinski's animated feature film 'Rango'.

Locally our ASE Members are producing wonderful television worth tuning in for.  Here's a sample from the ABC's strong line up...

'The Straits' cut by Nick Holmes ASE, Nicole La Macchia and Deb Peart.

'The Slap' cut by Mark Atkin ASE and Andy Canny.

'Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries' co-edited by Stephen Evans

'Life Architecturally' edited by Lawrie Silvestrin

This Sunday night 'The Great Mint Swindle', edited by Antonio Mestres, premieres on Channel 9. 

The Australian Film Festival is now on in Sydney.  ASE member Sean Lahiff edited opening night film 'Swerve'.  You can also see Martin Connor's great work in 'Burning Man' and Jill Bilcock ASE ACE 'Red Dog'.

We have collated some interesting articles relating to editing, from an interview with nine renown Documentary Editors, words from our ASE Life Member and ideas to healthier work practises whilst seated in the chair all day long.

The ASE is conducting an anonymous survey into the wages and conditions met in 2011. Please take a moment to assist...


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



Welcome to the Melbourne update.  March is sponsor month with 2 events happening thanks to AVID and ROAR digital.  The membership has snapped up the spaces in the 2 training sessions provided by Avid, which is great to see.   So those of you who were quick off the mark and got in early have a fantastic time seeing what the software can do!  Would love your to hear your feedback too.

Roar Digital has generously provided the first social event for the year extending an invitation to the membership to come down and join them for drinks on Thursday the 29th of March between 5 and 8 pm.  Come mingle with a bunch of editors in a casual environment to see how everyone's summer is going and check out the facilities at the same time.  I look forward to catching up with you and look out for the eflyer with details.

Looking further ahead thanks to Rob Nairn I can confirm we will be back doing a short film panel during the St Kilda Film Festival this year, we have an event on the SBS series The Family coming up as well as in the throes of organising a young editors night.   So those of you with short films, or have up to a ten minute segment of a cut your working on critique by your peers be ready for the coming emails about details.

Have a marvelous March!

Cindy Clarkson

Victorian ASE Chairperson



SA ASE kicked off 2012 with a sponsored event at the postproduction facility, KOJO.  With SA just starting to build its numbers, we invited both members and local editors for a sundowner BBQ and drinks on the deck.  This is our second SA event and we have already doubled our attendance numbers!
The "Shut Up Little Man!" screening/Q&A with AACTA award winning editor Bryan Mason went down a treat.  It was a great chance to utilize the brand new screening theatre and green room at the freshly built Adelaide Studios. We made this a public event with a fundraising initiative and had a great turnout.

We are planning our next event in May in coordination with the Australian Cinematographers Society for a session on colour grading, cameras, postproduction and the intricacies of shooting for visual effects and colour timing, with the one and only Marty Pepper.

As for the month ahead, we are going to Flinders University in early April to talk to Screen Production students about ASE to raise awareness of the guild here in SA. We are looking forward to a busy, event filled 2012, with more members!


All the best

Sean and Carly

SA ASE Committee Members


 'Meet the Committee'

…with Daniel Newfield

ASE Member Daniel Newfield

Daniel is a post-production assistant, working on Deal Or No Deal, Letters & Numbers and other various smaller projects at a post-production company in Melbourne. This is his first official break in the industry, having created and worked on many short films and corporate videos beforehand. 

I knew I wanted to work in post when... As a naive youngster, I didn't really know that filmmaking was such a collaborative process. I once thought that when I'd eventually become a filmmaker, I'd do everything on my own - be the writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor, etc and never really considered a specific field - I just knew I wanted to make movies. It wasn't until someone asked me what aspect of filmmaking I wanted to be involved with, did I start to realise that we can't all be like Steven Soderbergh (even with pseudonyms)/Steven Spielberg/Quentin Tarantino, taking on a million roles - well, at least not to start off with.

I guess the more experience I had trying out different positions and learning about different ways one can manipulate and play with footage to create something was quite fascinating. I'd become more drawn to how important post-production is to the filmmaking process and wanted to be a part of it.

My first break in the industry was... I am currently working as a post-production assistant at a post-production company, working on two games shows and a reality TV show simultaneously. This is my first break into the industry, as I am still a newbie - I've only been in the industry since mid last year. This wasn't an advertised position and came about through persistence and determination.

It is a great position. I am part of a structured workflow and get to see how broadcast television comes together. I am meeting great people, getting experience in Avid, understanding the importance of assistance and how I can make the editors' jobs as easy as possible through organisation and communication and as I assist the editors, I get to learn new tips along the way. I hope to eventually end up assisting/cutting in drama.

The thing I love most about editing is... I am constantly amazed and inspired by the idea that one can bring muddled puzzle pieces together and create a story or something coherent out of it. Also, the fact that you can change one's perception so easily just by the way you can place specific shots or play with pace to create a new mood, etc. I especially love and get excited by non-linear films that work due to the amazing craft of editing. Such films like Memento, 21 Grams, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and the underrated Australian gem from last year, Burning Man (everyone should see this by the way) could've fallen apart in so many ways, but were so brilliantly structured that they came together in part to the way scenes were carefully constructed.

The best tip I've got for aspiring editors is... I am still an aspiring editor myself, so this is more a tip for those wanting to get involved in the industry.

This industry is small and competitive but an exciting one to be in, so if you are serious and passionate about getting involved, put yourself out there and make it happen. Disappointments are part of the gig, but will push you further. Very cliché, I know, but it really is the truth - persistence is the key.

