View Full Version : ASE Newsletter 1999-09 Issue 36
27-02-2003, 12:34 AM
This is an archive of the ASE NEwsletter Issue 36 September 1999
Editor Paul Healy
27-02-2003, 12:35 AM
This year has been quite a difficult year in terms of finances for the ASE. Promised sponsorship has not come through and we find ourselves needing to cut back in some areas. One of the largest costs for the ASE is the printing and postage of the newsletter. At this month’s committee meeting it was decided to take up the call to go online with the newsletter and to replace the monthly newsletter with a fax/email newsheet and to produce a more substantial quarterly newsletter. For those without fax or email the newsheet will still be posted out. The newsheet will keep you up to date with coming events and important notices.
Once again the AGM looms and it is time to think about electing a new executive (and NSW committee). I urge you to seriously consider offering your services. The ASE needs a lively committee in order to represent and support its editing community. If you are in Sydney, I also urge you to attend the AGM to add you feelings and thoughts about the direction of the ASE as well as to vote. The meeting will also hear reports from the Victorian committee and other interstate editors. Please send any thoughts, ideas or reports to your committees or ASE office. You will find the notice of the date and location for the AGM and nomination forms in this newsletter. I have decided not to stand again for president and so the field is waiting for someone to jump in and go for it.
Til next time
Denise Haslem - President ASE
27-02-2003, 12:37 AM
Peter Palankay has just finished mixing ’Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, a 2 x 90 min. telemovie. He is currently working on ’Lost’, a short film directed by Jo Kennedy, with Sound Editor Livia Rusik and Composer Elizabeth Drake.
Strutts Psyridis, who is currently at The Joinery assisting editor Suresh Ayyar on ’The Wogboys’ directed by Aleksi Vellis, is about to go to French Guyane in South America as assistant editor to Tania Nehme on Rolf de Heer’ s film, The Man Who Read Love Stories.
Mark Atkin is at The Joinery editing the feature ’Mallboy’ directed by Vince Giarrusso. The 16mm film is being cut on sprockets. First Assistant Editor is Mark Ellis and 2nd Assistant Editor is Rowena Crowe.
Ken Sallows is cutting the feature film ’From the Outside’, directed by Andrew Dominik, on Lightworks at The Joinery. Caroline Scott is Assistant Editor. The Sound Editor is Frank Lipson with Glenn Newnham as Dialogue Editor.
In late September Ken Sallows heads north to Nhulumbuy, in Arnhem Land, and then Darwin, to edit the ACTF feature film Yolngu Boy, directed by Stephen Johnson. Maria Kaltenthaler will be Assistant Editor. Because of the difficulties of getting material to and from the lab. and telecine, they will initially edit the VHS tapes from the video split until the SP Betacams and workprint arrive. Ken will be editing on Lightworks and rushes will be screened on a 35 mm projector.
At The Facility, Michael Collins is editing the feature ’Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns’, directed by John Tatoulis, on Lightworks. Stephen Doyle is the Assistant Editor. The shoot includes 4 weeks in Crete but the Editing department isn’t going.
In Adelaide Ted McQueen-Mason is editing the TV series, The Adventures of Chuck Finn.
Steve Evans and Peter Carrodus will be editing the Simpson LeMesurier series, Dogwoman, written and directed by Magda Szubanski, on Lightworks at Channel 9. Simone Roleff is Post-Production Supervisor.
Also at Channel 9, Bill Murphy is editing the tele-feature Waiting at the Royal, directed by Glenda Hambly. Assistant Editor is Jennifer Perrott.
At the ABC David Luffman is editing ’Storm Chasers’ for the Natural History Unit.
Angie Higgins and Phillip Watts are editing Thunderstone 3 on Avid at AAV. Barry Lanfranchi is Post Production Supervisor.
Other jobs that Pamela Hammond has going through AAV inclue The Long Lunch, a feature for Widowmaker edited by Freddie Yeo, Monster, a US ’MOW’ (movie of the week) shot on the Gold Coast and edited in LA and the telefeature Backlands, a German co-production coming from Crawfords edited by Gabriele Kull-Neujahr with assistant editor Marc Judson.
