ACS Short Ends E News - June 2012

In This Issue:

- From the President
- ACS Mentor Scheme
- ACS Headquarters Report
- Sponsor Spotlight - Lemac
- NZCS Recognises Their Own
- Shadowcatchers ACS Panel at the Sydney Film Festival
- Sydney Film Festival
- ACS & Apple Discussion Evenings
- Dion Beebe ACS ASC Q&A at AFTRS
- ACS Merchandise
- Congratulations Daniel Holliday - Shadowcatchers Prize Winner
- Friday on My Mind Sessions at AFTRS & ACMI
- A Postcard from Greig Fraser in Jordan
- Proposed New Course at AFTRS
- Upcoming Short Courses at AFTRS Open
- Call for Entries - Canberra Short Film Festival

From the President

Greetings ACS colleagues,

On Thursday evening at AFTRS we launched our ACS book The Shadowcatchers; A History of Cinematography in Australia. 388 pages of history, photographs, anecdotes and more photographs. This was an evening to behold, culminating with the official launch by Director and friend of all cinematographers, Bruce Beresford.

We were very fortunate to have so many featured in the book attending, along with the relatives of so many others. There was Oscar winner and signatory; Russell Boyd ACS ASC, Susanne Chauvel-Carlsson and her son Ric representing the Chauvel family, Carolyn Bruce; daughter of Jack Bruce and sister of Richard Francis-Bruce, Peter McInnes along with Lorna & Julie Clift who are son, daughter and granddaughter of Hughie McInnes (the boy on the first Movietone truck c.1929, and later cameraman), and Brian, Ian & Craig Nicholas, the sons and grandson of the great Bert Nicholas. Matriarch of the Gardiner family, Nita, was unfortunately ill, but Calvin, Geri, Jenni, Chris and Tony Gardiner were there in strength. Others in attendance were Adrienne Lind, who flew down from Queensland, Head of Screen NSW Maureen Barron, Pat Rubie, who was a great help in so many ways, the legendary Storry Walton, Sue Milliken, Anna Howard ACS, Geoffrey Simpson ACS, Anne Bruning, the incomparable Peter James ACS ASC, David Gribble ACS, Louise Seale, Danny Ruhlmann ACS, Ron Windon ACS & Cathie Windon, Hayden Keenan, Jules O'Loughlin ACS, Geoff Burton ACS, Kathryn Milliss, Erika Addis, Kim Batterham ACS, David Brill who made the trip from Tasmania, Eddy Jocovich from Armedia, our tireless Publisher who never said " It can't be done", and the team from Spitting Image.

These were just some of the people who were there, as well as video messages from Dean Semler and Don McAlpine, and email messages from John Seale, Dion Beebe and Andrew Lesnie which were a real treat!

There were over 200 present, and it was great to witness such a gathering of so many fine people in one room.

Special thanks must go to the AFTRS for their encouragement and support, particularly to the CEO, Sandra Levy and AFTRS Production Supervisor; Lisa Olesen.

To our fantastic Publicist; Deb McInnes, along with the truly dedicated band of ACS members, who have given of themselves so generously for such a long time now; David Wakeley ACS, Marianne Wakeley, David Lewis ACS, Margaret Lewis, Mylene Ludgate, David Burr ACS, Geri Gardiner, Calvin Gardiner ACS who, apart from everything else, now has the job of sending the books to their final destinations, Marcus Cocks and the catering team, Kelly Johanson, Erika Addis, Franc Biffone, Dan Freene ACS, the team at Sonic Sight, Maggio's for taking all the crusts of the sandwiches, and all those others who rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to make the evening one for us all to remember, I thank you and all who attended for being a part of ACS history.

But this was Martha Ansara's evening, a time for her to simply bask in the key light of admiration for this outstanding achievement. So many years in the making and now time to simply enjoy.

She would want me to remind you that if you have yet to purchase a copy... get moving! »

Ron Johanson ACS
National President

ACS Mentor Scheme

A reminder that the ACS has a mentor scheme in place should any member require it. All you have to do is request a cinematographer you'd like to have as a mentor, and we'll endeavour to organise it for you.

To get things started simply contact National President; Ron Johanson ACS with all your details.

email the ACS President, Ron Johanson ACS »

ACS Headquarters Report

May began well, with a very industrious working bee at the HQ led by Ron Johanson ACS on the Friday before the National Awards at Manly.

Assisted by Heidi Tobin, David Wakeley, Ted Rayment and the HQ manager, the Golden Tripods and Plaques were assembled and collated, gift packs for sponsors prepared, sponsors banners accounted for and everything else that was required for the night boxed and made ready for delivery to the Manly Pacific venue.

The next morning, Saturday May 5, was an HQ Open Day for anyone that had not yet seen the HQ. Although not overwhelmed by visitors, a very informative, and enjoyable day was had by those that did attend.

The ACS AGM was held on the Sunday after the Awards night and it again showed what a wonderful venue the HQ is to the visiting delegates.

