View this email in your browser
    December 2019 Edition  

A Message from the President

Greetings ACS Members, friends and colleagues,

As the late great John Lennon said:
So this is Christmas……” 

...and this will be our last National Newsletter for 2019. The ACS, as we have come to know and love it, has seen a number of changes over the last 12 months, but we remain steadfast in our aims to continue the growth and reputation of the Society globally. Our members have continued to have success here at home and internationally, which is a sure sign of more positive activity in the future.

We have witnessed much, none more so than the plethora of those young cinematographers emerging and taking on those projects that require more responsibility and people management. This area has become vitally important given new technologies and smaller budgets that require a more flexible approach, of course without losing any visual quality.

I have had a love affair with the industry, particularly working in the camera department for over 50 years, and it encourages me greatly when I can witness young women and men being encouraged to make the camera department their calling. It’s true that if you work hard, pay attention, show respect and never turn up late, your career will prosper and the long term prognosis is always a good one.

We have become more aware of the gender parity, or lack thereof, and we are making ground to fix this problem, but the Society cannot do it alone and we need the help of our members to remain diligent. 

Likewise with any of our members who are doing it tough, and for any reason may be finding life difficult. Please watch, listen and reach out to anyone who you feel needs a friendly and encouraging word, or maybe someone to just listen …….. sometimes that’s all it takes.

Most of all we are a Society of like-minded people who believe fervently in what we do and how best to do it, but that doesn’t mean that only one opinion is right, all opinions matter. It is our ability to see and understand both sides that really matters, as it opens are eyes to new ways of doing things.  By nature Cinematographers are open minded and collaborative, and their opinions are sought after and respected. 

This diversity of our visions has been demonstrated yet again in the ACS Awards this year.  Work across the many genres the Society represents was truly outstanding, and made the job of all the judging panels even more difficult than usual.  

In March next year I will be attending the IMAGO INTERNATIONAL AWARDS FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY which will be held in Brussels, where the ACS entries for those prestigious IMAGO Awards 2020 will be:

  • Feature Film - SONG LANG  - Bob Nguyen ACS (Victoria)
  • TV Drama -VICTORIA  - Denson Baker ACS NZCS (WA)
  • Student Cinematography - LANGUAGE  - Jack Davies (SA)
  • Emerging Cinematographer – WEST OF SUNSHINE - Thom Neal

Let’s not forget our ACS National Awards to be held in Canberra at the National Gallery on Saturday, 16th May 2020, hosted by the ACT Branch hot on the heels of their inaugural Branch Awards. This will be a fantastic event and there will be other events at the same time, so put the dates in your diary, on your smart watch thingy, just anywhere so you don’t forget. Here is the current schedule at this time.

(as at 20th December 2019)

Thursday 14 May 2020

ACS Presidents and delegates arrive in Canberra

Friday 15 May

AGM for Presidents and delegates 9.00am - 5.00pm
Q&A Screening 6.30pm - 10pm

Saturday 16 May

10.30am - 1.00pm “Meet the Nominees” – LOCATION TBA 

Sunday 17 May

Post Awards Brunch/BBQ/ Networking opportunity for members, sponsors and guests. 11.00am - 2.00pm
PM - Delegates depart Canberra

On a very serious note, we are more than aware of the terrible time being had by our farmers and the drought, along with the torrid bushfires that have caused so much heartbreak and grief. While we sit in front of the news coverage and watch in disbelief, share a thought for the work of our various news gathering crews and journalists, many of whom are right there on the front line, so that we can understand and come to terms with the actions of the brave fire fighters and those affected.

In closing, may I wish each and every one of you a holiday season with family and friends. My thanks to you all for allowing me to lead such a fine Society, one that I am so incredibly proud of, and my sincere thanks to all those who have directly been a great source of assistance and support.

Stay safe……...
Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President

Industry guilds decry government snub to arts and fear further funding cuts

Australia’s screen industry craft guilds have decried the Federal Government’s abrupt decision to fold the Department of Communications and the Arts into a new super ministry, omitting the Arts, as an insult to the industry.

They say the removal of ‘Arts’ from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications signals a fundamental disregard for the arts and arts education in Australia and a lack of respect for the vital role a federal Arts department plays in maintaining a national arts policy and supporting creative industries.

Article by Don Groves, READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

New Video Shows How Sam Mendes, Roger Deakins Shot '1917' to Appear as One Continuous Take

The director wanted to create a real-time experience for his WWI drama.

Universal released a behind-the-scenes video on the making of Sam Mendes’ upcoming WWI drama 1917, which provides the first look at the way it was uniquely lensed to appear as one continuous take to create a real-time experience.

In the story two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission: In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers — Blake’s own brother among them. 

