View Full Version : ASE Newsletter 2001-02 Issue 48
18-02-2003, 11:30 AM
This is an archival posting of the February 2001 ASE Newsletter
Reva Childs at the Sydney Xmas Bash ... in this issue!
18-02-2003, 11:53 AM
by Leon Burgher
A cool sou-easter was blowing from the direction of the city skyline and the ubiquitous Colonial Stadium as our captain for the evening, Ranald McLurkin of Edit Oz, prepared the S.S. Reemere to welcome boarders.
His boat was to be host for the diverse collection of bods known as Australian Screen Editors, Victorian chapter, in the late afternoon of Friday, December the 15th.
This year we were moored at what is called New Quay but is known as Docklands to most Melbournites. Whilst not quite and Old Salt yet, Ranald had the experience of the Williamstown Dock party of last year on which to fall back (or, possibly, overboard!) Not even the hijacking of his craft earlier in the year had dampened his enthusiasm.
As a last minute bonus for lovers of things nautical the 50ft Reemere was lashed to the exquisite Alma Doepel, a schooner of around 65 feet, providing ample deck space for the 70 or 80 attendees. Concerns about a rather chilly evening by the water were groundless, and the weather was beautiful by the time the first unfashionably on-time guests arrived just after seven.
A rollicking evening ensued with plenty of nibbles, an eclectic array of music pounding from the on-board entertainment unit and, needless to say, bucket loads of booze (Light, of course...yeah, sure!). Several of our sponsors took advantage of the comp passes we offered and we also nabbed a handful of new members as they walked down the gangplank, under threat of being expelled in an aqueous manner.
Having a party on board such an historic and cosy vessel as the Reemere is highly recommended as it engenders a sense of intimacy and exclusivity that can’t be had at a function on dry land. Witness the crowd in the nearby dockside club, cocktails in hand, longingly looking in our direction as their band cranked out yet another Farnsey, Barnsey or Kylie cover.
Thanks go out to all the sponsors who bankrolled the event to such an extent that we must be one of the few organisations in the country who walk away from their annual shindig with out the hangover of bills to pay. For the record, they were (once more!) Amber Technology, Complete Post, Computamatch, Digistor, FATS, HM3D, Icon, Iloura, Labsonics, MRPPP!, Music & Effects, New Media Systems, Soundfirm, The Edit Shop, The Joinery and Tide.
Special thanks to Edit Oz, aka Ranald, for the use of the boat ...er ship, Jill Rice for organising the grog, and all those in the committee who played small but vital roles.
The Melbourne ASE Christmas Party is proving to be a great, stress free way for many of us to get out of that dark little room and really cut loose for at least one night of the year.
28-02-2003, 12:02 AM
Firstly I’d like to remind members that we welcomed SONY as a Principal Sponsor at the NSW Christmas Party and we look forward to a long and fruitful association with them, as we have had, and continue to do so, with our other Principal Sponsor AAV/Digital Pictures. Also I’d like to thank Atlab Australia and Avid Australia for renewing their valuable Sponsorship for another year, and also to Film Australia for joining our sponsorship team as Supporter.
Last November some ASE members volunteered to be part of a screening and discussion between editors and film critics with the goal of helping critics understand the role and contribution of editor. The Film Critics Circle of Australia is an association of film critics who hold their own awards night, and this year they are making an award for editing for the first time. We appreciate being consulted on editing as a Guild, and hope that this will be but the first of many discussions with them on the subject.
Jobs by email
Most of you will be aware of the advantages that email will be bringing you now and in the future. The ASE initiative has so far been a great success both with employers and with you our members. We have received several letters from happy editors who have landed a job as a result. And what impresses me is that we haven’t even really launched this service yet industry wide! If you haven’t received our job announcement emails then we don’t have your email address. Send it in - there’s work about!
(To those without email access who might be peeved by the perception that ASE is ignoring them, let me just point out that the fact you are reading this page is testament to the effort that we are making to keep you involved. We are very aware that not all our members are “connected” and have ensured that printed communication is continued on a regular basis - despite calls from time to time to send even these newsletters out by electronic means! However, the fact remains that postal communication is time-consuming and expensive on the scale that we encounter, and so of course we seek to exploit the low-cost, high-speed, responsive technology that email and internet offers us! As a low-budget, volunteer organization we just cannot support a job-announcement mail-out by ordinary post. An email account costs nothing to set up. If you have a problem with the concept or its implementation give me a call and I’ll try to help. Email is a must-have these days.)