Current jobs at Soundfirm (in Melbourne) include Thunderstone 2 with Sound Editors, Ro Woods and Ron Feruglio, to be mixed by Ralph Ortner; Round the Twist 3 with Sound Editors Alex Partridge and Maureen Rodbard-Bean, mixed by Paul Pirola. Paul Pirola is also mixing Eye of the Storm, an ABC documentary.
Steve Burgess will be mixing a feature film from mainland China called ’Prisoners’, directed by Jiang Wen. Sound Editors are James Harvey and Alex Partridge.
At Sound Waves, Peter Walker, Andrew McGrath and Dale Cornelius are sound editing and mixing ’Way of the Birds’, an animation directed by Sarah Watt, produced by Fiona Eagger and edited by Maryjeanne Watt. SoundWaves are also woking on a series of Audiovisuals for the Melbourne Plantearium, two documentaries for the ABC, ’The Pecking Order’ and ’Once Were Monks’, and Target commercials.
- COMPILED BY CAROLINE SCOTT.
27-02-2003, 12:38 AM
Letter to the Editor.
1. I think $100 per year membership fee is too much, don’t you? I would be happy to pay $80. What do other members think?
2. Telecine Neg or Not? A feature film, cutting on Lightworks (or whatever), if workprint is available do you telecine that or negative? On one film we started telecining workprint but were told that there would be fewer mistakes with Keycode numbers if we used neg. We then telecined the neg. but still at least 20% of shots had a 1-frame keycode error (I check the L’works log, which comes via FlexFile from telecine, against the workprint) and about 6 shots have keycode logs that are totally fictitious. (One reason for all this checking is so that I, the Assistant Editor, can do the POS Conform from Cut Lists generated by L’works.) Dominic Case’s book has rather put me off taking the freshly-processed negative out of the laboratory. Any comments please?
3. Where can I go for info. about Lightworks? What has happened to the exceedingly helpful Marijke Bergkamp from Lightworks in London?
4. More Lightworks. Film shot at 24fps, telecined at 25fps, working in a Pal24 project. Sync’ing at telecine. Occasionally there is film shot at 25fps which I still put into the Pal24 project. If I then have to add sync sound to the 25fps stuff, to be digitised in straight from the Dat and not at telecine, the only way it will sync is if I use the Recording Parameters Sound option of “Audio Sync’ed to Video”. Why is this so? In plain English, what do the 3 options, “Audio Sync’ed to Video”, “Audio LTC” and “Free Running” mean?
27-02-2003, 12:39 AM
Michael Apted and Albert Maysles headline at
6th Australian International Documentary Conference.
The 6th Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) Director, Michael Elwood
is pleased to announce two key international guests: British film director Michael Apted, renowned for his 7 Up series, and Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Salesman, Grey Gardens), who, with his brother David (:1932-1987), is recognised as one of America’s leading documentary filmmakers. The Conference will be held in Adelaide, South Australia. from 2-6 November at the Hilton International Hotel.
The 6th AIDC will concentrate on three broad themes - globalisation, ethics and creativity and digital features. The Conference will consist of morning ’heart starter’ addresses, masterclasses, free film screenings and meet the filmmaker sessions. The Australian Documart, where selected filmmakers pitch their projects to a panel of potential investors (ten of the world’s most influential commissioning editors, distributors and financiers), will be a major highlight.
Scott Hicks (Emmy Award winner for his documentary Submarines; Sharks of Steel and Oscar winner for Shine) is the Conference Patron, Adelaide fihninaker Mike Piper (Suburban Strippers, Paul Davies: the Big Questions) is Conference Chair with Michael Elwood, formerly General Manager of the Adelaide symphony Orchestra, as Conference Director.
An exciting array of national and international guests, panel members and key note speakers is planned to ensure that the 6th AIDC promotes the documentary form, reflecting Australia’s identity and culture whilst providing a window to international program development and networking.
Registration for the Conference is now open with early bird special rates (register by 20
September) available for individuals (including independent production companies): $450,
students/concessions: $295, arid corporate organisations (including government
representatives and broadcasters): $695 Standard rates (register after 20 September)
individuals: $495, students: $350, corporate: $850. Day rates are available.
