Many words these days are overused and misused.
Ken Sallows is a man, who has a great respect for words.
Especially those well expressed. Ken never wastes his own.
I shudder to think what he will make of mine.
Ken has a number of beliefs, traits and loves. I’ll list a few:
Honesty, his hometown of Melbourne, no B.S.
His beloved AFL team…The Bombers.
In fact, Essendon Football Club’s motto may very well sum up Ken.
Suaviter in Modo, Fortiter in Re (Gentle in manner, Resolute in execution)
A passion for first edition books. A dry sense of humour.
He loves great theatre, art and music. He even gets the “music” of CAN.
He possesses and appreciates intelligence, good food, the odd beer and a smoko.
He is open minded, generous and ever curious.
Then there’s …Film…and Editing.
He admires the editing of Thelma Schoonmaker, Craig McKay, Dede Allen and William Reynolds to name a few.
He loves The Searchers…(1956) Director: John Ford…Editor: Jack Murray
John Wayne and the girl running down the hill: Natalie Wood.
He knows a great deal about film.
He’s been involved with it since he was about 17.
A recent count has him editing 61 titles and counting.
These aside from the hundreds of hours of edited television shows such as
The Sullivans that he had wrapped on before the 1970’s ended.
He had a varied apprenticeship. He’s worked as assistant editor, sound editor, television and cinema editor.
He’s edited dramas, documentaries, television movies, series and commercials.
He’s guest lectured, mentored and advised.
He’s been an associate producer and an initiator.
One thing he initiated was the publication of what has become a benchmark of editing books: In the Blink of an Eye – Walter Murch. Ken’s preface was in the first edition. Subsequently to be replaced by some director or other…Frank Coopola, Copoolee? Coppola! I always thought it odd because Sallows and Coppola have the same amount of letters in their surnames. So why the change? He said that one thing that attracted him to editing was the ability to construct things without being known. He liked that because he felt that as soon as you’re known, you’ve got a limited lifespan. Unless you’re super famous.
He also said that he would be horrified to discover that there was a Ken Sallows style. If so, he felt that he had failed in his job as an editor - not to be able to do films with different styles. Yes, he says, you need to be discerning and follow what you believe in, but don’t narrow your focus too much.
His CV supports this diversity… The Slim Dusty Movie and Chopper?
He is consistent, in what he would describe as “habits”.
Overlapping dialogue for one, is something he enjoys, and is very good at.
Seeing if he can hold a shot just that little bit longer…for appreciation…
Savouring, I would suggest.
I feel there are many other consistencies in his work as an editor.
For Example: Having the most skilled intuition for the best performance and being able to place the audience exactly where they want to be. Exactly when, where and how they want to get there, but not being aware of how they did.
Quality, Quality, Quality…
As well as his work on many, many local and international large-scale productions, low budget independent productions have never scared him either. His generosity of spirit and commitment to the best story ensures he usually sleeps well at night.
As for the rest of us?...Well we are very fortunate he is editing still.
A long as he is, there’ll always be something terrific coming along soon.
Personally, I am very lucky to be able to call him a friend… and for quite a while now too.
In that earlier quote, Ken went on to say that he didn’t feel concerned about running the risk of a limited lifespan, as there was no way that he would ever become super famous. This may be the only thing he has failed at. To me, it seems despite his best efforts to disguise himself, he is Super Famous.
Oh! …And Speaking of words that are overused and misused, here’s one that fits Ken correctly and perfectly:
- by Frans Vandenburg ASE