The Sydney Committee has started planning a calendar of events and screenings and training for this year, starting with an event “Introduction to multimedia for editors” in March. Please read the column on the right! All calendar events will be announced in the Newsletter or via post, as well as via email. It is very important to read these newsletters, as we will be using them - as we have always done - as a major vector of information for members.
The accreditation subcommittee has met recently to discuss the shape and form of our proposed accreditation procedures. We see tremendous advantage in implementing accreditation at this stage in ASE’s development, and are consulting with other guilds, including American Cinema Editors and the ACS, to learn from their experiences. You will be notified of what we come up with, in due course - and there will be opportunity for you to have your say, too.
28-02-2003, 12:13 AM
This year the Christmas Party was held at the Dobroyd Aquatic Club, Haberfield on a balmy Sunday evening.
A fair representation of some of the nicest people in Sydney gathered on the breezy balcony overlooking the bay, to celebrate the end of yet another busy year in the life of the Guild. So many, in fact, chose the balcony that the spacious clubroom listed noticeably on the windward side, causing all comers to mysteriously congregate next to the bar and servery.
Re-invented events co-ordinator Sara Bennett and her intrepid volunteers (I don’t quite know why volunteers are always intrepid - but they always are) managed to bring together a combination of wine, food, music, decor and ambience that assured the success of the evening.
Authentic Australian and French (well, Algerian) waiters and waitresses plied the partygoers with a succession of tasty morsels while Phillipa and Andrea “womanned” the bar in gallant style.
This year’s surprise guest Jack Swart was presented a special honour for his contribution to the craft of editing, and was the subject of entertaining stories from many editors and friends gathered to share the moment! Speakers included Marcus D’Arcy, Michael Gissing, Kathy-Ann McManus, and Bob Burns.
Also, the ASE Executive committee has this year decided that all the the past recipients of ASE’s special honours - Tony Buckley, Sara Bennett and Jack, would be presented with ASE’s first honorary life membership certificates. (As well as Brian Kavanagh and Ken Sallows in Melbourne; Ken was this year’s other recipient of an ASE honour for his contribution to editing.)
Sony representative David Powell announced Sony’s contribution as a Principal Sponsor of ASE for 2001, and Matthew Tucker announced Film Australia’s contribution as Supporter.
Door Prize Winners
The winners of the door prizes were as follows:
Jane Cole won the free launch screening at the Roxy donated by Film Australia
Jacob Stretton-Southall won the free editing time on MC Express donated by Nick Torrens Productions
Maria Kalthenthaler won the place on an Avid course offered by the AFTRS.
Ruth Evatt won the bottle of Chivas Regal donated by Frameworks!
Bill Russo won the CDROMS donated by Rod Sommerich
... and Andrew Brinsmead won the Hamper, kindly donated by Visualeyes!
80 people attended according to my count, everyone liked the venue and we think we’ll book it for a Saturday night next year. With a bit of hindsight and re-arrangement of the room next Christmas’ll be a corker!
28-02-2003, 12:17 AM
28-02-2003, 12:18 AM
28-02-2003, 12:19 AM
28-02-2003, 12:20 AM
28-02-2003, 12:21 AM
a word from Henry Karjalainen
In the last newsletter I pointed out the exclusively male nature of the members of the Victorian committee. As of this writing there has been no change to the situation. This year ASE will be dealing with issues of accreditation and other job-related matters, and if decisions are made that are not appropriate to half our membership it would be unfortunate.
My point is this. We can only be an effective body if we act as the voice of all our editors. This means that an exclusively male-managed organisation is quite able to make decisions that may not be in the best interests of its female membership. One night a month does not seem like too much time to give to have your voice heard.
If you think you have something to offer, or even if you’re not certain but would like to find out, contact me. As usual, you may contact me (or any committee member through me) on 0413_591_951, or e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also ring Claire on (03)_9686_6955, or fax any of us on (03)_9417_7755.
Finally, BIG congratulations go to Brian Kavanagh and Ken Sallows for their honorary life memberships that were awarded at the 2000 Xmas Party.
While it’s too late for a Merry Christmas, and it’s really getting on into the new year, I would like to offer my best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2001 for everyone.
28-02-2003, 12:22 AM
More Sydney Xmas Photos
28-02-2003, 12:30 AM
Jack Swart: Recipient of this year’s ASE Honour for Contribution to Editing
by Fiona Strain
I First met Jack in 1986 when I was working for Kennedy Miller on a series called “Sportscrazy”. Jack was one of the cameramen. He was also busy inventing Shotlister down the hall from our cutting room at Visualeyes.