For registration brochures contact the A]DC Conference Secretariat on tel: (Q8) 83631307, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or website: www~aidc.on.net
27-02-2003, 12:40 AM
Letters to the Editor
Dear Fellow Editors,
With regard to SUNSET CUT under Filmnet Daily in the latest edition of the Australian Screen Editors.
The lock-off fine cut of Siam Sunset was 92 minutes never 103.
There may have been an early cut at 103, and to my knowledge no previews in the accepted sense were ever held.
Editorially yours, or anyone else for that matter.
Film Editor.Siam Sunset
27-02-2003, 12:41 AM
>CALL FOR SHORT COMEDY FILMS
>The Sydney Comedy Festival, in association with the Comedy Workshop, is
>holding a short comedy and animation film competition.
>Short films and animations up to 15 minutes in length are eligible. Format VHS.
>Submission fee is $15 ($10 for members of the Comedy Workshop).
>Deadline for entries is 7 October 1999.
>To register, please contact The Sydney Comedy Festival on 02 9518 4011.
>Selected shorts will be announced 18 October 1999.
>Shortlisted entries will screen in competition during The Sydney Comedy
>Festival at the Comedy Cellar at the Off Broadway Hotel on Sunday 24
>October from 4pm.
>There will be an Award for the short voted Best Comedy.
>For further media enquiries, please contact the Sydney Comedy Festival or
>the Comedy Workshop.
>Sydney Comedy Festival Limited ACN 083 457 925
>Contact: Simon Morgan (02) 9518 4011
>Fax (02) 9660 9367, email@example.com www.thecomedyhotel.com
>PO Box 790 Avalon, NSW, Australia 2107
>The Comedy Workshop
>Contact: George Merryman (02) 9557 4253
27-02-2003, 12:42 AM
Women in Film and Television (Vic) is holding two major events for 1999: Our Brilliant Careers, a training day and the WIFT Lottie Lyell Awards, the second National Awards for Women in Film, Television and Multimedia. Both events will be held on Saturday October 23rd at the St.Kilda Town Hall. Our Brilliant Careers is a comprehensive career planning day comprising sessions focussing on different aspects of ’career health’ for women working in the film, TV and multimedia sectors at the early, mid and established career stages. Sessions for the three tiers of career development will run simultaneously and topics will include ’Mentors and Attachments’, the ’Director/Producer/Writer relationship’, ’Meet the FLICS’, ’Research on the Net’. Session facilitators will include key industry figures and the emphasis will be on building skills and developing strategies for career advancement.
For example, Maureen Morriss (Results Unlimited) will conduct a mid-career session entitled ’portfolios @ the cutting edge’. This will be a ’hands-on’ exploration of new and innovative ways of designing a work portfolio including CD-rom, website and other approaches, relevant for both individuals and organisations. Our Brilliant Careers will be available at full and concession prices ($95/$120) and costs will include refreshments over the course of the day. Enquires and bookings can be made at the WIFT (Vic) office on the numbers below. Participants who wish to attend both the training day and the WIFT Lottie Lyell Awards, will be eligible for a significant discount (Awards night: $55 conc/$75 full; both events: $140 conc/$175 full).
Following Our Brilliant Careers , WIFT (Vic) will present the WIFT Lottie Lyell Awards, at a gala dinner on the evening of 23rd October at the St.Kilda Town Hall. First held in Sydney in 1997 as the Venus Awards, The Lotties have been renamed in honour of pioneer Australian writer, director, producer, actor and editor Lottie Lyell. The awards aim to recognise women who have made outstanding contributions to promoting and encouraging diversity in the portrayal of women in the screen media and improving the status and representation of women on or behind the screen. The awards will particularly acknowledge women working in non-traditional or non-stereotypical roles. There are five award categories: The Lottie Lyell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Screen Culture, The Joan Long Award for Lifetime Achievement, The Award for Innovation, The Award for Swimming Against the Tide and The New Player Award.
