ACS Short Ends E News - November 2011

From the President

Greetings ACS colleagues,

The great thing about being National President is letting you know all the good news. This month I can tell you that the long awaited ACS book, The Shadowcatchers is now available for pre ordering, with delivery in late March 2012. I've ordered mine and I couldn't be happier!

The ACS is providing a special opportunity for members and friends - ahead of general release - to secure one of a limited number of copies of The Shadowcatchers: a history of cinematography in Australia. This stylish and beautifully produced 288-page coffee table book contains over 380 photographs of working cinematographers taken on film sets from 1901 to the present, along with a ground-breaking historical text, biographies and anecdotes from some of the great characters of our industry. Only 2000 of the standard edition of the book will be published, and we know they will go fast. Please note that the hardbound collector's edition (signed by the Society's Academy Award winners) will be limited to 250 numbered copies, so if you want to reserve one for yourself or a friend be sure order asap as there is already international interest.

There will be 2 versions available, a numbered, hard cover Limited Edition of 250 copies at $250 per book inc. GST, signed by the ACS Oscar winners, and a soft cover Edition of 2,000 copies at $66 per book inc. GST. Postage for both editions will be an additional cost.

Order forms will be available at the ACS State and Territory Awards Nights, or you can order from the link below:

Click here to order your copy of The Shadowcatchers »

Whatever you do, don't miss the opportunity to own your own copy of this historic book.

A Conversation with John Seale ACS ASC

KODAK & the ACS presents: A conversation with John Seale ACS ASC, with Andrew Urban of Urban Cinefile

Sunday, November 6, commencing at 4.00pm at the ACS National Headquarters: Level 2, 26 Ridge St. North Sydney.

On the eve of being presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Plus Camerimage Festival in Poland in late November, we trace John's extraordinary body of work through his multi-award-winning films, exploring how he works and how he adapts to the changing needs of cinema today.

The conversation will be illustrated by several clips from some of his iconic works for rare insights into what makes an Oscar winning cinematographer. How does he deal with difficult directors? What are some of the personal milestones of his career? How is filmmaking changing now? What is his golden rule - or rules?

We'll also invite John to share some anecdotes from the set... in confidence, of course.

Places are limited to 50 attendees so please book via the ACS website to reserve your seat.

Entry for ACS Members is $15 and non-members $30. Cash payment for reserved seating at the door.

Thanks to Andrew Urban for giving the ACS the opportunity to be involved in this special event, and to Kodak for assisting in bringing it to fruition.

Click here to book tickets for the John Seale Retrospective »

New Editor for Australian Cinematographer Magazine

As you are all aware, our AC Magazine Editor, Butch Calderwood OAM ACS has decided to retire. We are all extremely grateful for the amazing contribution that Butch has made to the success of the magazine.

I can tell you today our new AC Magazine Editor will be renowned Director/ Cinematographer and former Queensland stalwart and now Tasmanian, Richard Marks OAM.

Dick has been a supporter of the Society for many, many years and is a Life Member of the Society. He will bring a new approach to AC Magazine, one that I'm sure will have broad appeal.

I can also announce that Nicola Daley will become an Associate Editor. A very warm ACS welcome to you both. There will be a thank you to Butch and a welcome to Dick event at the ACS HQ in the near future. Watch this space.

ACS State & Territory Awards

ACS Awards happen throughout November. I ask you, one and all, to support the Society and our hugely talented cinematographers by booking your tickets on the ACS website for the respective ACS State & Territory Awards. The dates are as follows:

WA/SA: November 5 at the Royal Perth Yacht Club
NSW/ACT: November 12 at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney
QLD/NT: November 19 at the Tivoli, Brisbane
VIC/TAS: November 26 at the ANZ Pavilion, Melbourne


Click here to book tickets to the State Awards » - 2011 State Awards Booking Form

On the subject of Awards, I want to thank all the committees from all the Branches, who work so diligently to bring these Awards to us every year. It seems to be left to a hard-working few to organise judging sessions, collating entries, ticket sales, catering and all the other details that go into these Awards presentations.