I was editing tape to tape, one of three editors; Jeremy Linton-Mann and Kim Moody were the others. We had timecode display to keep track of our edits, but of course all sound edits were hidden so I had to keep a note of every audio event, which was then written up by my assistant Dana Hughes, who also had to keep track of Jeremy and Kim’s cuts. We then went to Frame, Set and Match to conform the cut prior to online. (FS&M were then a tiny fibro room down the end of a pink corridor in Crows Nest). It was during this post period that Jack came to us with this great Sholtister idea that he had been working on, so instead of writing up a list and reading out the numbers, Dana had the great joy of typing numbers into Shotlister and generating an EDL which was then handed over to Rick & Steve to compile.
Nick Repin was Jack’s partner at Digiteyes and the main software designer. He was always there until 2 in the morning- he came in to do a bit of inventing after working days as a radiologist, so we called him Dr Nick. It was always very useful to have him around as Sholtister developed more, and the editing hours got longer - Jack was on hand in the daytime, and Nick at night. Jeremy was the first to edit with a fully functioning Shotlister on board tracking his every move. This was such a vast improvement over other “computer editing” systems which recorded every single event, and you had to go through later and delete those that no longer applied. 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.
I was so impressed I bought one- I think I bought the first one, but Michael Gissing says he did- using it in his sound facility “Digital City Studios”. He uses Shotlister and dAVE to do extremely fast compiles of audio for sound mixes and change lists.
The next invention was frED, which was a “gopher” it allowed you to click on any shot in the timeline and the source tape would automatically go to the in or outpoint nominated. It could autoconform a list, so the “midline” process became a way to save on online costs.
Matthew Tucker then invented “Pipedream” which piggy backed onto frED and Shotlister. It allowed you to do a search for anything within your project based on the logged information. Once the shot was identified, frED lined it up ready to edit. No more wizzing past the shot you wanted- It was also proving that Shotlister was the base for a non-linear style system right from the beginning.
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 used to have a mantra “trust the list” which was true - I have had onlines rendered innaccurate by operators who did not have faith and adjusted the list, putting events out of sync which if just let run would have been fine.
There have been many jealous of it’s early success- a person who used to repair my gear called it “Shitloster” (but he was trying to sell D-Vision at the time).
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. This meant the first cut was a long assembly cut from source tape onto disc. The structure was easily changed and shots added if required by simply editing into the now non-linear sequence. This made sense for me in 1997 when I was cutting a 26 episode drama series which was being shot in two blocks completely out of sequence. I had 12 gigs of drive space, but I was able to have active 7 episodes simultaneously on the drive which I could add to or refine as footage came in.
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.
28-02-2003, 12:32 AM
by Phillipa Rowlands
Yeah, yeah, the images look great, the sound is terrific and you won’t get fined by those pesky video store staff for forgetting to hit that rewind button. But here’s the BEST reason for shelling out those hard earned pesos on a DVD player.
The director’s commentary track.
It’s true that there is a lot of junk excitedly passed off as “bonus special features” on a lot of DVD’s - cast and crew bio’s (mostly useless), deleted scenes (interesting, but there’s a reason you weren’t meant to see them) cuddly, “behind the scenes” featurettes (yawn), music videos (zzzzzâ€¦), trailers and TVC’s (you cannot be serious???).
But, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the director’s commentary is possibly the most valuable film makers resource sinceâ€¦ummm, wellâ€¦since Eleanor Coppola spilled the beans on Francis in “Hearts of Darkness”, okay?
Having said that, they do require a bit of spare time as, in effect, you end up watching the movie twice (and let’s face it, sometimes once is torture enough). Some are only mildly interesting and you do strike the odd dud one, (“well folks, here’s another blue screen / CG shotâ€¦”) But when they ARE good, they’re GREAT.
To date, the best example I’ve seen is Anthony Minghella’s commentary for “The Talented Mr Ripley.” It’s a particularly fascinating and thoughtful exposition of the process of crafting a film from the bottom up. Everything from script development and casting, to the use of costume, set design and visual and aural motifs to evoke a character or mood; to the employment of different editing techniques or visual devices; to music cues and scoring. Plus, you get to watch a great movie to boot.
What can I say? Run - don’t walk, to your local DVD store. FIVE STARS!!!
