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The pandemic kept many Aucklanders from enjoying the Show Me Shorts Festival last year, which meant that some of the best shorts never screened for their home crowd. To fix that, Show Me Shorts has put together a screening (July 2) to celebrate eight short films made in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland or by Aucklanders.

Among them are films crafted by DEGANZ members and alumni, including Green, directed by Rachel Ross (DEGANZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator 2020) and edited by our member Ben Chesters. Green follows an estranged father and daughter, both with newly diagnosed life altering illnesses, as they smoke marijuana together for the first time. Green won the SAE People’s Choice Award at Show Me Shorts 2021.

Blood and Gold, directed by Yamin Tun (Incubator 2017) and edited by member Brendon Chan, will screen as well. This exciting short western follows a woman on the run as she makes a decision that will alter the course of two lives. Blood and Gold won the Best Actor Award at the festival and was nominated for a couple more awards, including DEGANZ Best Editor. The film has also been selected for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this year.

Heart to Heart is written and directed by Incubator 2018 alumna Lauren Porteous. This short psychological thriller set in Raurimu in the dead of winter explores obsession and oppression, and asks are women really for or against one another?

Audiences will also get to see June, directed by Dwayne Cameron who edited alongside DEGANZ member Peter Roberts. June sees Willow and David receiving serious news that causes their world to rapidly disintegrate. But a transcendent occurrence offers them the hope of new life. June won the DEGANZ Best Editor award at Show Me Shorts 2021.

See the full list of films and book your tickets here!

The Accidental Editor

It was 2009 and I’m working at Unity Books in Auckland, my specialty – children’s picture books and classics of literature. It’s been 2 years since I quit my career as an art director in advertising with no intention to ever step back into that world. I loved selling books and I still work at Unity from time to time, but in 2009 I was hoping to find a new path.

A friend mentioned a job going at TVNZ. They were looking for creative producers with an advertising background. A ‘creative producer’ makes 30-60 second promo videos for movies and shows; you write a script, edit the footage, direct the voice over talent, select music, SFX etc.

My only film editing experience was that once, I made a joke video on iMovie to amuse a friend, but I brazenly applied all the same.

To this day I’m still not quite sure how I was hired, it was a total accident, didn’t ask for it, fell on my lap. Perhaps a mix of luck and fate. TVNZ sent me on a two-day crash course to learn Avid Media Composer. The next day I started working. It was incredibly hard, I felt like a senior citizen learning computer skills, and back then there were no YouTube tutorials. The first few months I’d work late nights, I’d work weekends and study other people’s work, frame by frame. Why does one cut on a particular frame? What makes an elegant edit?

One day, my Creative Director pulled me aside and told me that he thought I had the right sense of timing to be a good editor. This encouragement drove me to want to be the best at TVNZ and I continued working late nights and weekends. The work projects became more complex and I was trusted to cut important campaigns, brand montages. I won international awards. In 2015 I became a freelancer. I worked for Sky TV and edited commercials with the ultimate goal in mind – to edit movies!

Sometime in 2016, I bumped into an old friend – director Florian Habicht. He’d recently returned from living overseas and told me he’d noticed my work. “One day we’ll work together,” he said. That comment encouraged me enormously. I was determined to make that happen, I just didn’t know how to make the switch from TV to film.

Editor Anastasia Doniants photographed by director Lula Cucchiara / Photo: Supplied

A personal connection helped. A friend of mine, director Jessica Sanderson, asked me to edit her NZFC funded short film, Ways to See. Again, luck was on my side, Annie Collins – the greatest editor in New Zealand – agreed to mentor me through this project. My fate was set there and then. Annie taught me everything about long-form: the workflow, the protocols, how to log, the assembly process. Annie also suggested that I trust my instinct, and this is something that can’t be taught, it must be in you as a person. Ways to See and my second short film, Ani by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu, travelled the world with much success. This gave me confidence to continue to edit.

