Cutting a Long Story Short: An Interview with Editor Roberta Horslie

By Dyke-Walker, Frayne | Metro Magazine, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Cutting a Long Story Short: An Interview with Editor Roberta Horslie


Dyke-Walker, Frayne, Metro Magazine


Roberta Horslie ASE is an energetic, capable, intelligent, generous and passionate film editor and stalwart of the Victorian ASE. She first came to my attention amid glowing reports from various directors who had worked with her in Melbourne--particularly from Julie Money, director of the feature film Envy.

At the inaugural ASE Accreditation function at NIDA it was inspirational to see, in the flesh and under the unusual glare of the spotlight, the first twelve talented editors receive their alphabet. But when Roberta's award was accepted in absentia by her partner in life he said he was 'going to register her as a charity!'. There was an immediate empathic response from the audience. It had touched a raw nerve; I wanted to meet this kindred editor.

Some of her credits include:

--Many ads including ten years on the ground-breaking TAC campaigns, starting in 1989 with 'If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot' (Director John Lyons).

--Setting up The Cutting Room in Melbourne at a very tender age.

--Thriller. Envy with director Julie Money.

--Award-winning Cottons ad 'Workmen'.

--Outback comedy series Russell Coight's All Aussie Adventures.

--Many short films, the latest being with director Emma Freeman.

Frayne Dyke-Walker: This is an action packed variety of creative and technical challenges to have packed into a still young life as an editor. Tell us about some of your absolute favourites.

Roberta Horslie: Editing Envy was a great experience. Director Julie Money has a wonderful way of working with her team and getting the best out of us. She is totally dedicated but she also sees life outside of film as being just as important. Working hard, she made sure we had personal time away from the film, to go to the cinema, enjoy some food and wine, talk about other projects, do the everyday stuff, which meant we came in with new ideas and a fresh perspective. Living and working in Sydney with Julie and her husband (writer and one of the actors), I was privileged to see what goes on when trying to get an independent film onto the screen: the meetings, the promises, the let downs, the highs of the first screening, reading the resulting audience surveys, the talks with overseas distribution companies, the festivals and being in a variety of audiences with their different reactions. Quite a holistic experience on top of the editing!

Julie Money has said,

It is Roberta's passion for editing that sustains her. She is overwhelmingly generous with her time, knowledge and creativity. She is always open to new ideas, new people and new technology. Roberta's two most common expressions are: 'to cut a long story short'--which is very useful for an editor given the amount of material they often are faced with--and, 'I'm just triple checking' which again encapsulates her great thoroughness and attention to detail. …

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