Oh, but once there, if your eye is drawn to “The Perfect Storm”? A friendly word of adviceâ€¦
Don’t go there.
28-02-2003, 12:33 AM
ASE Honorary Life Member, Editor and Mentor Sara Bennett explains!
I have reformatted all my drives and I am no longer an editor! I am now a facilitator. And no ordinary facilitator either but one who specialises in events. Film and television events, openings and closings a speciality, and events in your own home such as birthdays, business dinners, welcomes and farewells. I will facilitate large and small and talking of small I will also facilitate those time consuming little numbers which require you taking time off work just before lock off. Let me organise for the plumber coming to your place and unblock the sewer line or I can flea bomb your house and get the dogs shampooed before you have that VIP dinner*. And, of course, I can facilitate that dinner. Then there are cultural and educational events too...conferences and seminars...and what about that famous Brazilian director who doesn’t speak a word of English but wants to meet all and sundry in the film biz in Sydney? Who has the time to do these things anymore? Moi!
In case you hadn’t heard we are now living in the age of the ’time poor’. These are people who are so busy at work doing their own jobs plus the jobs which used to be done by people who have been downsized out of the work force. Fortunately for the time poor I am standing by just waiting for those fleas, blocked drains and dinner parties, although not necessarily in that order. So the fact that I have volunteered to organise the ASE Christmas Party is not entirely coincidental.
Sara Bennett: 0404 059 655, (02) 9388 8175, <email@example.com>
28-02-2003, 12:35 AM
Last year saw the beginning of a planned upgrade from Betacam SP to Digital Betacam at the Media Production Unit of OTEN.
Our main online edit suite was completely rebuilt in mid 2000 for Digital Betacam and includes a Sony BVS 2000 switcher, BVE 2000 Editor, DVW 500P Digital Betacam recorder and DVW 510P Digital Betacam player. There are also two BVW series Betacam SP players (running through MVS analogue to SDI converters) and a BVW Betacam SP recorder for compatibility with our existing library of Betacam SP tapes. The suite also has a Media 100 so that programs edited in our non-linear suites can be mastered out to Digital Betacam.
Now we have received our new Sony DVW 709 switchable 4:3/16:9 Digital Betacam camcorder, and will shortly be putting it into production.
But first we need to consider some aspect ratio issues!
Thanks to Scott Lawrence’s excellent presentation at the AGM, plus lots of research and many hours of discussion with technical people, editors and producers here, I now have a reasonably clear (or at least not quite so vague) understanding of the issues involved.
It’s clear that the world is going widescreen, and in particular to 16:9 widescreen. It’s the norm for DVD Video and terrestrial digital television. Most of us like the aesthetics of the ratio, and yes it’s more “film like”.
Our video programs are mostly distributed to our clients on VHS, sometimes on CD ROM, and soon (hopefully) on DVD video. We also narrowcast from our studios here via the Optus Aurora satellite platform and we provide broadcast masters for the “TVed” series on SBS TV.
So we have decided, in principal, to shoot all new material in 16:9 (anamorphic) on the DVW 709 camcorder. Camera persons will need to shoot for 4:3 safe and our graphic designers will need to keep all essential information to 4:3 safe also, whilst also working in anamorphic. Some graphics and FX applications will need to be upgraded, and we’ll need to look at the character generators in both Media 100 and in online.
A high quality aspect ratio converter will be an essential tool in the online suite, not only for mastering but for resizing 4:3 source material for those masters.
Editing will happen in the 16:9 domain and we will master all programs to Digital Betacam in 16:9 anamorphic. From these sub-masters we can then create Digital Betacam masters, in either “centre-cut” or “pan & scan” or “letterbox” formats in 14:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios for dubbing. I favour the letterbox 14:9 format, as it seems acceptable to most viewers and has less impact on all those beautiful cuts made by the editors in the 16:9 domain!
Hopefully, this production/post-production pathway will create an archive of high quality widescreen camera tapes and sub-masters that may be revisited or re-purposed in the future.
- Peter Somerville
28-02-2003, 12:35 AM
AFFTA recently spent time ensuring that the guidelines for official co-productions are tightened to ensure a fairer deal for Australia.
This includes meeting cultural imperatives, employment equity and ensuring that the points allocation for Australian content is not abused.
At this meeting both sound and editing became aware that they had no representation on the panel that reviews the applications for official co-productions, so we will endeavour to ensure that this is addressed in the future.
