State of SAGE 2015

Read our full end-of-year report as a PDF, available for download here.

2015 was a year of consolidation and growth in almost all our areas of work. Thank you for your support in 2015!

This year we organised six events:

Managing Multi-projection, presented by Catherine Meyburgh S.A.G.E. and Žana Marović at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. They discussed their collaboration in creating artist William Kentridge’s Refusal of Time exhibition, with music by composed by Philip Miller. Refusal of Time is a multi-projection art installation commissioned for dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel. This event was repeated in April at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town.

We honoured our 2014 acronym recipients, Kathy Pienaar and Khalid Shamis during a special acronym evening social event in March.

In June we presented a discussion with producer Steven Markovitz and editor Khalid Shamis S.A.G.E. about the making and editing of Beats of the Antonov, at the Encounters International Documentary Festival.

Keep Your Editor Close was the title of our panel discussion at the Durban Film Festival (DIFF) with producer Sarah Blecher, editor Nic Costaras and sound designer and re-recording mixer Jim Petrak. Melissa Parry S.A.G.E. was the facilitator. They discussed the advantages of involving post-production professionals from the first phases of a production and how their meaningful inclusion improves a film’s technical workflow and narrative process.

Then in September we had a special screening of William Kentridge’s multi-projected installation of short films for the Istanbul Biennale, the Beijing Biennale and London's Marian Goodman Gallery were screened at  the William Kentridge Studio. The works were produced through the collaboration of Žana Marović, Janus Fouché and Gavan Eckhart, with composer Philip Miller.

As for the big question – which editing software to go with – a surprising 11 of these job submissions requested the venerable FCP 7 as there editing system. Avid Media Composer received the same 11 requests, while Premiere Pro five and FCP X only two. This debate was also conducted on our Facebook page, where Premiere Pro received the most recommendations, followed by Avid. In May, Screen Africa published an article about this hotly debated topic, and many of our members were interviewed and quoted.

On the benefits side, we negotiated a few special offers for our members, of which the newest offer is a 7% discount at DeskStand.

As a member of SASFED, the umbrella body of TV and Film production professionals, SAGE engaged with other SASFED member organisations,  the SABC, NFVF, the DTI, MAPP-SETA and the Department of Communication. At these meetings, we represented the needs and goals of the post production profession.

In addition, we submitted recommendations to the Department of Trade and Industry and the SABC regarding copyright, repeats and royalties for editors and sound designers.

We ran our second annual South African post-production survey, which covered editors’ and producers’ experiences in 2014. We also launched our job offer reporter for editors and a job submission form for producers, which will soon give us a much better look at real-world conditions and pay.

We also adjusted our rate card, published two blog posts about subtitling practice (1, 2), compiled a document detailing the employment nuances of employees versus independent contractors, and have recently released our contract for independent contractors, to be on our website soon.

Our membership grew to 146, a new record! Our website had over 25,000 page views, another new record.

We sent out 41 job submissions, offering various positions for post-production in Gauteng, Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

We recently concluded our annual SAGE Acronym judging and are pleased to award Kerryn Assaizky as this year’s recipient.

In 2016 we plan to launch a mentorship programme, focus on royalties for editors who contribute to the creative process, drive transformation initiatives and interact even more with industry bodies like the NFVF, SABC and the DTI. We would also like to host more social events and screenings, so if you have worked on a project and would like to screen it, please let us know. We are also planning to engage with the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) to create an award for Best Editing. The American Cinema Editors launched an international petition to campaign for more recognition at Film Festivals, and they have been actively pursuing this issue with DIFF for close to five years. If you think this is a worthy cause, consider signing the ACE petition.

Remember that you can contact us at any time with problems, feedback, suggestions, comments or any ideas about how SAGE can add value to your career as an editor.  We are dependent on feedback from our members in order to run SAGE efficiently. 

Also please consider volunteering to assist SAGE in any capacity. We are all working editors who are trying to improve the industry for each other and ourselves. The more you get involved the more we all benefit!

We hope you’ll have a fantastic festive season and see you in 2016!

Kind regards,


Marina du Toit
SAGE Chairperson