Pieter De Vries ACS continued to hold his very successful workshops and looks forward to holding more throughout the year, while Ian Nicholson, a NSW member, held four workshops on film making, which were very successful. He has more classes coming up in August.

LEMAC presented their annual NAB report and showcased their new Sony F65 camera at the regular NSW Thursday night drop in, which was attended by over 50 members and guests.

Any ACS member or sponsor is very welcome to attend the NSW Branch Drop Ins on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 6.00pm - 9.00pm.

Remember, the HQ is there for all members, so don't hesitate to contact us if you think the venue could help you or any of your projects.

David Lewis ACS
HQ Manager

Sponsor Spotlight - Lemac

Stuart Pointon, Lemac National Business Development Manager talks F65. NAB ACS Night - ACS Clubhouse, Sydney

Lemac Expands with Online Store, New Brisbane Premises & Lots of New Gear!

Lemac's new look website is now online with more information than ever before. Offering an invaluable resource in a constantly changing industry we will continue to bring you the latest in sales, rentals, service and support. We now have the 2012 NAB Report online for those who missed it at the very successful ACS & SMPTE screenings. Keeping up the tradition started by the late John Bowring ACS, both Stuart Pointon and Tim Schumann from the Lemac technical team have done a great job putting this video together.

Sue Greenshields, Lemac M.D and Frank Biffone. NAB ACS Night - ACS Clubhouse, Sydney

There are lots of new toys coming soon with new Zeiss Superspeeds, Zeiss 15mm & 135mm Compact Primes & CZ.2 70-200mm/T2.9 Compact Tele Zoom cine-style lens, Sachtler ACE tripod system, Easyrig Mini and Steadicam Exovest. We are taking preorders for the exciting new kit including the Sony NEX-FS700 due in July, the new Alphatron Electronic Viewfinder EVF-035W-3G which is exclusive to Lemac and the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera, which was seen at NAB with accessories and lenses supplied by Lemac.

In Lemac rentals we've added the Sony F65's, the PL version of the Canon C300 and we are the first in Australia with the new Angenieux Optimo 45-120mm T2.8 Lighweight Zoom. Current projects have seen Lemac Film and Digital support Jonathan M. Shiff Productions as they make the change from Super16 to Digital, with "Mako: Island of Secrets'', now shooting on Arri Alexa on the Gold Coast. Lemac has also recently supported the Nine Network with RED Epic, Arri Alexa and Aaton Penelope 35mm 3perf cameras for their Olympic promos.

The newly expanded Lemac Brisbane sales office and training facility was the venue for the Queensland ACS night and we invite all of you to drop in to take a look at the new premises and meet Dave Cracknell in Sales as well as the new rentals team crew, Tim Jordin and Danny Haneman. We will be holding workshops and training sessions for camera, audio and lighting as part of the Lemac KnowledgeBank program. Join the Lemac E News mailing list and stay connected with Lemac. » - Lemac Film and Digital

NZCS Recognises Their Own

Stuart Dryburgh NZCS ASC, John Toon NZCS ACS, James Bartle NZCS ACS & Leon Narbey NZCS. Not pictured: John Mahaffie NZCS

Congratulations to our fellow cinematographers across the Tasman. The New Zealand Society (NZCS) has Accredited 5 New Zealand cinematographers, in its inaugural round of Accreditations.

Warmest congratulations to Stuart Dryburgh NZCS ASC, John Toon NZCS ACS, James Bartle NZCS ACS, Leon Narbey NZCS and John Mahaffie NZCS.

The ACS welcomes not only these newly Accredited cinematographers, but all New Zealand cinematographers as part of a world fraternity. To read more about these inaugural Accreditations go to:

Top Cinematographers Earn Recognition »

Shadowcatchers ACS Panel at the Sydney Film Festival

The Digital Revolution - A Crisis in Cinematography

The alarm bells are ringing for cinematographers around the world, and as President of the Australian Cinematographers Society, Ron Johanson ACS, has written, "What we do as cinematographers is under threat. We are losing to technology and every new CGI movie drives another nail in the coffin."

To accompany the SFF screening of Keanu Reeves' documentary Side by Side, a panel moderated by cinematographer Erika Addis from the AFTRS, of top Australian Cinematographers including Peter James ACS ASC, Andrew Commis ACS, Danny Ruhlmann ACS and Anna Howard ACS, will tell it like it is and what it means to work in a digital environment.

This is also your chance to attend and take part in the discussion, and also find out what is happening globally in cinematography and what the implications are for Australian and International cinema.

Lower Sydney Town Hall,
Tuesday 12th June, 7-8 pm
483 George Street (enter on Druitt Street)


Copies of The Shadowcatchers: a history of Australian Cinematography can be purchased following this important discussion, and the opportunity also exists to have your book signed by author Martha Ansara and the participating cinematographers. To find out more about this wonderful book, use the following link. »

Sydney Film Festival

A Brief History

The first Sydney Film Festival was held in June 1954 at the University of Sydney, in four halls. This annual event has since grown into a 12 day festival that draws international and local attention, with films being showcased in several venues across the city centre.

