Jack Swart

Jack Swart

ASE Lifetime Membership awarded 2002.

In 1986 Jack Swart was busy inventing Shotlister at Visualeyes, a post production house located in Kings Cross. At the time the industry was changing from film to tape but it was very clumsy when it came to editing tape to tape. Timecode display kept track of edits, but as all sound edits were hidden they had to noted by hand. Jack came up with a way to type these numbers into shotlister to create an EDL for the online..

Jack worked with Nick Repin at Digiteyes as the main software designer. Shotlister was developed to the point where it could track the edits from tape to tape as you edited. This was fantastic for editing as you could then concentrate on the edit not the numbers! This is where the term “list management” came from. With Shotlister, list management was really just a matter of checking that your reel numbers were right. Other systems did not have the overwrite or trace back functions which are still unmatched in a lot of systems.

The EDL function of Shotlister is the most accurate ever devised, and this is held up by the fact that Avid purchased a Shotlister around 1994/95 when it was trying to make its EDL manager work. They pulled Shotlister apart and copied what they could legally in an effort to make it more efficient (Shotlister is still the most efficient).

Jack then went on to create dAVE was the culmination of the Shotlister dream - Jack realised that one of the drawbacks in the early days of non-linear was the limits imposed on the editor by the expense of drive space, so he devised dAVE as a hybrid-tape to disc editing system.

Jack put 15 years of effort into Shotlister and it was certainly THE system to work on in the decade from the mid eighties. It is a pity that the support for R&D in Australia is so poor, because if Jack had the funding and qualified staff to continue on developing his ideas to incorporate effects and sound editing capabilities, Shotlister may not have been swamped by the other systems we are using now. We could have had a top rate locally produced system, developed and maintained by someone who knows, is there and cares.

Thanks for Shotlister, Jack.

 

- excerpts from Fiona Strain ASE's article.

© 2021 Australian Screen Editors · Privacy · Contact us