We have had 139 responses to our survey as of the end of April 2020.

Loss figures from the 120 people who have lost work:

Cumulative number of weeks lost: 1,254.

Cumulative financial loss: $3,249,166.70.

Our survey covered a range of jobs that people in post-production do, including graders, animators, post-production supervisors, but the majority of respondents were Editors - 80%, and Assistant Editors - 15%.

People reported that they were working as PAYG, PTY LTD companies and ABN/sole traders.

20% of respondents worked as both ABN and PAYG throughout the year.

In terms of work losses, 43% had lost all their work and 37% had lost some work.
Only 7% people were still working at the work place.

Of the 30% of respondents who now work from home, only 4% had always worked from home.

Approx 20% of people requested help with financial issues.

Approx 15% people requested assistance with mental health issues.

15% of people provided positive suggestions regarding ways to support yourself mentally throughout this period of time. Events and resources that people were interested in covered quite a range, but there was a strong desire for upskilling, learning about new technologies, “working from home” / remote solutions and software tutorials.

There was also a lot of interest in financial advice and working conditions, including workplace health and safety particularly with the possibility of COVID-19 being spread in airconditioned buildings. There were requests for updates on how the industry is travelling, when postponed productions will be up and running as well as a desire for networking opportunities to help get our Members job-ready for when things open up again.

Social interaction is a big thing too, with people wanting to have Zoom gatherings just to chat and chew the fat, have movie chat nights, as well as an overwhelming request for Editor Q&As, master classes with experienced Editors, including discussions across genres, from people interested in learning about editing in reality, commercials, drama and doco.

In our tips for Members, there were some wonderful messages of support from fellow Members encouraging people to stay positive and healthy, with people urging others to get out in nature, exercise and to not be afraid to reach out to friends or professionals if you need it.

So we have a LOT of things to think about while so many of us are at home!

Also a small word of warning, we are getting reports in of people being denied payment for work done prior to the COVID lockdown, and people being offered jobs at lower rates than previously expected, or agreed to, with COVID-19 being used as the reason. This is not acceptable, and we understand that as work is tight, that people may take up these offers anyway, but we ask our Members to send producers the ASE rate card before they finalise negotiations so all are aware of what the correct rate should be, and ensure that any offer that is agreed on is in writing, preferably a contract, so that they have a record of the agreed rate.

Fiona Strain ASE,
President, Australian Screen Editors Guild  

(eNews 97 - May 2020)


Stay connected. If you feel like you want to talk to someone, reach out. As much as we are isolated creatures in our work, we do actually like the interaction of others.

This time will pass and production will flourish. Take this time to focus on yourself and your loved ones.

We're all in this together.  We should look at this current COVID-19 situation and how we can prepare for similar situations in the future.  How we adapt in this COVID-19 climate and  local broadcasters' content quotas being reduced with less local content being made - how our Australia-wide screen industry can position itself to be a powerhouse in making content for global partners.

Good chance to update your showreel while you have the time.

Keep editing anything to keep your software skills up. It may be a bit of home movie, whatever.

Even though I’m lucky to have my job still for the moment, I am doing self study on the side to make myself more employable and learn new things.

Let's keep talking to each other, make our presence and current situation felt on social media, and lobby wherever we can for an equitable solution in this crisis.

Look into JobSeeker, it’s better than nothing.

Check to see if State funding bodies are making money available to individuals to use for doing courses to add skills.

If you have been freelancering/casual at a place for a number of years you might be able to apply for JobKeeper through them. I’ve applied for JobKeeper through Ch7 as I have been on their casual list since 2017.

(eNews 97 - May 2020)