ACS Short Ends E News - March 2012

In This Issue:

- From the President
- Who's Shooting What?
- The Shadowcatchers
- 2012 ACS National Awards
- National Awards Judging
- International Award for Cinematography
- ACS / NFSA John Leake OAM ACS Award for Cinematography
- Sponsor Spotlight - ARRI Australia
- What's Happening @ the HQ
- AC Magazine Preview
- ABC TV Cameraman Wins Top Honour
- Academy Awards Congratulations
- Wastelander Panda
- What a Cinematographer Really Does
- Educators Adopt Sony F3 Camera
- A Postcard from David Eggby ACS in Montreal
- Over The Fence Comedy Film Festival
- Upcoming Courses at AFTRS OPEN
- Sony OLED Monitors Improve Critical Viewing For Global Television

From the President

Greetings ACS colleagues,

It's certainly been another busy time for the ACS.

I've just returned from France where I attended the IMAGO Annual General Assembly. My full report is available online and although quite long, I believe it to be a very comprehensive report on the goings on at IMAGO.

There wasn't a great deal of discussion in regard to Authorship Rights, one of my hobby horses, and this did cause me some concern, particularly given the fact, that at this time, one of our members has been constantly in the courts fighting to have himself recognised as the Author of a particular project. I'm very saddened by this, because I wonder if there was more we could have done to assist him. I can only hope this doesn't happen again, but sadly it might, simply because there is not a great deal in place to protect the disadvantaged individual, should they be a cinematographer, who decides to take it on.

I really hope that sometime in the near future cinematographers will be recognized as co authors of a film.

Click here to read Ron's full IMAGO report on the ACS website »

Until next time,
Ron Johanson ACS
National President

Who's Shooting What?

ACS Historian, Ron Windon ACS has put together the following list of who's shooting what, and where:

- David Eggby ACS: In Montreal, Canada shooting "The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking"
- Stephen Windon ACS: In London as DOP on Universal's "Fast and Furious Six" (working title).
- John Seale ACS ASC: In Namibia, Africa as DOP on "Mad Max - Fury Road"
- Don McAlpine ACS ASC: In New Orleans, USA as DOP on "Ender's Game"
- Dion Beebe ACS ASC: In Los Angeles, USA as DOP on "The Gangster Squad" (in Post Production)
- Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC: In Waikato, New Zealand as DOP on "The Hobbit"
- Simon Duggan ACS ASC: In Sydney completing filming & post as DOP on "The Great Gatsby"
- Peter Menzies Jnr. ACS ASC: In Atlanta USA as DOP on "Killing Season"
- Ross Emery ACS ASC: In Melbourne, Australia as DOP on "I Frankenstein"
- Adam Arkapaw: In Queenstown, New Zealand as DOP on "Top of The Lake"
- Germain McMicking: In Athens, Greece as DOP on "Dead Europe"
- Mark Wareham ACS: in India shooting "Save Your Legs"

The Shadowcatchers

The ACS coffee table book, The Shadowcatchers, is finally with the printers in China and we have been informed that copies of the book will clear customs in Sydney by May 17th at the latest. All hands will be on deck to ensure you receive your long awaited copy soon after that.

Knowing how cinematographers love their blacks, we have opted for five colour printing rather than the usual four to create the rich black backgrounds that will make the book worthy of its name!

The last couple of weeks in May are going to be particularly busy for the book committee, as we dispatch books to those who have already placed their orders, deal with a schedule of interviews, events and reviews organised by our experienced book publicist and -- best of all -- have a great time with all of you who are in town for the big Sydney launch party (details to be announced closer to the time).

Meanwhile, orders keep coming in, especially for the hardcover books - prompted we suspect by the video of the five ACS Academy Award winners signing the pages for the limited collectors' edition.

My thanks to Alexis Castagna, David Burr, David Lewis and Sidat da Silva for producing a lovely record of this event.

If you haven't already seen it, below are links to the video clip and to The Shadowcatchers dedicated website:

Click here to watch the video of The Shadowcatchers book signing »
Order your copy of The Shadowcatchers and read more info on the website. »

2012 ACS National Awards

The 2012 ACS National Awards for Cinematography will be held on Saturday, May 5 at the Manly Pacific Hotel. There will be more details coming soon, so watch this space. I am reliably informed that one of our leading politicians will be gracing us with their presence.

National Awards Judging

Later this month the judging sessions will take place at the ACS HQ for the 2012 ACS National Awards for Cinematography. These promise to be very enthralling sessions, given the standard of all the entries in all categories. Judges confirmed thus far are Ernie Clark ACS, Peter James ACS ASC, David Burr ACS, Alan Cole ACS and Ron Johanson ACS. There will be two independent judges; Mike Seymour & Tony Clark ACS to advise on the Virtual Cinematography category.