Educational institutes are not the only paths to knowledge, nowadays. I’m sure going to film school would have been of great help and, personally, I wouldn’t encourage anyone to follow my path. What helped me is that I was a movie mad kid. Movies and books took up most of my imagination growing up. My advice to young people – your hours of watching films are not wasted. Be curious. Be generous with your time as you’re investing in your future, if it means working for free – do it.

Most importantly, you have to love the magic and spectacle of film or else you’re in the wrong industry.

“Astonish me,” Sergei Diaghilev used to say to his dancers. “Astonish me,” I say to every person involved in the process of movie making.

 


About Anastasia Doniants

Anastasia is an award-winning editor based in Auckland. In the last few years, she has edited feature film documentary Fiona Clark: Unafraid, co-edited documentary James & Isey; as well as short films, documentaries and music videos.

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.

DEGANZ released the standard feature film editing agreement last September to help strengthen the negotiating position of editors.

To give you confidence to use this template contract, we are holding free workshops with lawyer Anchali Anandanayagam of Hudson Gavin Martin. A great communicator, Anchali will break the contract down so that it is easy to understand.

Why understanding your contract is important

To get the best contract for you and to truly understand what you are legally binding yourself to when you sign, you need to learn in detail what every clause means and where the opportunities lie for negotiation.

What will the workshop cover?

  • Understanding the Guild’s standard feature film editing agreement
  • Which parts can I negotiate?
  • What do these terminologies and clauses mean?
  • The implications
  • How you can apply this knowledge
  • Q&A time

Who is it for?

DEGANZ members – open to all membership levels. We highly recommend that any member working or planning to work as a feature film editor (narrative or documentary) attend.

Attendee Preparation

Please read the DEGANZ standard film editing agreement beforehand.

Facilitator

Tui Ruwhiu, DEGANZ Executive Director

About Anchali Anandanayagam

AnchaliAnchali is a partner at Hudson Gavin Martin – a leading media, technology and IP law firm. Anchali has specialised in media, technology and IP for the last 18 years. An expert in all legal aspects of tech, media and telecommunications, Anchali often advises clients in NZ and overseas on the regulation of new and emerging technologies, data security and privacy, commercialisation of IP, and works with local and international content producers and suppliers to the media sector. Anchali’s clients in the media industry range from established media companies and production houses, VFX and post-production companies, and independent producers, directors and writers.

With qualifications from the University of Otago, Anchali gained her experience both here in New Zealand, and London. Anchali is highly recognised in the leading legal international rankings. Chambers and Partners said Anchali is not only “an experienced lawyer with amazing technical skills,” but also “a relationship builder who can deal with people at all levels both within and between organisations.” They go on to say: “There’s a real benefit having her on our side.” Anchali is a keen advocate of purpose driven organisations and sits on the board of Women in Film and Television New Zealand.

Register for a Session

Monday 9 May 2022, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Zoom Meetings
Register now >

Tuesday 31 May 2022, 7pm – 9pm
Zoom Meetings
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DEGANZ received funding from Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission’s Screen Sector Capability Fund. The fund supports the New Zealand screen sector to develop the business and technical capability to meet the challenges of a COVID-19 and post COVID-19 environment and is part of the New Zealand Government’s Screen Sector Recovery package.

NZFC

I should preface by saying that I never planned to be working in the film and television industry. The honest truth is that when I finished school and decided to go to university, Film and Television papers seemed like a fun choice in amongst English, Sociology, Philosophy, and Art History. As it turned out, the Film and Television papers were the most engaging and fun, and that drove me into doing a Masters in Creative and Performing Arts, specialising in writing and directing for film. After graduation, my first paying gig in the industry was a small assistant editor role through one of my tutors. She connected me with a post-production supervisor who was helping facilitate a short film cutting from his house. It was exciting to be working on something film-related and I got paid a sweet $100.