To all the judges, who give up at least 3 days to sit and view the outstanding work submitted by our ACS members, a huge thank you from us all.

To the WA Branch, President Jason Thomas and the WA committee, I wish you every success for this coming Saturday evening and the first hosting by the WA Branch of the SA/WA Awards. It promises to be an absolute cracker!!

"Oranges and Sunshine" Q&A

The ACS and the Australian Screen Sound Guild, in association with the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), invites ACS members and their guest to the Samsung AFI/ACCTA Festival of Film screening of Oranges and Sunshine and Q&A with cinematographer Denson Baker ACS.

The screening will take place on Saturday, 5 November at 6.45pm @ Hoyts EQ, Moore Park NSW and will be followed by a Q&A, with cinematographer Denson Baker ACS & Andrew Plain, supervising sound editor of the film. Tim Stackpool will moderate the session.

We have 50 passes available so please RSVP to Ron Johanson ACS.

email the ACS President, Ron Johanson ACS »

ACS Certificate of Competency

Acting upon a suggestion by Mark Wareham ACS, the Society has introduced a Certificate of Competency.

This certificate is aimed at members of the Society who have the opportunity to work as an attachment on a project, but have nothing "official" to show for it. The certificate will be endorsed by, the National President and the Director of Photography of the particular project.

If you believe you qualify for one of these certificates, please contact either myself, or your assigned Director of Photography.

email the ACS President, Ron Johanson ACS »


In the October E News, I made the statement that John Bean ACS was the first cinematographer to receive a posthumous Accreditation.

I was incorrect, as Will Gibson ACS had previously received his Accreditation posthumously. My apologies if I have caused any unnecessary distress to Hugh's family and friends.


Congratulations to the following ACS members for their outstanding cinematography on currently released films:

David Burr ACS for The Cup
Robert Humphreys ACS for The Hunter
Ian Baker for Eye of the Storm
Denson Baker ACS for Oranges & Sunshine
Peter Menzies Jr. ACS for Abduction
Damian Wyvill ACS for Caught Inside.

Go see them all, if you haven't already. Don't forget Drift and Red Dog, shot by Geoffrey Hall ACS.

Shooting overseas are:

Dion Beebe ACS ASC - Green Hornet (Completed) & Gangster Squad,
Greig Fraser - Snow White and the Huntsman
Stephen Windon ACS - G.I. Joe 2
Danny Ruhlmann ACS - The Raven (Completed)
Dean Semler ACS ASC - In the Land of Blood and Honey (Completed)
Brad Shield ACS - Avengers (Second Unit DOP - Completed), One Shot (Second Unit DOP)

Film Camera Production Ceases

Now, for some bad news.

"While the debate still rages over whether or not film is dead, ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have quietly ceased production of film cameras within the last year, to focus exclusively on design and manufacture of digital cameras.

That's right: someone, somewhere in the world is now holding the last film camera ever to roll off the line."

Has the world gone mad? What about the labs? Anyone thought about that? Read more here:

Article: Film Fading to Black »


My December report will come to you all from Poland, where I'll be attending Camerimage 2011. There will be much to see and to report on, including the presentation to John Seale ACS ASC of his Lifetime Achievement Award.

So until thenÂ…
Ron Johanson ACS
National President

Sponsor Spotlight: Panavision

Panavision Australia has operated as a supplier to the film and television industry in Australia for over thirty years.

Panavision Australia has supplied equipment to over 650 locally produced films including such classics as Breaker Morant, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Mad Max, Babe and Crocodile Dundee. Panavision's TV series credits include Water Rats, Farscape, McLeod's Daughters, Underbelly, Packed to the Rafters and Rush.

An Epic Step into the Future with Panavision

We are proud to announce that the Red Epic cameras supplied by Panavision to the film Mental are the first Epics to be used on an Australian feature.

Mental is P.J. Hogan's Queensland-based semi-autobiographical film, starring Toni Collette and Rebecca Gibney and shot by Don McAlpine ACS ASC.

