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Editor Chia Hsu

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is pleased to (finally) announce DEGNZ member Chia Hsu as the attachment to editor Dan Kircher.

Originally, Chia was to commence her attachment in March of this year when the production of New Zealand feature film Millie Lies Low was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Millie Lies Low is now in post production in Auckland.

“I am really looking forward to observing how Dan approaches editing up close, to learn how he solves problems, and to have a sneak peek at how he works his magic into a film,” said Chia.

She entered post production in mid-2015 as an assistant editor to documentaries, working with veteran filmmakers and editors on films and series, including Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, Yellow is Forbidden and Dark Tourist, among others. Her work includes editing on short film Memory Foam, additional editor on Yellow is Forbidden and The Girl on the Bridge.

Her experiences working on these projects and the exposure steered her towards a career path in film and TV editing.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to be privy to the editing process of a feature drama film,” Chia writes. “How editors communicate and collaborate with directors and producers is an area I wish to gain further insight, and I would also love to know more about the editor’s involvement in the online process and post sound.”

The DEGNZ Drama Editor Attachment Scheme was initiated to give emerging drama editors the opportunity to advance their craft through shadowing and mentoring from an experienced drama editor. Recipients learn through attendance during editing and later, at director, producer and/or funding body screenings, about the critique and response process so vital to the successful creative collaboration required of the feature film editor. The scheme is made possible thanks to funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.

Millie Lies Low is directed by Michelle Savill, and produced by Desray Armstrong and Angela Littlejohn.

View from the Top banner

We are in the midst of election turmoil both here and in the United States.

Pork barrel politics are in full swing here with promises from all sides intended to sway voters.

We are fortunate, though, that the Arts has already received funding from Government due to COVID in the $8 million-dollar Cultural Capability allocation over two years ($2 million each) to New Zealand On Air, the NZFC, the NZ Music Commission and Creative New Zealand.

Additionally, from the total $150 million allocation it’s managing for the Government’s COVID 19 Sector Regeneration Fund for Arts, Culture and Heritage, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage (MCH) is sorting out now how to best spend the other $12 million in Cultural Capability funding. A number of us in the screen sector and from other Creative and Arts-related organisations have been in focus groups with MCH to discuss this.

Participating in these focus groups has made me very aware of how fortunate the screen sector is in comparison to other Arts sectors. There are many creative organisations and individual artists who are barely hanging on in the COVID environment. It was particularly poignant to hear of suicides in the music sector.

Another very clear reminder of the screen sector’s difference for me in these meetings was the fundamental blending of art and commerce that is central to our sector. Our art comes about as the result of tens or hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars in investment to generate a work. The annual budgets of NZ On Air at $150 million, NZFC at $26.4 million and with a New Zealand Screen Production Grant Budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars exhibit this.

In television, there’s no real tension between art and commerce. It’s a business. Everybody knows it. That’s not the case in film. Film still remains the domain of the auteur director, whether they are making an art house film or a Hollywood blockbuster.

Director Christopher Nolan has been given the authorial right by Warner Brothers to bet the bank on a cinema release with the $200 million film Tenet. Why?

Nolan exhibited his artistic talent with his first film Following. His second feature, Memento, on a $9 million-dollar budget grossed $40 million worldwide. His Batman trilogy, Man of Steel, and Interstellar have generated billions. That’s why. Nolan is now an established blockbuster auteur.

Nolan’s debut feature Following was made on a budget of £3,000. Most of the cast and crew were friends of the director, and shooting took place on weekends over the course of a year.

Of course, not everybody who’s a director has the talent or will take the path of Christopher Nolan. But we should celebrate every New Zealand film that gets made whether its self-funded or the beneficiary of NZFC financing.

Sam Kelly and Guy Pigden, two of the latest DEGNZ members to finish films, took different paths to the same result.

Sam’s NZFC funded Savage is knocking it out of the park at the moment, having taken over a million dollars at the box office in two weeks. Guy’s film Older, funded through Pledge Me, had its official premiere last weekend, and is available to stream on Prime Video. Streamer reviews are looking good too.

As well, we have DEGNZ member directors Armagan Ballantyne in production on her sophomore feature Nude Tuesday, Michelle Saville on debut feature Millie Lies Low restarting after a COVID shutdown, Linda Nicol wrapping up on her debut Poppy, and Leanne Pooley with feature documentary Girl On A Bridge, which has finished its cinema run and is now available online.

Even amidst these COVID-created tough times, we have much to celebrate with the success of our members in the feature film arena and the funding our sector’s received.

 

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

DEGNZ

DEGNZ invites emerging drama editors to apply for a Drama Editor Attachment to editor Dan Kircher on feature film Millie Lies Low, directed by Michelle Savill, and produced by Desray Armstrong and Angela Littlejohn.

The DEGNZ Drama Editor Attachment Scheme gives emerging drama editors the opportunity to advance their craft through shadowing and mentoring from an experienced drama editor.

Dan Kircher is a film editor whose feature film credits include The Changeover, directed by Miranda Harcourt and Stuart McKenzie, and Ant Timpson’s Come To Daddy. At the 2014 Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards, he was nominated twice for Best Editor for Everything We Loved and The Dead Lands. He has also cut short films, web series and commercials.

Millie Lies LowWhen a broke and anxiety-ridden architecture grad misses her flight to New York for a prestigious internship, she decides to fake having made it to New York, while lying low in her home town, scrounging for another ticket.

This attachment would suit an experienced assistant editor/editor who has dramatic narrative editing experience on short film, web series, drama or features. The successful candidate will likely have a body of narrative work. The initiative is targeted at editors who want to progress their career into feature film editing.

Its purpose is to allow an emerging drama editor to:

  • learn through attendance during editing, and later at director, producer and or funding body screenings about the critique and response process so vital to the successful creative collaboration required of the feature film editor.
  • get on-the-job feature-editing experience.
  • receive feedback and mentoring from an experienced feature film editor in a safe environment.

The opportunity for the attachment to get limited hands-on cutting experience is possible but entirely at the discretion of the editor, director and producers of the production.

This is a paid Auckland-based attachment and requires the successful candidate, depending on experience and flexibility, to start at the earliest in mid-March. If non-Auckland based, the candidate must cover their own travel and living costs.

The duration of the attachment would be up to a maximum of 20 full days broken down into a mixture of full days and half days over the shoot and post production period. The final schedule will be determined in discussions with the production team and successful candidate.

Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants MUST:

  1. Be a FULL member* of DEGNZ by the application deadline. The successful candidate is also required to be a Full member for the length of their attachment
  2. Be a NZ citizen or permanent resident
  3. Be fully competent with the AVID editing system

* Refers to Full Members on Tiers 1, 2 and 3.

To Apply

Application Deadline: 9AM, Monday 24 February 2020

Send your application in a single PDF to admin@degnz.co.nz with ‘Editor Attachment’ in the subject line.

Your application must include:

  • a maximum 1-page letter on why you would like to do the attachment
  • your CV and filmography, including links to a showreel/video samples that illustrate your dramatic narrative work
  • a completed Editor Attachment Application Cover Sheet.

Download the Editor Attachment Application Cover Sheet

 

Selection will be made by the production. DEGNZ will notify you as to whether or not your application has been successful, but the decision will be final and no further correspondence will be entered into regarding your application.

We look forward to receiving your applications.

 

This attachment is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.