If I wasn't in post-production I'd be... In the cinema all day, every day.


'Meet the Committee'

…with Ryan Howard – ASE Victorian Committee Member

ASE Victorian Committee Member Ryan Howard

Originally from Adelaide, Ryan moved across to Melbourne while playing in a band and eventually decided to stay. His credits include edit assisting on Immigration Nation with Renegade Films. He is currently working with the team at Highwire Films on Lowdown Season 2 as well as Sporting Nation for Princess Pictures.

I knew I wanted to work in post when… I didn’t really, I kind of fell in to it while working at the Media ResourceCentre in Adelaide many years ago. They’d acquire a Media 100 and I spent my evenings going through the tute and learning how to use it. This new toy just fascinated me. I realized I wanted to keep editing once I’d actually cut something and I saw the power it had. Elegance and power– what’s not to love?

My first break in the industry was… I’ve had two. Initially it was at the MRC. An SBS doco was being cut there at the time and the producer asked me to assist the editor whose background was 100% Steenbeck. She knew I’d been learning how to use the M100 and I was one of very few in that position. When the editor had to leave and start a feature they asked me to operate. With no experience at all I had a broadcast credit.

The second came when after many years away from the industry I decided to get back in to it and was lucky enough to get some volunteer work with Lizette Atkins at Circe Films on the ‘Triangle Wars’. I then began the apprenticeship I’d never had.

The thing I love most about editing is… It’s magic when things ‘work’ or they feel ‘right’. The different meaning things can have when cut together. The simplest cuts causing the biggest changing in meaning or tone. Elegance and power.

The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is… From a career perspective I’d suggest getting to know and getting yourself known to producers. They are the ones who are making their living getting projects off the ground. More often than not they’ll have more than one iron in the fire. Volunteer your time. If you mess up they can’t really get to upset and if you impress them they’ll start paying you.

From a storytelling or creative perspective I’ve found learning about screenwriting to be invaluable. Getting familiar with beats, turning points, arcs, rhythm, and theme will, I believe, make you a better editor. In my opinion screenwriting and editing go hand in hand. The two disciplines share common language and the pretty much bookend the process of getting something on screen.

If I wasn’t in postproduction I’d be… Lost



The ASE will proudly feature updates of our sponsors each month to tell us what they’ve been up to recently and what exciting things they have installed for 2012.

This month, we feature our Gold Sponsor, Digital Pictures. We spoke with Rachel Knowles, Head of Post Production at DP Melbourne.

Rachel: “Times continue to be tough but exciting in the post world. It'd be great if more projects could secure financing particularly on the feature side, but there have been some fantastic TV dramas. Technology wise everyone's going Alexa crazy- and we know why, it looks gorgeous.

DP Ranger Data Cart

We've launched a new DP Ranger Data Cart service for data shoot offload/LTO back up, and transcode – handy & effective for remote location shoots and Editorial (post production in a can!?).

We're heading into telemovie season this Easter so everyone's locking in those crews. Lets cross fingers for good news in the next funding rounds!”

In production for Digital Pictures Melbourne:

Jack Irish, Winners and losers Series 2, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, look out for Woodley on air and now in cinemas Killer Elite.

Coming up World Series CricketPlease Like Me andUnderground.

DP Sydney is currently working on Packed to the Rafters, Brothers in Arms, Dripping in Chocolate andBondi Rescue. Coming up – Puberty Blues.



Digistor has secured the services of world-renowned workflow specialist for high-end VFX and digital cinema, Cedric Lejeune, to conduct one-off training courses at Digistor in Sydney next week.

This training, delivered by a world-renowned specialist Cedric Lejeune, represents a one-off opportunity to get up-to-date and maintain your, and your facility's, competitive edge. Learn how to deliver to your customers the very best product using the latest tools and cutting-edge techniques. Details are at:





Nine editors, highly regarded for their documentary work, were asked five questions about the changes and challenges they are experiencing in the sector. Probably more than any other form of film and television, documentary is substantially made in the edit suite. Unlike reality, it is not expected to fit a strict formula; unlike drama, it is unscripted, notwithstanding what is demanded in funding applications. To read please download the PDF below.


(This article was compiled by journalist Sandy George for the March issue of 'Above The Line', the newsletter of the Screen Producers Association of Australia. The issue had a focus on documentary.  Sandy most regularly writes for screendaily.com and sbs.com.au/films)



This is a great article on ASE Life Member Henry Dangar ASE, on realtimearts.net by Tina Kaufman.




Maybe it’s a neck that constantly feels stiff, or a wrist that’s sore; a backache that won’t go away, or shoulders that can’t relax. Editors, sound editors, mixers and basically anyone who works sitting down in front of a console or computer all day may experience Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs).


(Thanks to the author JT O'Neal, MD, MPH, MFA, who was visiting Sydney recently, as well as A.C.E. for providing the link)



Check out this cool storage calculator available on the AVID website.





Surry Hills Library 15th March, 9pm 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,



***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:


***Discounted AFI membership, check the link below for details




“For us, the editing process is a way to discover the film and characters anew, and to be able to shape it according to where the story takes us.  We make continuous adjustments to character, eliminating a lot of dialogue––not to diminish a character, but to improve it.  We sort through hundreds of ideas that could be contradictory, but which are all valid in certain ways as different facets of the same idea.  We have to capture the essence.  We need to always be surprised, to push that idea further into something unexpected, and to build on that idea.”

Pietro Scalia ACE on editing with director Ridley Scott.


Until next time

The ASE Committee