Don said, "Mental is a script by P.J. Hogan that I read six years ago and decided I must shoot. PJ's development of performance on camera indicated that a digital camera might mitigate the high cost of stock. Using my long-term relationship with Panavision, I was able to secure two Red Epic cameras for this production. The Epic, now with a 5K chip, also enabled me to use a 2.4 anamorphic crop similar to using a Super 35 crop on film."

Commenting on the reliability of the cameras and his relationship with Panavision Don said, "The cameras have performed very well. We were very lucky that Panavision, with their extensive global reach and local inventory, were able to supply me with two cameras at very short notice and thus help a production with a limited budget get made. Panavision were able to bring all the elements together and integrate the technology into their existing infrastructure without a hitch - in large part due to their two excellent and very experienced Queensland-based engineers. They also helped me with my request to use Panavision Primo Zooms and Primes that I have used so successfully many times before. I have a long and successful history of working with Panavision and I find that they always over deliver and do whatever it takes to help make a production happen. I also find that during a shoot their support and after sales service is second to none."

VALE - Barry John Cross 1942-2011

It is with great sadness that I advise you of the passing of Melbourne cinematographer, Barry Cross.

Barry was instrumental in the careers of a number of our ACS members, including John Wheeler ACS. He will be remembered by many as Chief Cameraman at Channel 0 and also at AAV, both companies based in Melbourne.

Barry passed away peacefully on October 27. He was an inspirational and unique character who made an impression on everyone he met.

His funeral will be held in St Peter and Paul's Catholic Church, cnr Dorcas and Montague Sts, South Melbourne, on Thursday Nov. 3, 2011 commencing at 10.30am.

The thoughts of all ACS members are with Barry's family and friends at this extremely sad time.

Hasselblad 500 For Sale


Hasselblad 500 C/M Black body
50mm F4 Carl Zeiss Distagon Lens
80mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon Lens
150mm F4 Carl Zeiss Distagon Lens
3 x 120 Film Backs
Polaroid Back
Vivitar zoom thyristor flash
Camera Case
$2,500 ONO

Contact Calvin Gardiner ACS - 0414 438 202

ARRI ALEXA Goes on Location in WA

TVC for Muzz Buzz Coffee: Focus Puller Rebecca Crowe, Director of Photography Greg Knight ACS, Director Martin Wilson

Recently, WA-based Location Equipment decided to make the move to the ARRI ALEXA and co-owner Greg Knight ACS explained why. "We have a fleet of cameras and decided to get the ARRI ALEXA because we saw it was rapidly being accepted as one of the best 35mm digital motion picture cameras on the market."

Location Equipment also purchased ARRI Zeiss Ultra Primes for use on all the company's PL mount cameras.

Commenting on the ARRI kit, Knight continued, "We like the quality of the image the ALEXA camera produces. We also like the simplicity of operation via the easy menu system, as do DOPs and camera assistants. The SxS card Pro Res recording means post production houses find it very easy to handle and manipulate."

Location Equipment predominantly rent their ARRI ALEXA cameras and Ultra Prime lenses out for shooting TVCs and drama productions. Knight added, "Whatever the location and conditions the ALEXA performs very well and feedback from customers is always positive. They are always impressed with the camera's ability to handle highlights and the 'smooth' look of the images. We also believe it is very good value for money. It provides great images and our customers have confidence in its reliable performance. With the ALEXA you don't have to make excuses for any weaknesses in areas such as rolling shutter and colour depth. Being located in Western Australia can cause problems on many levels in this industry but, despite our distance from Sydney, we are very pleased with the backup we get from ARRI."

A Postcard from Brad Shield ACS

Brad Shield ACS sends a postcard from Pittsburgh, PA, where he is shooting 2nd unit on a film called "One Shot."

Read Brad's postcard on the ACS website »

A Postcard from Damian Wyville ACS

Damian Wyville ACS sends a postcard from the DI suite at FSM, where he is currently grading "Goddess," a musical romantic comedy he shot in Sydney and Tasmania earlier this year.

Click here to read Damian's postcard on the ACS website »

A Postcard from Dan Macarthur

Dan Macarthur sends a postcard from India, where he is shooting a Bollywood comedy zombie film.

Click here to read Dan's postcard on the ACS website »

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