Cutting Edge has an impressive portfolio that includes the movies, Australia, Happy Feet Two, Wolverine, the shows, Big Brother, Australian Idol, and commercials for Coke, McDonalds, Holden and BMW.
Starting out in West End with just three people 20 years ago, Cutting Edge now employs more than 100 staff and has offices in Sydney and Tokyo, too. “It was a very different industry back then,” says Cutting Edge CEO Michael Burton. “The techniques for filmmaking were very different to what they are now … technology was evolving much slower than it does these days. We always prided ourselves on having the latest technology and the latest techniques, hence the name Cutting Edge.”
They were certainly on the cutting edge when it came to the start of reality TV in Australia. “We were there at the birth of reality television with Big Brother,” says Michael. “Those styles of shows had been done in Europe before but never in Australia. We did the very first one and here we are 12 years later still working on the ninth series.” Cutting Edge did the post-production work for the first five series of the show and for the last three have provided all the on-site technical resources at Dreamworld where Big Brother is filmed. “Regardless of what you think of the content, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, the thing that I’m most proud about with a show like Big Brother is that it is a really big employer in the industry. For a lot of the crews that are out there, whether they’re working on commercials or features, a show like Big Brother keeps a large proportion of the industry employed. It’s also a fantastic place for bringing through new talent.”
When it comes to feature film work, Michael says that Cutting Edge is generally involved in the post-production and visual effects side of things. ”A lot of visual effects in movies these days are seamless. You don’t see it as visual effects; it’s just part of the movie and most people wouldn’t give it a second thought. I think that’s actually part of the magic of it; you don’t know that it’s an effect, which shows that we’re doing our job really well.”
Michael says one of the company’s greatest strengths has always been the diversity of projects they can take on. In recent times they have been doing more and more for businesses, including websites, phone apps and content for viral marketing. “We see ourselves as creative content providers. We make compelling content that makes people sit up and pay attention. What we’re doing a lot more of now is utilising those skills to help businesses not in the commercial advertising sense but using digital techniques in communications with their staff, with shareholders and also in helping improve business practice … it’s been really interesting for us using our traditional communications and content creation skills to solve other problems.”
Words by Leah Carri | Images supplied by Cutting Edge