WIFT (Vic) is calling for nominations in these categories to be submitted by September 17 1999. The Lottie Lyell and Joan Long Award should include a short biography of the nominee, and the awards for Innovation, Swimming Against the Tide and the New Player should include a biography, 2 career-related references and support material. Nominations should be sent to the WIFT (Vic) office as below. The WIFT Lottie Lyell Awards are generously support by Cinemedia and promise to be a wonderful celebration of the contribution of our women filmmakers to Australian screen culture. WIFT (Vic) hopes they will become an important biannual fixture on the screen culture calendar.
All general enquiries and bookings for both Our Brilliant Careers and The WIFT Lottie Lyell Awards can be made through the WIFT (Vic) office:
WIFT (Vic) Office T: (03) 9525 4922 Fax: (03) 9525 4088 e: wiftvic@ mira.net
or via the WIFT (Vic) website: http://www.cinemedia.net/wift/
For all publicity enquiries, please contact Miranda Brown on:
T: (03) 419 0931 Fax: (03) 419 0931 e: tbmb@ netspace.net.au
27-02-2003, 12:43 AM
A rarely seen print of the classic 1971 Australian feature film Wake in Fright, will have its first major screening in almost 30 years as part of the Fourth National Australian Screen Directors Association Conference held over the weekend of 8-10 October at Wollongong University’s Faculty of Creative Arts in Wollongong, NSW. The film’s editor, Anthony Buckley AM, who conducted a worldwide search for the print, will be present to discuss this extraordinary piece of Australian film history.
The theme of the conference: Wake in Fright - Australian Stories in a Global Industry will be explored in a stimulating program of film screenings,
forums and craft sessions examining the question of nationalism in Australian film and television from past to present. It will cover all aspects of moving image direction in Australia, including animation, feature
film, TV comedy and drama.
Over three hundred delegates from all around Australia are expected to attend the conference which will be opened by a cocktail party on Friday night following a special pre-release screening of Scott Hicks’ latest film Snow Falling on Cedars. The acclaimed director will kick off the conference program with an opening address the following day. The announcement of ASDA’s Cecil Holmes Award for services to Australian directing will be presented on Saturday night.
According to conference director Bronwyn Kidd, The ASDA National Conference
has traditionally had a major impact on screen culture and policy in Australia and this year’s cutting edge, provocative and informative sessions
will be no exception. “The theme of the conference has particular relevance in the current era of unprecedented offshore production, decreasing levels of Australian content on our screens and the increasing deregulation of our
commercial television industry” She said. ASDA President Stephen Wallace agrees: “With the arrival of the Americans, the internet, globalisation and
free trade policies, our film and television industry is subject to radical new influences. The ASDA conference this year, will, I hope, articulate some of these influences and stimulate discussion on what they mean for the
survival of directors and independent producers” he said.
The question of whether there is such a thing as a national cinema and should we protect it will be discussed by literary and intellectual Luminaries David Malouf and Barry Jones in a session on Australian cultural
images and their genesis. Other sessions include: Selling Australia - a Look at stereotypical “Australianess” in TV commercials, Animation in the
Digital Age; Many Doors One Room: focusing on funding bodies and the impact
of the cross-financing of films; Australian Drama in the 21st Century - a panel on Australian TV drama and its survival in a multi channel age;
Docu-drome - a session exploring the influence of TV’s one-hour format on documentaries; Framing Australia - an examination of how we represent art
on our television and cinema screens and The Craft of Comedy - a craft session with leading Australian comedy directors and writers exploring their
techniques for successful TV comedy including Ted Emery of TV’s Good News Week. Well known television director Graham Thorburn will look at the driving force of Australian narrative alongside other cultures in a session entitled Class, Consensus and the Hero’s journey. The weekend-long
conference is open to all members of the film industry and members of the general public with an interest in film.
Cost: Non members: $250, ASDA members: $200, Interstate and student
(single day program passes also available)
Registration/information ph. ASDA: (02) 95557045 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Accommodation Inquiries/bookings: ph. 1800 240 737
Media Inquiries: ph. Charlotte Faunce (02) 9363 5720 mobile: 0407 009217
27-02-2003, 12:48 AM
INTERVIEW WITH LUKE DOOLAN AT ISLAND FILMS
Editor on a feature at Island Films called “In the Red”, Directed by Glen Ruehland with a half a million dollar budget.