International Award for Cinematography

Voting will soon be open for the ACS International Award for Cinematography. This year we will supply you with a number of nominations to choose from. The nominees are listed below, and each has been carefully selected by the International Award Committee. Have your say when voting opens soon.

  • Black Swan - Matthew Libatique ASC
  • True Grit - Roger Deakins BSC ASC
  • The Tree of Life - Emmanuel Lubezki AMC ASC
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Eduardo Serra AFC ASC
  • Jane Eyre - Adriano Goldman
  • Moneyball - Wally Pfister ASC
  • The Ides of March - Phedon Papamichael ASC
  • War Horse - Janusz Kaminski ASC

ACS / NFSA John Leake OAM ACS Award for Cinematography

The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) and the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) will once again afford an emerging cinematographer the opportunity to win a generous cash incentive.

The NFSA ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award will provide a cash prize of $5000 to an emerging cinematographer who is either currently studying cinematography at a tertiary institution or is currently working in the film industry.

The Award is named in honour of Australian Cinematographers Society co-founder and industry icon, John Leake OAM ACS (1927-2009). John began his cinematographic career as a 15-year-old with Movietone News in 1944 before moving on to Supreme Sound Studios. He served as both NSW President and Federal President of the ACS and was the Society's Official Historian until his death.

The winner of the Award, to be announced at the ACS National Awards in Sydney on Saturday May 5, can use the prize for any educational, training, or professional work which will further his or her cinematographic knowledge.

The judging panel will comprise the National President of the Australian Cinematographers Society, two NFSA representatives and two ACS executive members.

"By investing in Australian creativity we hope to encourage our nation's young cinematographers to capture the stories that excite them," said NFSA CEO Michael Loebenstein. "Partnering with the ACS to present this award allows us to show young artists how important their work is in telling the Australian story."

Kirsty Stark, winner of the inaugural NFSA-ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award, commented on her win. "Landscape Scene and L'Artiste are two short Epic Films productions shot by Vivyan Madigan and myself. Thanks to the $5000 I received, and the generous support of many sponsors and ACS members, we were able to shoot on 16mm film and produce two short films that in turn helped many emerging talents in South Australia."

2011 winner Edward Goldner used his award to travel to the Budapest Cinematography Masterclass - a 15 day course which provided students with intensive practical and theoretical workshops on camera and lighting.

"The partnership between the NFSA and the ACS is one of vital importance to the continued growth of our industry,' said ACS National President, Ron Johanson ACS. "It is the policy of the Society to foster and encourage emerging and aspiring cinematographers to pursue their craft and their dreams at every opportunity. This is one of those opportunities."

Applications to apply for this award can be downloaded from the ACS website or obtained by emailing Ron Johanson ACS.

ACS Website » - The Australian Cinematographers Society
email the ACS President, Ron Johanson ACS »

Sponsor Spotlight - ARRI Australia

The ARRI Australia team

The team at ARRI Australia consists of Stefan Sedlmeier (Managing Director), Rey Adia (Senior Service Engineer), Melaney Yeates (Service Engineer), Seamus Maher (Accountant) and Sam Loveridge (Trainee).

As many ACS members will know ARRI Australia is a patron of the society and has been a great supporter for many years.

2011 was an amazing year for ARRI with the company selling over 65 ALEXA and ALEXA PLUS cameras in Australia and New Zealand (this is now over 70!). This was in addition to a significant number of Alura Zoom and Master Prime Lenses. Many of these cameras and lenses were used by ACS members on TV and film projects including Goddess shot by Damien Wyvill ACS and Satellite Boy shot by Geoffrey Simpson ACS.

2012 sees the launch of the ARRI ALEXA Studio camera and the ALEXA M with the ALEXA Studio expected in Australia in February and the ALEXA M later in the year. The new ALEXA Studio and ALEXA M compliment ARRI's existing cameras and help create a range with a camera for every segment of the TV and film markets.

ARRI have also introduced their new 135mm Master Prime lens into Australia and New Zealand. This high quality lens completes a set of 17 Master Prime lenses for many ARRI Australia customers and orders are already being placed for delivery in the coming weeks.

ARRI Australia's commitment to the local film and TV industries along with their emphasis on providing high quality products and long term customer satisfaction is not only recognised by the ACS but always welcomed.

For more on ARRI Australia products and services go to

What's Happening @ the HQ

February was another busy month for the ACS - HQ.