Meanwhile, another contact through the same tutor, got in touch looking for an assistant editor on a children’s television drama. This would be my first dip into a longer form of drama, as well as a show that had quite a few VFX to contend with. It was at this point that I really began to get hooked into post-production. Even though pickings can sometimes be slim in our industry, I made the conscious decision to only do drama work which is where my passion lay. I was in a position in my life where I had very little financial out-goings and personal commitments so I let myself be open to opportunities, even if they weren’t my original plan. I was in no hurry to make the leap into editing and was hungry to get as much experience as I could.

Editor Jochen FitzHerbert editing Emmy Award-winning series ‘INSiDE’ from his home / Photo: Supplied

It was about five years of assisting work before my break into editing happened. I had assisted on a couple seasons of Power Rangers and one of the regular editors was starting back late due to a scheduling conflict. The returning producer offered me those blocks and I made the quick decision to make the official move to being an editor. Power Rangers was a great first show to cut as I was familiar with it from my assisting time there, but also it had the resources to have a big post team and manageable schedule.

The jump from assistant to editor is one of the trickiest things to manoeuvre. You forge a career as an assistant and work with a bunch of people around town, building a reputation only to have to turn on that and say that you are not that thing any more. Work can be slow in this transitional period but if you dig around enough there are little jobs you can flex your muscles on like low-budget web series or assemble editing.

As the Power Rangers season was finishing, Spartacus started shooting in Auckland. No, I did not get hired for Spartacus, but a lot of great local editors did which meant there was a gap in the industry. It was a perfect storm where the industry was booming and everyone was busy so there was room for people to step up. One of the directors I had just worked with on Power Rangers was going onto one of the said local dramas and he thankfully took me with him. From here, I felt I had my foot in the door.

My advice to anyone starting out now is don’t feel like you have to hurry. Make every job a learning experience and forge lasting connections with people you work with. You never know where or who your next job might come from.

 


About Jochen FitzHerbert

Jochen is an award-winning film and television editor with a long list of credits including Creamerie, Mystic, Power Rangers and The Gulf, for which he won an NZTV Award for Best Editing in a Drama in 2020. He also edited the international Emmy winning series INSiDE, which also won him a Webfest Award for Best Editing.

jochenfitzherbert.com

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.

Factual content makes up a great deal of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Screen Industry — stories framed by real people, places, and events. What does it take for an editor to work on anything from a large scale factual series to a one off documentary?

Join us to hear from an experienced panel of factual editors. In this session, moderated by editor and composer Chris Anderton (NZ Wars, Georgie Girl, Salam Rugby), editors Huhana Ruri-Panapa, Phil Holt and Anthea Ede Smith will discuss their careers and the many aspects of their work.

It will be packed full of nuggets of wisdom,  sure to be useful for you, whether you’re an established editor or embarking on your own journey and looking to get a foot in the door.

WHEN: Wed 20 April, 7pm – 8:30pm. The panel will kick-off at 7:15pm
WHERE: Horse & Trap – Loft, 3 Enfield St, Mount Eden, Auckland

Cash bar

Face masks are required to be worn indoors by all attendees. We may shift the event to Zoom at the same date and time if COVID-19 cases are a concern and will notify all registrants.

Parking: Horse & Trap customer carpark and free on-street parking nearby.

DEGANZ members – Free
Non-members – $10
Please register below

Our Payment and Cancellation Policy

Panellists:

Huhana Ruri-Panapa has a long list of credits from feature documentary, television and short films, with short film Waiting screening at TIFF in 2017. Recently she has edited Waiata Anthems, The Walkers and Toa Hunter Gatherer.

Phil Holt has been editing for 20+ years and has edited a diverse range of shows from Motorway Patrol to MasterChef. Most recently, he has edited Moving Houses, hosted by Clarke Gayford, and the relaunch of Grand Designs with new host Tom Webster for TV1.

Anthea Ede Smith has worked in Television in various roles for over 20 years, primarily in post-production. She had the honour of working at Maori Television on staff for its first 6 years, before leaving to freelance as an editor. Recently she has edited First Responders and Lap of Luxury, which she worked on, in part or entirely, from home.

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