Your first job? Making coffee. I left high school not scoring enough to get into the courses I wanted because I spent all my time making and editing films. Got a job as an assistant director on “Big Sky” in 97 and it was cut at Island Films. I sat on a couch for two weeks watching editors, making coffees and cut shorts at night. Around this time I also did a short called “Reunion” which won a couple of awards at Tropfest. The director , Marshall Napier , won the Tropicana award and I won the cinematographer award. He also made a film called “The Watchdog” which he cut at Island.
Contrary to popular belief it’s the most fun and allows you to have a key role in the production. Working on set is a bit like playing golf, you spend a lot of time waiting and watching. Editing is where you make the film sing and dance. For me it just feels like the natural place to be.
How did you score the job on this feature?
It was kind of snowball effect, meeting people and finding a place that was beneficial. I worked on a film called “The Venus Factory” and the same people put me forward for “In the Red”, which came at a good time. Called, chased and hassled and also got some people to put in a good word for me. I met the director and we chatted about film philosophies, it was an action film and he knew that this was a particular interest of mine so were kind of thrown together because we were right people for the project. I feel that an action film is where all the tricks come together and the dialogue is like the icing on the cake, as opposed to editing character dialogue pieces where you can become subservient to the scene. Cutting action gives you more freedom and keeps the juices flowing and allows you take all the elements together to make them work, the lighting, framing, photography, You make the point as the editor.
The cut you are most proud of?
The first one I ever did which was called “Coming Attractions”. It was basically just a straight cut but it taught me all the principles and I have learnt a great deal since then. I was able to put 20 cuts into 5 seconds , editing teaches you to “think within a frame”, how’s that for a soundbite? Cutting my first film was pretty magical, like my first fix, I just kept on coming back for more.
The worst thing about the job?
Having to tell the director they haven’t done the scene properly, that you have to go with it and there’s nothing else that you can use, there is no money or time for a reshoot and you are kind of boxed in to making bad shot choices.
Who has been your biggest influence?
John Woo, probably because they have mastered the ability to reveal and conceal. I met John Woo when he came to Island and went to lunch with him, he allowed me to ask him any question I wanted which I really appreciated. I have a signed photo of him in my suite, which gives me inspiration. My favorite films are John Woo’s “The Killer”, Brian De Palma’s “Scarface” and “Dressed to Kill”.
What are you ideas on film philosophy?
Cinema is one of the greatest mediums in that incorporates all other mediums, like photography, painting, theatre, lighting, and literature. I feel more people should be telling stories that are specifically designed for cinema. Through the past 100 yrs of cinema there has been a need to push the form to its outer limits, you should always go all the way by utilising the craft to its full extent. Pure cinema is about putting together a great story, to do the best things there are to do and then more, innovate and experiment.
Plans for the future?
To continue in action editing, leading towards directing, making shorts and features in the spirit of pushing pure cinema to it’s limits. To get my scripts to a few more key people.
(Thanks to Luke for taking the time out to do this interview, he certainly is someone who will go all the way and shows a sincere passion for film and his craft, and he really does do a good coffee. ) - Gavin Walburgh
27-02-2003, 12:50 AM
How did you get started?
I left high school in year 11 and went to Huntingdale tech for year 12 in 1981. They had a great pre Uni. Film and TV course where you could shoot quite a bit of stuff and experiment. The following year when I was about to turn 18, I hit the footpath with my little and probably now embarrassing show reel that I had made at Huntingdale.
I actually wasn’t aiming at editing, in fact I wasn’t sure what area I wanted to get into yet and so was seeing production companies and ad agencies. Despite being told by one suit at an agency, that “unless I had good typing skills I was not going to get a job in the industry” I plodded on and thought what a pratt he was.
It ended up that a production company that I had seen, knew of a junior job at a commercial post house. So I went over and ended up getting the job working at Rodney Jay Post Productions. I did everything from reception, billing, cleaning, courier, feed the office cat and of course learnt to be an assistant film editor. Back then we worked mainly on 35mm for ads. Corporate and TV stuff was 16mm. We cut on steenbecks and pic syncs, so I don’t know how to thread a moviola. Just missed that one!