- Fiona Strain
28-02-2003, 12:36 AM
On the cold wet blowy Melbourne night of October 24 a small group of editors huddled over a hot PowerPoint presentation in the business theatrette at AAV, listening to John Fleming, the head of Digital Pictures, as he explained all we need to know about digital TV. Unfortunately the weather discouraged roughly a third of the RSVP’ers, which was a pity, since it was a very useful meeting.
Since Digital Pictures is a major supplier in our industry and is in direct discussion with representatives from the networks, John’s information was, as it could be expected to be, right on the money. However what did emerge from John’s talk was an impression of a fair degree of indecision and ad hoc-ery at the various networks – which arguably has not been helped by apparent Federal government indecision. Because the material covered was so important I have attempted a summary of John’s seminar. Any errors of fact are almost certainly due to my rusty memory, and not to John!
Firstly, John was at pains to emphasise the difference between digital TV (DT or DTV) and high-definition TV (HD or HDTV). Digital TV is simply the delivery system, and can in principle carry almost anything – standard television, data, high-definition television, and interactive media, to name just a few possibilities. Also while HD formats use a 16:9 aspect ratio, 16:9 does not necessarily mean HD.
In the short term what we have to work with will be 16:9 format PAL transmission. The commercial networks seem consistent on requiring all new program material to be supplied in 16:9 format on digital Beta, with all essential action protected to a centre 4:3 ratio area. What this of course means is a more or less ugly compromise, and John singled out for mention a production that I had first-hand experience of as being particularly difficult – “Eugenie Sandler PI” for the ABC.
Phil Watts, who is editing “Horace and Tina,” then took the floor and spoke about some of the issues that he has encountered when dealing with the 16:9/4:3 problem. At this point after a question from the audience some discussion of the 14:9 aspect ratio began. The ABC are using this format for a lot of on-air transmission, and later in his talk John discussed this format.
John then resumed and moved on to a discussion of high definition television, demonstrating using equipment kindly supplied by Sony Australia. As is to be expected with no clear governmental guidelines the networks have no real standards in place – there are three HD formats currently recognised for use in Australia. They are identified as 576/50p (576 line progressive), 720/50p (720 line progressive) and 1080i/50 (1080 line interactive). The 50 part of each of these standards refers to a field rate of 50 fields per second, which equates to 25 frames per second.
It appears that the rules agreed on by the commercial networks state that the interchange format for all HD program material will be 1080i/50, with other formats accepted by prior agreement. 1080i is a particularly appropriate format for such things as sporting events and other big event live productions. After talks with the networks Digital Pictures are standardising in-house on 1080/24p. This translates to 1080 line 24 frame progressive (ie., non interlaced) – anyone who attended the Avid Symphony seminars will already have heard a discussion on the US industry’s potential use of this technology.
The big plus as far as we are concerned is that 1080/24p is a standards-independent format which is easily converted to any of the other television standards with far less quality loss than current standards converters permit. The other thing that will be immediately apparent is that this format effectively has the potential to kill the tired old sprockets versus tape argument. (And the winner is ... neither of the above!) What could in future happen is that as digital equipment proliferates more and more cinema post-production will take place on 1080/24p equipment, regardless of the final release medium.
A side effect of this choice of format is that television stations will be able to run 1080/24p material at 25 frames/second in a fake 1080i/50 mode. This means that material shot for television in this way will suffer the same 4% speed-up that motion pictures now suffer all over the PAL world – the Yanks will see our productions at the correct speed, but we won’t!
The evening was rounded out with a discussion of the 5.1 audio format and the constraints that it will place on monitoring environments, plus an overview of data services and interactive media transmission. Some mention was also made of the use of film as origination media for HDTV. The night was very successful for those who did attend, and John deserves our hearty thanks. From January 1, 2001, the process begins and will reach 20 hours of native HD transmission per week in capital cities by the year 2003. We don’t have much time to come to grips with it.
- John Leonard
05-06-2003, 10:26 PM
Melbourne Christmas party ...
05-06-2003, 10:30 PM
Melbourne Christmas party ...
05-06-2003, 10:30 PM
Melbourne Christmas party ... yet more
05-06-2003, 10:31 PM
Melbourne Christmas party ... someone identify these people please! Post a reply at the end of the thread!
05-06-2003, 10:32 PM
Melbourne Christmas party ...
05-06-2003, 10:33 PM
Melbourne Christmas party ...
Who ARE all these revellers??
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