Filming largely on location in England, Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins created long takes with camera movement, choreographed to appear as one continuous take for an immersive, real-time experience. Respected director of photography Deakins — who won an Oscar for Blade Runner 2049 and was nominated an additional 13 times — previously worked with Mendes on Skyfall, Revolutionary Road and Jarhead.

The filmmaking team also includes editor Lee Smith, who won an Oscar for Dunkirk and previously edited Mendes’ Spectre; and production designer Dennis Gassner, an Academy Award winner for Bugsy who collaborated with Mendes on numerous films including Road to Perdition, Jarhead and Spectre.

With a screenplay by Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917 also stars Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch. It opens in limited release Dec. 25 and wide Jan. 10.



Screen News hit the AACTAs red carpet to speak to the Aussie talent being honoured for their work on television, at the cinema and online.

8 out of the 9 scripted and documentary feature and series categories were won by titles funded by Screen Australia:

Best Comedy Program – The Letdown*

Best Children’s Program – Bluey*

Best Online Drama or Comedy – Robbie Hood*

Best Drama Series – Total Control*

Best Telefeature or Mini Series – Lambs of God*

Best Documentary or Factual Program – Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds

Best Documentary - The Australian Dream*

Best Indie Film – Buoyancy*

Best Film – The Nightingale*

*Screen Australia funded

The Arts delivers huge economic value but most importantly it's the heart of our culture, our community and our humanity.

The decision by the Morrison government to axe the Department of the Arts from February 1 next year is symbolic of its wilful neglect and lack of respect for the arts.
Take action to win respect for the arts: 

The saga of a criminal gang family in Birmingham, England, between the two World Wars has moved into darker political territory in Season 5, but Peaky Blinders keeps its stylish assault on the senses unabated.

Continuity with a twist was the creative touchstone for Cinematographer Si Bell, who picked up series photography from the template laid down by George Steel and preserved by DPs Laurie Rose, Cathal Watters, and Simon Dennis. “I’ve worked with (director) Anthony Byrne a number of times before and we knew we wanted to do justice to the ‘Peaky look,’ such as using shafts of light and darkness set by George (Steel) in Season 1,” Bell says. “The big thing creatively that we wanted to do was a lot of developing shots with minimal coverage to tell the story.
Read full SHOT ON RED Peaky Blinders article

2nd AC Course - Presented by the ACS Victorian Branch

The 2nd AC course is back again in 2020 with applications open now.

About: An intensive 9 Day practical and theoretical course designed for intermediate or beginner skill sets. Held in Melbourne’s leading rental houses, using all the equipment you will find on set today. The course covers industry standard best practice techniques and the latest workflow practices.

All course lecturers are leading, active industry professionals including DPs, 1st ACs, 2nd AC/Clapper Loaders, Data Wranglers and Camera Technicians. Some of the lecturers may even be your future employers!

(9 Course Days)
January 28, 29, 30, 31, then resumes...
February 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of 2020

For more info click the link below.

Course Info
 ACMI announces three-year $240,000 Mordant Family Moving Image Commission
“To call it an honour, is to almost downplay how overwhelming it is to make this work real. It has been a dream brewing for a long time. I am beyond grateful for the support of ACMI, the Mordant, the City of Melbourne and Web Directions in their trust, and exceptional support of this strange and wild ride." - Stanislava Pinchuk
ACMI is proud to announce the launch of the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists. The new commissioning program is worth $240,000 over three years and will support artists to create moving image works on a subject of contemporary interest.

The new commissioning series builds on the success of the Mordant Family VR Commission, which was awarded to acclaimed Australian artists Dr. Christian Thompson, Joan Ross and Tully Arnot to each produce their debut VR work. Over the next three years ACMI will invest $660,000 into their moving image commissioning programs.  

The recipient of the inaugural $80,000 Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young artists is Stanislava Pinchuk.  “When the commissioning panel met with Stanislava and saw her presentation we were inspired by the thoughts she had about women in places of conflict and telling those important stories.”  “Catriona and I are delighted to be supporting this new commissioning series at ACMI focused on helping young Australian artists bring critical contemporary stories to an audience.” - Simon Mordant AM  

The commission, created in partnership with Catriona Mordant AM and Simon Mordant AM, the City of Melbourne, John Allsopp from Web Directions, and ACMI, builds on ACMI’s existing commissioning initiatives and will provide artists under 35 the opportunity to realise an ambitious work which deepens and extends their practice.


Ride Like A Girl was developed through Gender Matters and became the highest earning Australian film of 2019

Formed in 2016 and expanded in 2018, the Gender Matters Taskforce is a volunteer-based, advisory body for Screen Australia made up of women working across the Australian screen sector. 