In conjunction with the ADG (Australian Directors Guild) and the ACS "The Hong Kong Film Forum" was held as part of the China Film Festival. This was an open forum highlighting the film "Merry Go Round," which was well attended on Sunday Feb 12.

Directed by Clement Cheng and the DOP Jason Kwan, they screened a trailer of the film and discussed co directing, the financing of the $US1 million dollar budget, and shooting on the Red one camera in 28 long days.

Clement talked generally about what it was like to return from living in Canada to making films in his homeland, Hong Kong. He also discussed the differences in what films can be made in Hong Kong as opposed to the heavily censored Chinese mainland.

NSW Thursday Drop In - Feb 16

There was standing room only at the February Drop In. Fifty members attended to hear to Danny Ruhlmann ACS talk about his work in the TV commercial world with emphasis on car commercials. To illustrate, Danny screened many of his award winning jobs. He also screened the trailer and discussed his first US feature film "The Raven". This was followed by a lively Q&A.

These very popular Q&A's are part of the reason the Drop Ins have proved so successful.

Also, Phil Balsdon brought along his brand new Canon C300 and screened some test footage he's been shooting in the week that he's had the camera. This included some very impressive examples of low light photography and it seems that this is an area in which the camera excels. After the screening many in attendance took the opportunity to get "hands on" with camera.

Well known Australian colorist Siggy Ferstl was interviewed by David Gribble ACS and David Burr ACS for the ACS magazine in the boardroom. Ziggy now lives overseas and has been very successfuly working in England and the USA.

There will be many more things happening in March including the National Awards Judging, workshops with Pieter de Vries, and the normal 3rd Thursday NSW Drop In.

Everyone is welcome to these nights, so if you are in Sydney, please come along.

David Lewis ACS

AC Magazine Preview

Director Angelina Jolie and cinematographer Dean Semler AM ACS ASC, on location for The Land of Blood and Honey, her directorial debut. Photo by Ken Regan.

Edition 53 of AC Magazine is out in the next few weeks. It's my first as editor, having back stabbed Butch and taken control. How could you blame me, with such a huge salary at stake?

Put first time director A. Jolie (yes, the Angelina Jolie) on the same location as D. Semler AM ACS ASC (yes, our very own Dino), and you have a story worthy of serious space. Great reading, with lots of Dean's knowledge and experience free off the page.

Then Brian Breheny ACS tells us that good films can still be made for under $1,000,000.00, but only if he also produces. Yes, he shot and co-produced the thriller Crawl.

Jono Dawson, arguably the best film reviewer in Oz, takes a very close look at Martha Ansara's book The Shadowcatchers: A History of Cinematography in Australia. Extraordinary book, wonderful review. Out soon, so get your order in.

We also have Garry Phillips ACS, playing with match box cars to work out a difficult crash scene for Burning Man. Beautiful work Garry.

Plus all the regular columns, a few DOP stories worth re-telling at your next dinner party, a state by state round-up of short films, Mandy Walker ACS ASC presents at Imago Masterclass, Peter James ACS ASC is very unhappy about a colour grade he wasn't invited to (and so he should be)... the list is exhaustive.

Well I'm stuffed, anyway.

Hope you enjoy AC Magazine 53, which will be posted to members later this month.

Dick Marks.

ABC TV Cameraman Wins Top Honour

ABC Washington Cameraman, Louie Eroglu ACS has been awarded the 2012 Video Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographers Association for the second year in a row. The WHNPA made the announcement overnight, recognising Eroglu's work for 7.30 and Foreign Correspondent, with stories from West Virginia and Cuba.

In accepting the award, Eroglu said, "I'm very excited to be awarded this honour for the second year running from WHNPA. I was lucky enough to cover some memorable stories with ABC Australia this past year.

"I just love what I do and having the opportunity to reflect in pictures the amazing beauty and complexity of life in America. I never tire of filming in the USA and working alongside so many talented WHNPA colleagues. You can easily pick me out of the crowd right now on Pennsylvania Avenue: I'm the chappie with the world's biggest grin."

Louie's colleague, Dan Sweetapple was also recognised in the awards in the News Feature, Network and Documentary categories.

The ABC News cameramen will be honoured at the annual "Eyes of History" Gala on May 5, 2012 in Washington.

Louie Eroglu's award winning stories can be viewed at the following links: and Foreign Correspondent - Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

View 7.30 - Virginia's Bleak Outlook »
View Foreign Correspondent - Dance Like There's No Tomorrow »

Academy Awards Congratulations

Congratulations to Robert Richardson ASC, who won this year's Academy Award for Cinematography, for the film "Hugo."

