Speech by Timothy Hadwen about Lifetime Member Lawrie Silvestrin ASE.
Directors, Editors and sound professionals all agree that Lawrie is deserving of this achievement and it’s a privilege to share some of these words tonight.
Sound professional Kim Lord has known Lawrie for over 40 years, and says, "Throughout this period, he has shown himself to be steadfast and unrelenting in his pursuit of excellence. His commitment to his craft and thirst for new ideas and techniques have been evident from his earliest days at ABC Television in Sydney. Lawrie's ability to craft and manipulate images to create beautifully moving stories and fantasies, is best judged by his peers who today recognise him and his achievements with this award."
Nick Dunlop says, "Almost anyone in the West Australian screen community will tell you of Lawrie's exceptional talent and dedication to editing. Lawrie takes full responsibility for the edit. His work ethic is second to none. Lawrie is a relentless explorer of storytelling values, and he imparted these to us, his apprentices and colleagues. To observe his passionate creative discussions with significant directors - conducted with impeccable respect, patience and charm - was always a great privilege."
Lara Fox (nee Benwell) says, "To put it simply - what an incredible Editor and truly humble, gracious and wonderful person. Everyone is so very fond of Lawrie - he is such an asset to the industry and is extremely dedicated to the world of editing… be that in the constant development of his skills in the craft, the pursuit of improved working conditions for the practitioners and the devoted support of emerging Editors."
Producer Andrew Ogilvie says, "One of Lawrie’s greatest attributes is his ability to assess the personalities, skills and talents of the directors he works with and then adapt his approach to the edit to ensure the best result. We haven't talked about this special skill and, if I raised it with him, I‘m not sure he would agree. He’s quite humble in many ways and is always very respectful - never wanting to say or do anything that might take away from the director’s ownership of the film. When he edits the result is always a viewing experience which feels much bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s the work of a senior craftsperson with superb storytelling sensibilities and an emotional intelligence that connects with audiences."
Writer / Director Steve Westh says, "Lawrie is the consummate collaborator, a tireless, selfless, and unflappable colleague, with a passion for realising [and sometimes this meant ‘extracting’] the director’s vision. He is, quite simply, an ornament to his profession and richly deserving of the Guild’s ultimate accolade."
It is an honour and a privilege to share these words tonight. I know all of these words to be true reflections of Lawrie’s work ethic and character. When I was a university student in Perth, Lawrie kindly invited me to sit-in during ASE committee meetings which were immensely valuable. I have also worked with Lawrie in an Assistant capacity and as a co-Editor, he always shared his wisdom with enthusiasm. I have also witnessed how open he is with his time and space… I’ve seen him host a postproduction workflow session in his home!
Guild members in Perth and around the country are incredibly lucky to have Lawrie’s contribution to the guild and devotion to the editing profession. We are delighted to bestow Honorary Life Membership on Lawrie Silvestrin ASE.
(Timothy Hadwen and Lawrie Silvestrin ASE)
Speech by Lawrie Silvestrin ASE.
Thank you, Tim.
Tim and I have known each other since he was a film student at Notre Dame Uni in Fremantle, and the WA ASE had an open invitation policy that welcomed any member who might like to turn up to our Committee meetings.
Tim always turned up.
As my wife, Roslyn, often says, sometimes the most important thing in life is just turning up. It’s a way of acknowledging each other and a way for us to show our respect and support for each other.
When Danielle rang me this time last year to offer me this award, WA was in total COVID lockdown. Or at least, an almost total COVID lockout for the rest of the country.
She asked me if I’d like to accept the Award “remotely” or whether I’d prefer to wait until we could all have an “in person” Ellie Awards presentation. Well, after nearly two years of isolation the answer was obvious. I said let’s wait until we can all be together again.
And how wonderful it is to be here with you tonight. I’m so honoured to be receiving this in your company. I’ve had a year to get used to the idea but quite frankly I’m no less humbled by this recognition.
To be counted amongst past recipients like Hans Pomeranz (founder of Spectrum Films), Jack Swart (inventor of Shotlister) I took the first Shotlister back to Perth with me when Roslyn and I moved back there in the early '90s and it revolutionised the way we edited for the next few years.
I’m honoured to be in the company of the wonderful Ken Sallows ASE, John Leonard, Brian Kavanagh, Evelyn Cronk, Anthony Buckley, Sara Bennett ASE and Dominic Case. Dominic’s book 'Your Film And The Lab' was an editing room bible in the 1980s. And Henry Dangar ASE and Roberta Horslie ASE, two of the founding members of the ASE in NSW and Victoria. And Mike Honey. Roslyn and I have fond memories of working with Mike and his wife Erica at the ABC in Sydney when Mike was a pioneer of adopting new non linear editing systems. And Nick Beauman ASE and Jenny Ward ASE. And the incomparable Frans Vandenburg ASE.
I pay my respects to them all.
I’ve been a picture and sound Editor for just over forty years now. And over that time I’ve worked with thousands of filmmakers. Many of them have become some of my closest friends. However the people I seem to have worked least with during that time are my fellow film Editors. That’s partly because I’ve usually been the sole Editor on a production and I’ve often worked in my own edit suite.
So when WA joined the ASE, it was the first time we’d found common ground to come together and support each other, exchange experiences and celebrate each others work.
Since then, the ASE has broadened our local editing community to include Editors from across the country and even across the world and it’s allowed us to “turn up” and help and support each other in so many ways.
Thank you so much to the ASE for this recognition. In accepting it, I vow to keep working to promote and celebrate the role of the film Editor and to help nurture our up-and-coming screen Editors in any way I can.
eNews 113 - December 2022