The Taskforce assists the agency to develop pathways, find opportunities and brainstorm solutions, as the broader Australian industry works toward achieving gender parity. Importantly, the members of the Taskforce are connected to the industry beyond Screen Australia’s direct sphere of influence, so are integral in promoting broader industry change.

TASKFORCE 2020-2022

With the recent announcement of Screen Australia’s new Gender Matters 2022 KPI, the agency is calling for expressions of interest for the third iteration of the Taskforce.

The Taskforce will comprise of 10-12 female members, and will meet 3-4 times a year in addition to attending a small number of industry events. Ideally, this iteration of the Taskforce will serve until August 2022 when the current KPI period is complete.

Meeting dates are planned well in advance, and flexibility is provided in terms of member location and diaries.


Screen Australia is specifically seeking members who have:

  • Direct industry experience, including creators, crew, and those working in commissioning, broadcasting, distribution, exhibition, streaming, financing and general management.
  • Represent a range of perspectives, including different experience levels, geographic locations, cultural background and other lived experiences.
  • People who are willing to not only advise Screen Australia, but act beyond Screen Australia’s confines to develop, advocate for and enact change in the broader $3 billion Australian screen industry.

Please note Screen Australia is in regular discussion with state and territory agencies, and because we cannot adequately accommodate a member from each agency in a Taskforce of this limited size, we will not be accepting EOI’s from current staff members/elected representatives from these organisations.

Please email your expression of interest by 10.1.2020


Please email your expression of interest by Friday 10 January 2020 to

Please include the following:

  • Name
  • Your role in the industry and short bio
  • The cohort/s in the industry you are best able to represent
  • Any limitations on your availability to serve on the Taskforce over the next 18-24 months.

And provide a short statement in answer to the below questions:

  • Please describe the value, experience and expertise you can bring to the Taskforce.
  • Please propose some solutions/opportunities you believe you could bring to the Taskforce discussions, and how you could put them into action.

Screen Australia will be in touch with all applicants late January 2020, before announcing the new Taskforce.


“On behalf of Screen Australia’s staff, I want to acknowledge and thank all current and former members of the Gender Matters Taskforce.

When trying to address literally decades of inequity, the task often feels overwhelming. Your ideas, your energy, and your encouragement has been invaluable, particularly in times when the barriers seem insurmountable.

We have a very long road in front of us, but happily there have been wins along the way. But of this I am certain, Screen Australia cannot do this alone.

I would encourage any industry professionals who can help, to please consider lodging an expression of interest to join the Taskforce. We welcome your experience, skill, ideas and determination to propel change for women now and into the future.”

Nerida Moore
Head of Development, Screen Australia


Imogen Banks, Sarah Bishop, Jo Bladen, Fiona Cameron, Corrie Chen, Sasha Close, Sandi Don, Lisa French, Michelle Guthrie, Sophie Hyde, Emma Jensen, Samantha Lang, Deborah Mailman, Sue Maslin, Julie McGauran, Sharon Menzies, Pearl Tan, Miranda Tapsell, Natalie Tran, Deanne Weir, Joanna Werner, Caitlin Yeo

‘Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears’ (Trailer)

Click image below

You know your interests and you've set your goals.

Chosen carefully, the right course will bridge the two and set you on your way.

Whether it's a postgraduate degree, an introductory short course, or something in between, we will help you find your perfect match.

Colour Grading: Colour Science and Calibration
Industry Certificate: Colour Grading (Resolve)
Colour Grading: HDR Colourist Masterclass
Colour Grading: Intro to ACES


DJI - Peugeot Drone Film Festival 2019 - Winner Video

In Frankfurt, Germany, French car manufacturer Peugeot has announced the winner of its 2019 drone film festival. The jury chose the film Calçada Portuguesa by Bernardo Bacalhau, which combines stunts on a BMX bike with aerial cinematography in Lisbon, Portugal.

Portuguese filmmaker Bernardo Bacalhau beat over 800 other competitors to take first place. He won the grand prize: A bundle of DJI equipment, two Peugeot Traveler MPVs for six weeks’ travelling and 5,000 euros to put towards his next adventure.

DJI and luxury hotel Jumeirah Frankfurt, where the event took place, were co-sponsors of the festival.

The winner for the Peugeot Drone Festival 2019 was chosen on November 9th 2019 at the Jumeirah Hotel in Frankfurt. We had over 800 participants from more than 20 different countries and have seen some amazing footage! We present to you the winner video from Bernardo Bacalhau from Portugal.

Inside the Secret Project to Boost Behind-the-Scenes Jobs for Women in Hollywood 

by Stephanie Theobald, Hollywood Insider

Rafy/Columbia Pictures
Executive producers Natalia Anderson (left) and Bea Sequeira flank director Zoe Lister-Jones on the set of Sony’s 'The Craft' reboot.