Wastelander Panda

Three young ACS members from South Australia (Kirsty Stark, Vivyan Madigan and Victoria Cocks) have 9 days to raise $8000 to continue producing their series, Wastelander Panda.

The team from Epic Films gained worldwide interest with the 3 minute prologue for Wastelander Panda, a live-action tale of the last remaining panda in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Vivyan shot the outdoor scenes in the Flinders Range using a RED MX camera, which coped really well in the summer heat, with temperatures up to 38 degrees. The indoor fight scene was shot on the ARRI Alexa.

The prologue has had over 150,000 views, and has been featured on over 400 blogs and websites, including some in German, Russian and Japanese.

After spending a year developing the Wastelander Panda concept, they have decided to crowdfund the next stage of the project, and are offering a range of rewards to backers.

View Wastelander Panda, learn more about the project and donate on Pozible »
Become a fan of Epic Films on Facebook »

What a Cinematographer Really Does

You may have seen various examples of the "What I Really Do" images floating around the internet recently. We thought you may enjoy this version: What a Cinematographer Really Does.

Educators Adopt Sony F3 Camera

The Sony PMW-F3 Super 35mm digital cinematography camcorder has struck a chord with Australian educators looking to equip their students with industry standard systems to meet current and future requirements.

Sony's first professional handheld digital production camera with a Super 35mm imager was the right acquisition tool at the right time for three of the country's leading tertiary institutions.

Faced with students trending to DLSRs, tutors were looking for a large sensor camera that could deliver the desired shallow depth of field 'look' without breaking their budgets.

F3 kit delivers DOF for Griffith Uni
"Students were chasing a 35mm aesthetic but DLSRs don't provide enough functionality or sound recording options to make it practical option for a film school so we looked for an alternative,' ex-plained Dean Chircop, a lecturer at Griffith Film School, part of Griffith University's Queensland College of Art.

"Shortly after it arrived the F3 went straight into seven weeks of work, going from one student pro-duction to the next. Some of these projects were quite ambitious - one was shot 12,000 kilometres west with no quick back-up available but the camera came through without problems," said Chircop.

AFTRS adds F3s
At Sydney's Australian Film and Radio School (AFTRS) the Head of Cinematography, Kim Batter-ham ACS, also noticed the industry's move to large sensor cameras.

"In the last two years the television landscape has radically changed and there has been an accel-eration of big sensor shooting, especially in Australia. AFTRS has been at the mercy of these changes and part of our teaching philosophy is that we need to have a certain industry currency where we reflect what is happening in the industry.

"We bought a RED camera in December 2009 because it was the cheapest to buy but in mid 2011 we bought two Sony F3s because we saw the opportunity to expand our large sensor offerings at reasonable cost and they fitted our teaching needs very nicely."

The F3s were first used for a one week television directing module and have since been utilised on an in-house project to interview well known AFTRS alumni including Alex Proyas. "The F3s were a natural choice for that - the images looked good and the cameras were easy to use," said Batterham.

WA finds F3 advantage
At the West Australian Screen Academy at Edith Cowan University, Director John Rapsey
also selected the Sony F3 to teach cinematography to his students.

The Screen Academy has a relatively small intake of local and international students with industry experience and offers them specialist classes in cinematography taught by leading local DOP Ja-son Thomas.

"We set up in 2005 with Sony Z1 camcorders then upgraded to the EX1s but a big issue was that we needed to have cameras with interchangeable lenses. We know the RED camera has made an impact in our industry but we understand it has limitations - it's big and bulky and takes a lot of infrastructure to support it. So we began talking to Sony to find a camera that was light, portable and easy to use," said Rapsey.

Working with Perth reseller Vizcom Technologies, the Academy put the F3 through three days of testing under a wide variety of conditions before ordering the camera and its three prime lens kit which was delivered in September 2011.

Both AFTRS and Griffith Film School tutors are keen to explore the expansion options available for the F3.

A Postcard from David Eggby ACS

David Eggby ACS is currently in Montreal, Canada, where he is shooting the feature film "Riddick" on the ARRI Alexa.

"I am shooting with 2 ARRI Alexas and recording Raw data with the Codex on board recorders and using Master Primes and Optimo Zooms lenses.
'Riddick' is only my second feature using a digital system and I have to admit I love the Alexa. Can't wait to use the new Alexa Studio 4:3 chip and optical viewfinder. Sky's the limit. Am rating at the native 800 ASA. Takes a little getting used to, but its all the same math. Just sees into the shadows a little too much. Looking forward to the DI next year to see if the camera's 14 stops latitude combined with the Codex Arri Raw file lives up to expectations."

David's full postcard can be read on the ACS website.

