Meet The Member: Karen McKay
Growing up in the wilds of the South African film industry and after successfully taking on the cosmopolitan London scene, Karen has focused her sights on Australia as her next big challenge.
During the last 10 years in London, Karen has edited a variety of TV programs and live events that have screened on Channel 4, ITV, Disney and PBS (USA). These programs include TV specials for the Harry Potter and James Bond franchises, wildlife documentaries and a variety of live concerts and comedy specials.
Some of the featured artists Karen had the opportunity to work with were Joan Rivers, opera singer Russell Watson, John Barrowman & Tony Robinson (Black Adder) and live events such as the BAFTAS.
Since her arrival in Adelaide, Karen has been directing and editing a series of Art documentaries, and has worked for the ABC. Karen is also a vital member of the Red Bikini production team. This year has been especially busy as Karen has been the assistant editor on Sam Fox: Extreme Adventures, and is currently assisting on Anzac Girls.
I knew I wanted to work in post when… as a child I would explain to my family and friends how TV worked…
My first break in the industry was… working on the live broadcast of a Whitney Houston concert in South Africa.
The thing I love most about editing is… finding the rhythm and the feel of an edit, and being able to watch something without seeing the work behind it...
The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is… be prepared to work hard, ask questions and learn from others.
If I weren’t in post production I’d be… I’d be… on set or working in the theatre.
Meet The Member: Alex Archer
Alex has been in the industry for about 19 years, based in London, and returned to Australia at the end of 2012. He has worked extensively in current affairs, long form documentary and drama documentary for the UK and US markets.
I knew I wanted to work in post when… I enjoyed cutting more than directing the super 8 and VHS films my friends and I made back in the stone age.
My first break in the industry was… Making the move from assistant manager at a pub to assistant editor at a production / facility house in London 1993. I was very fortunate that I was assistant to a brilliant editor, and that the boss encouraged me to use the equipment whenever possible, and gave me an opportunity to edit for broadcast fairly early on.
The thing I love most about editing is… As editors, we all love the creation process, wrangling what can be hundreds of hours of material in order to tell a great story, be it documentary or drama. However it is the relationship you build with the director, working as a team to find the best way to tell the story that I find truly enjoyable. And as jobs go, getting to play with pictures, sound and music is pretty cool..
The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is… Never stop aspiring to be a better editor, don't believe you know it all and always be willing to learn. Be confident in your decisions and know why you made them.
If I weren’t in post production I’d be… Working my way around the world….somehow...
Meet The Member: Semih Özköseoğlu
So I'm Semih Özköseoğlu as you already know. I have been assisting in feature films since 2008. I was the second assistant on the Animated feature 'Guardians of Ga'hoole'; then I assisted in Happy Feet 2; and now I'm the visual effects editor on Fury Road.
I knew I wanted to work in post when… I realised that it was the place that films got put together. I always loved building and fixing things. My favourite childhood toy was Lego and I think post production is very much like playing with Lego.
My first break in the industry was… in the animated feature film Guardians of Ga'hoole. It was David Burrows and Ben Joss who hired me for a short 3 weeks. I finished that project as the second nearly three years later. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.
The thing I love most about editing is… that it is a creative endeavour with very limited parameters. Lots of puzzle solving. I also love that it requires quite a good technical knowledge as well.
The best tip I’ve got for aspiring editors is… would be to roll with the punches and 'get on with it'. Things are rarely optimal in film making, if you concentrate too much on the “what could've been”, it can be paralyzing.
If I weren’t in post production I’d be… well, I'm really not sure what else I would be doing. Nothing else in film making comes to me as naturally. And if training and experience weren’t a deciding issue, I wouldn't mind to be an architect I think.
Meet The Committee: Nick Dunlop
Nick started out directing and editing short drama in Perth the early 1990s. After taking a decade-long break from filmmaking, most of which was spent in Japan, he returned to Perth and became a freelance editor in 2003. He’s edited longform documentaries, short drama, news, lifestyle, corporates and one feature film. Nick also directs, and was producer/director/editor of the recent ABC documentary series, Comic Book Heroes.
I knew I wanted to work in post when… I realised that editors get longer gigs than DoPs, Sound Recordists and pretty much everyone else on the crew. If I became an editor, I wouldn’t have to look for work so often! It also seemed to be a more stable and sane way to make a living than directing while still doing what I enjoy most in the world: film making.
My first break in the industry was… work experience with a TV commercial production company for two weeks in Year 10. At the end they paid me $100 and gave me a pink windcheater with the company logo on it. From school in Perth I went on to Swinburne in Melbourne, and after graduating, I won a grant from the WA Film Council to direct a short drama.
The highlight of my career so far… is producing, directing and editing a two-part documentary series, Comic Book Heroes (see pic), which was broadcast in August this year on ABC1. It's a story about struggling creative people, and of art versus commerce - a theme most editors can relate to!
The thing I love most about editing is… when an accident or a slip of the hand reveals a wonderful cut I never would have thought of. I also enjoy those moments when the director and editor go into hysterical fits of laughter (everyone has them, right?).
I was inspired to join the ASE committee… when a group of West Australian freelance editors, instigated by Roland Smith, started regularly meeting about four years ago. We discovered there is a lot to be shared between us, and the ASE gives us a forum to do that on a national level.
The ASE is important… as a hub to connect with our peers; to exchange important industrial information such as how we’re going with our pay and conditions; to represent the voice of editors in the ongoing discussion about industry policy and funding; to encourage each other and back each other up; and to share our insights, experiences and funny stories about our profession. Editors are a tribe of thoughtful, creative, flexible people who also need to have a core of steel in order to deliver. They are true film makers, seem to always be talented and decent people, and make fascinating company. The ASE is good for our mental health!