A dedicated agency, a new pool of female tech talent created with Shondaland and even a self-help book are turning the tide: "I still hear — from both genders — about women not having enough strength."

When Zoe Lister-Jones talks about her "crazy utopian dream," the Life in Pieces star is not referring to the ideal of 50 percent female representation among film directors. The actor-filmmaker, who just wrapped a remake of The Craft, is referring to the lack of women on below-the-line crews — in lighting, sound, electrics, camera or even transport — something that even a cursory glance at any closing credits makes abundantly clear.

Lister-Jones made headlines in 2017 for her directorial debut, Band Aid, with a crew made up entirely of women. This year, she wrote and directed Woman Up, an ABC comedy pilot using "approximately 75 percent women department heads." She also brought to The Craft several of Band Aid's female department heads, including in cinematography, editing, production design and art direction. "There's still not enough awareness around below-the-line women in non-traditional roles," she says.

Read full article HERE


Hi everyone,

It was an opportunity to good to miss. A visit to "city of angels", Los Angeles, and go to the ASC Clubhouse. Organised by ACS National President Ron Johanson ACS I was most welcomed by Alex, Sharon and all the fabulous staff at the clubhouse. As part of my tour I was introduced to Billy’s Bar. The bar named in honour of legendary cinematographer and former National ASC President William A. Fraker ASC. 

The bar has been part of the clubhouse for decades, named “Billy’s” but there is a new guest. A friend has returned. 

The Panavision box that was Billy’s camera assistants' most important case on set. 

It is Billy’s  ‘American Bar’, His personal bar that had to be on set and always ready to use. 

This box was found in a house that was sold in the United States, unbeknown to the ASC and the Fraker family. The new owners who had bought the house found the box whilst clearing up their property and noticing the markings on it decided to contact the American Society of Cinematographers and this has not only been given to the Society but now proudly sits in Billy’s Bar. 

Engraved on the top of the box is: 

“Super Panabar” and then a second engraving stating. 
“CAUTION- Do not tamper with the contents of this box”. 

Billy enjoyed a drink on set and now cinematographers will enjoy a drink in Billy’s Bar with another great story.

Kind regards,
Kevin Hudson. 

The Australian Cinematographers Society 
Nicola Daley ACS
as our current instagram host.


The nominees for the 9th AACTA International Awards, honouring the best achievements in film excellence, regardless of geography, across seven categories. 

A total of 15 films received nominations this year with THE IRISHMAN leading the way with six nominations, followed by ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD with five nominations, then JOKER and PARASITE both receiving four nominations each. The four noteworthy films also compete for the International AACTA Award for Best Film alongside Australian film THE KING, which recently won four Awards at the 2019 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel in Sydney.

The winners of the Awards will be announced in Los Angeles at the 9th AACTA International Awards Ceremony on Friday 3 January 2020 (PST) / Saturday 4 January 2020 (AEDT).

Full list of nominees:

Gender Diversity Placement Announcement - Bailey Mitchinson on 'The Power of the Dog'

In January, NZCS associate member Bailey Mitchinson will join the camera crew on the Jane Campion directed film The Power of the Dog for a shoot in Auckland and the South Island.

Mitchinson will be mentored as camera trainee by the camera crew under 1st AC (B Cam) Ben Rowsell and Cinematographer Ari Wegner ACS.   

Wegner has long been a campaigner to increase the numbers of women working in camera, lighting and grip departments. She is fully supportive of Bailey’s mentorship and anticipates a very diverse range of circumstances on the shoot.

Get the full details HERE

AC MAG - DECEMBER 2019 Edition out now


National Major Sponsor
FujiFilm logo

National Platinum Sponsors
Atomos logo        Black Magic Design logo        Canon logo        LaCie logo        Panasonic logo
Panavision logo        Silver Track Digital logo        Sony logo

National Gold Sponsors
AFTRS logo        Arri Australia logo        C R Kennedy & Company PTY LTD logo        Gear Head logo        Kayell Australia logo
Leitz Cine Wetzlar logo        Lemac logo        Showreel Finder logo        Sun Studios logo        The Post Lounge logo
VA logo        Well Above logo

National ACS CineKids Sponsor
Videocraft logo

National Silver Sponsors
Miller Australia logo        Rosco logo        Rotor Head logo

National Bronze Sponsors
Blonde Robot logo        Camerahire logo        Dragon Image logo        EE Group logo        Kino Flo logo
RED logo        Sura logo        Vimo Cine logo

National Supporters
AACTA logo        Black Bishop logo        MPIBS logo        NFSA logo        Stage & Screen logo
The Production Book logo

Australian Cinematographers Society
Level 2, 26 Ridge Street, NORTH SYDNEY, NSW 2060

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.