It was a fantastic training ground. Reallyyyy long hours, but I learnt the lot on film assisting and because the ads had just gone across to finishing on tape and not release prints, I was getting into the whole tape thing too. In 83/84, a friend who was a director gathered his mates who had been working in the industry longer than me, and pulled us together to make a 16 min film. I did continuity, edited and post supervised it. It was great fun and it was one of the first films in the early years of the St. Kilda Film festival. At that point I realized that editing was really what I wanted to do.
By 1987 I had been cutting everything there (including some minor direction on a TV cooking series) and running their post, as RJPP had become a production house. So I decided to open my own business in Oct 97 called The Cutting Room. My main work was ads finishing to TV and also cinema release, with some music clips and corporates too. I have also post supervised a number of small projects for animation and short films. Along the way I had some great people editing in the company starting on film and then moving into Avid. I bought 3 Avids back in 94 and this was a learning cliff for us all. I was involved with a few committees in the industry including the MADC and the start of the ASE in Melbourne for a while, which I felt quite passionate about and I really enjoyed the experience.
The business was full on (as advertising tends to be) and in March 98 I decided to close the business due to bad health. Probably exhaustion! Anyway â€¦ I rested for 6 months and was then offered a feature film by director Julie Money. So I went to Sydney to edit, post supervise and currently now finishing the film called “Envy.”
Which job did you like working on the most?
Recently I would say the feature film I just did was a fantastic experience, since it was my first and because it was privately funded we had no “client” as such so we just took our time and stood back when we could and tried to different approaches. In ads I would say the TAC campaign which I did from 90-98, especially the first one, as I was presented with I think it was 5 hours of footage, shot in documentary style, to cut into a 90 sec TVC and still tell the story. Great challenge.
What’s your favourite film(s)?
I don’t think anyone can have one favourite with the number of films that have been made over the last century. Gee, there are a heap of films and genres I like but to mention a few: Midnight Run, Good Fellas, Casino (in fact most of Scorsese’ films), Cinema Paradiso, Psycho, Rear Window, Barton Fink, Truly Madly Deeply, Bladerunner, Apocalypse Now, there’s just heaps and I enjoy them for all different reasons.
Whose work do you admire?
I admire Thelma Schoonmaker who mainly edits for Martin Scorsese. Thelma’s history of work is vast, including a position as head of Paramount’s Post. I must say I generally admire editors as a group. They are unsung heroes because a lot of them are really saving the director’s butt yet many people don’t realize it. I have heard comments where people say “ohh, that looked easy to cut” or “gee, that was not great editing”, but they do not consider what the editor had to sift through or deal with to get to that cut. I think part of it is ignorance. I also believe there are a number of producers and directors who think that editors are miracle workers. And sure, sometimes we are but sometimes you just can’t make shit look fantastic. Slowly editors are receiving more recognition, the problem is that people notice when it’s a bad job but occasionally comment on a good job. Anyway I admire my fellow editors too.
What is your preferred editing format?
Well this is always an interesting one. I know this sounds like a cop out, but it really depends on the job and what suits the job better at the time. I love the feel of film and being able to see good quality pictures while I am editing. That’s what I miss when I am on Avid, but there are big positives for the new systems and you can’t ignore that.
What was your most hellish job?
Shit, there are plenty of those! It is usually people who don’t know what they are doing and won’t admit it, who make the jobs hellish, like the producer/pm or pps who have not done their pre-pro on post correctly. (That P word!) So when you end up sending heaps of valuable time trying to fix problems that occurred on the shoot “don’t worry, they’ll fix it in post!” before you even start cutting. Ohhh this is close to hellish and I think some people can relate to this.
You have got miles and miles of footage to look at and select, except all your looking at is one scene with not much stimulation, in my case, a baby playing on the floor. Your looking for that tiny little gem, there is no dialogue, no atmos, MOS! Your eyes are sleeeepy. Suddenly the sound of the film flackety flacking wakes you and you realize you missed nearly the whole 1200 foot roll of which there are still another 5 of the same to look at and you just want to go home, but there is no way you can leave, especially when the directors fast asleep on the couch behind you! So what to do, but go and find another couch and hope you wake before the director.