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

Over The Fence Comedy Film Festival

The Over the Fence Comedy Film Festival is calling filmmakers of the world for short (under 15 mins) and long short comedy films (16 mins+)

Films must have that essential ingredient: "an excellent sense of humour."

If you are the maker of such a masterpiece - please enter!

The next deadline is 5th of March 2012.

OTF celebrates new and independent filmmakers, their comic masterpieces and their excellent sense of humour. It is a grassroots festival, dedicated to championing independent and new filmmakers, and is committed to encouraging and stimulating comedy film production.

For more information, please see the Over the Fence website. » - The 2012 Over The Fence Comedy Film Festival

Upcoming Courses at AFTRS OPEN

AFTRS OPEN has some exciting new courses in Sydney over the next few months which will be of interest to cinematographers. Courses range from Multi-Cam Studio Director, Cinema 4D: An Introduction and Cinema 4D: Advanced to Underwater Cinematography: Theory and Practice - a four-day course unique to AFTRS OPEN.

Data Wrangling on Set: File Based Cameras
This six hour course is an introduction on managing data from file-based cameras in an on-set environment. Working in the AFTRS Studio, you will get an overview of all types of data from file-based cameras including P2, SXS, Red, DSLRs, GoPro etc, and how to prepare for and manage this data confidently and responsibly in a high pressure on-set environment.

14 April, 10am - 4pm

Click here to read more about the course or enrol on the AFTRS website »

Cinema 4D: an Introduction
A course designed for those who have little or no experience in 3D, but would like to learn how to become skilled in this growing area of production.

30 Apr-1 May, 9.30am - 5.30pm

Click here to read more about the course or enrol on the AFTRS website »

Cinema 4D: Advanced
This course is designed for those who would like to further their knowledge of 3D and gain more of an understanding about what CINEMA 4D is capable of.

Sat 19-Sun 20 May, 9.30am-5.30pm

Click here to read more about the course or enrol on the AFTRS website »

Underwater Cinematography: Theory and Practice
Two days in the classroom and two days in the water! Expand your CV and begin your new career in underwater cinematography with this one-of-a-kind four day course led by industry veteran Jon Shaw.

3 - 6 May

Click here to read more about the course or enrol on the AFTRS website. »

Shooting HD on the Canon 5D
Want to shoot HD video on your Canon 5D? Learn how to make the most of your DSLR and open up the world of the moving image. This introductory course will familiarise you with all elements of shooting HD on the Canon 5D Mark II.

14 - 15 May, 9am - 5pm

Click here to read more about the course or enrol on the AFTRS website »

Multi-Camera Studio Director
Unique in Australia, this hands-on intensive, high end course offers up-to-the-minute skills and insights for aspiring multi-camera directors. Led by leading industry professionals, the workshop will cover all facets of directing multi-cameras including camera placement, multi cam lighting and lens choice.

14 - 18 May, 9am - 6pm

Click here to read more about the course or enrol on the AFTRS website »

Any questions? Contact AFTRS OPEN.

Phone: 1300 065 281

Click here to email AFTRS for more information. »

Sony OLED Monitors Improve Critical Viewing For Global Television

Global Television, a leading Australian outside broadcast and studio company, has taken delivery of its first batch of Sony PVM-1741 17" OLED monitors.

"We have been evaluating suitable next generation monitors and are now in the process of upgrading our CCU and grading monitors across our entire HD fleet of OB trucks. The OLEDs are just breathtaking," said Marc Segar, General Manager.

Global will be replacing monitors in its expanded HD fleet after the acquisition of Cutting Edge's outside broadcast division late last year. Alongside the OLED upgrades, Global is also replacing all of its remaining commentary CRT monitors with new Sony LMD-2110W 21" screens.

"We've always had an eye out for a replacement for LCDs for critical viewing as they never matched CRTs," explained Terry Manley, Chief Engineer Global Television. "We were waiting for a manufacturer to come up with something better and were very interested when Sony introduced OLED screens. We evaluated the PVM-1741 monitors at IBC 2011 and compared them to those we had in use - we found the OLEDs substantially out-performed our existing monitors."

Sony's 17-inch Super Top Emission OLED display panels provide unparalleled black performance, a wide colour gamut and quick pixel response with virtually no motion blur.

They will be installed by Global TV's Engineering Services Division as they are delivered and trucks are available, with a planned implementation to time with the start of the AFL season.

The additional rollout of Sony LMD-2110W LCD monitors into the Global grip trucks for use in OB commentary positions, will also see the creation of an all HD flatscreen fleet. "This will give commentators a true full HD experience and enable us to remove the last of our legacy tube monitors," said Segar.

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