What is the most fulfilling about editing?
There is something very exciting about being the first to see all the raw footage and to play with it and create something. To try and solve story telling problems and to be involved in post effects and finishing. I enjoy working with good directors and bouncing ideas off each other. And then out of the quagmire you have this packaged piece of entertainment, communication, art, whatever, that you have been a big part of and that can feel great.
- interview by HENRY KARJALAINEN
27-02-2003, 12:52 AM
Do your homework ... know the budget, know the production, know what the producers want and need. Sell your abilities. What can you offer the production. Know your own self worth.
This was invaluable advice during a very valuable night of Conversations with Editors held in Sydney on August 25. Laura Zusters facilitated the discussion with the guest panel of editors Jenny Ward, Lee Smith and Andrea Lang and producer Glenys Rowe to help us really get a grip on the negotiating stakes.
Laura Zusters opened the night by asking the big question about contracts. Who gets them? Surprise, surprise, very few. But this was not to be an evening of blaming producers because Glenys Rowe quickly threw it back to say a contract is a negotiation between TWO parties. If you want a written contract then insist on it. Usually the reason you don’t get one is because the production office is either too busy or too lazy to get it together. There is no conspiracy going on. It is really only the very big production companies that might be trying one on you. She added that if you really want your contract there is nothing like the words “ I’ll hold off commencement until I see my contract” to get the production office moving. It is easier to draw up a contract than to get another editor.
The first point to negotiating a better deal or getting a job you want, is do your homework about the production, the budget and the personnel eg if it’s a $1 mill movie it is no good going in expecting $2,000 wage because all you will get is the award (@ $1000). That’s the reality of this size budget. If you want to cut a $1 mill movie expect low pay and do it because you really want to. However, in higher budget films or programs where the wage is not the main issue and you are competing with other editors for the job then you will have to sell yourself. What can you offer that will help the production.
This is where finding out who you are negotiating with comes in eg many producers don’t understand post. Therefore you can present yourself as the person who can save them money in post production because of your knowledge in dealing with labs, or liaising with post production houses, or you might suggest ways of shooting that will help the cut. (Knowledge is power). Check what they have in the post budget and make suggestions of doing it more efficiently. Producers are interested in anyone who can save them money.
Lee stressed that it was most important that you know our own self worth. Know when you want to walk away from a deal and when to keep it open. If you really don’t want the low wages or conditions make a decision not to take the job. If you really want the job and the producers want you, but you’re not happy with the deal, then keep talking. Convey your passion to do the job and eventually you may come to a middle ground where both parties are happy. Find creative ways of being paid eg. by breaking your wage into components. So.....know your bottom line.
On matters of overtime always ask your producer if they want you to work overtime. Don’t just do it and complain about not being paid. Glenys pointed out that it is the producers who determine when overtime is taken on set but they simply do not know how many hours editors are working. Lee added that deadlines change very quickly when the mention of overtime comes in. He thought it was a good idea to keep a diary and to log your hours.
Lee offered many other pieces of advice. If you are a company you should be paid 15% more than PAYE because the budget has factored for the PAYE their wage plus super plus holiday pay. YES you PAYEees you should be getting holiday pay. If you are not getting Super or not getting paid at all then there are magic words to throw at a production like “I’ll call the Tax Office” or “I’ll call the Union.” This usually does the trick. Also GET A GOOD ACCOUNTANT.
What I really loved about the discussion was the acceptance from all the panel that we do this job because we love it. You wouldn’t do it otherwise. Glenys pointed out that producers of low budget programs basically subsidise the production (and I believe her) and the editors pointed out how low our rate of pay is for the hours we work. So yes, we do it because we love it but, more importantly, we should do it with an understanding of our own value and a determination to sustain it.
So happy homeworking.
27-02-2003, 12:55 AM
New Members Sept 1999
Student Brooke FLINT NSW
Student Stephen KILSBY Vic
Associate Paul SMITH Vic
FuLL KARIN STEININGER NSW
FuLl Aaron THOMAS NSW
Full Adrian VALLIS Vic
Student Gavin WALBURGH NSW
vBulletin® v3.7.0, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.