Sydney Film Festival not only showcases the best in film from across Australia and around the world, but also encourages dialogue between filmmakers and audiences. In 1977, the festival began programming talks that have evolved into an essential feature of each festival year.

Since 2008, the festival hosts an Official Competition, which is recognised by the Federation Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films (FIAPF). The Sydney Film Prize, a cash prize of $60,000, was established to reward new directions in film: films which have emotional power and resonance, are audacious, cutting edge and courageous, and go beyond the usual treatment of a subject matter.

For further information go to the following link: »

There are a number of screenings at the Sydney Film Festival, which may be of particular interest to ACS members. Here are two:

Croker Island Exodus
Thu 14 Jun 6:15 PM
Event Cinemas George St. #9

Director: Steven McGregor
Cinematographer: Allan Collins ACS

When the Japanese bombed Darwin in 1942, 95 Aboriginal children from the Stolen Generation, along with their missionary carers, were trapped on Croker Island, 200 kilometres off the Northern Territory coast. Their only route to safety was by boat to Barclay Point, then across Arnhem Land by foot, canoe and truck.

They reached their final destination, a Methodist farm just south of Sydney, 44 days and almost 5000 kilometres later. Seventy years on, the now-elderly travellers look back on their epic journey and fractured childhoods.

The Zen of Bennett
Sun 17 Jun 6:30 PM
Event Cinemas George St #9

Director: Unjoo Moon
Cinematographer: Dion Beebe ACS ASC

This doco is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes with icon Tony Bennett as he records his Duets II album, a multiple Grammy winner released on his 85th birthday. Tony's meticulous approach has been honed over 50 years in the business; it's clear his aspiration 'never to sing a cheap song' has not faltered.

Surrounded by family - including son and manager Danny - Tony welcomes his partners into the studio and patiently shows them the ropes. Australian director Unjoo Moon and cinematographer Dion Beebe capture the magic with style and verve.

The full SFF program can be found here: »

ACS & Apple Discussion Evenings

To celebrate the Sydney Film Festival, Apple and the ACS will be hosting two free discussion sessions on cinematography related topics. These events take place at the Apple Store on George Street, Sydney and will be hosted by ACS members.

HD DSLR: Switching to Movie Mode
Thursday 14 June, 6:00 pm, Apple Store, Sydney

Shooting HD video with DSLR cameras has revolutionised filmmaking. Join Emmy nominee and former Cinematographer of the Year, Pieter de Vries ACS for a look at the essentials of how to make full HD movies with amazing cinematic quality using a DSLR camera.

Shooting Animation
Wednesday 20 June, 6:00 pm, Apple Store, Sydney

At this special event, Matt Horrex ACS will take you behind-the-scenes of his award winning short animations, Zero and The Maker. Get an insider's look at how scene stills and storyboards develop to a finished product. Plus learn about the camera equipment, software and lighting approach and get a sneak peek at Matt's latest film project.

All members are welcome to come along and join in the discussion with these respected cinematographers.

Dion Beebe ACS ASC Q&A at AFTRS

If you thought you might miss the opportunity to see The Zen of Bennett, you're wrong.

Unjoo Moon, who directed the acclaimed documentary, and Dion Beebe ACS ASC, who was the cinematographer, have graciously agreed to a Q&A at the AFTRS Theatre on Monday, June 18, commencing at 6.30pm.

This very special screening will be moderated by AC Magazine Editor; Dick Marks OAM. You'll need to be quick and RSVP to ACS President Ron Johanson ACS, as seats are limited.

email the ACS President, Ron Johanson ACS »

ACS Merchandise

ACS merchandise is available from David LEWIS ACS OR 0408 273702

ACS HOODIES - $35.00
ACS T SHIRT - $20.00
ACS CAP - $20.00
ACS BEANIES - $15.00
ACS PENS - $6.00

Congratulations Daniel Holliday - Shadowcatchers Prize Winner

The Shadowcatchers author Martha Ansara and the ACS are proud to announce the winner of our Facebook/Twitter competition. Over 450 people helped us get the word around about the book via social media, which translated into thousands of others actually looking at the notice. So, thanks to the ACS members who pitched in with this campaign.

The winner of the book was Perth cinematographer Daniel Holliday, a friend of Denson Baker ACS, who wrote the following:

"Daniel Holliday here.

I have just received some very good news from Denson Baker in regards to your amazing looking book 'The Shadowcatchers.'

Thank you so much for your gift, which I can assure you will be cherished!

I can also tell you that I work at Western Australia's only Department of Education specialist film and television secondary school (Roleystone Community College), with my main area of focus being cinematography. The specialist program is brand new to the state school system over here and therefore is still being plugged to film-interested students and parents, but I will be happy to link in The Shadowcatchers to the course, with follow up discussions with the school executive, staff, students and surrounding community members (via our website) about the book and its use in understanding the strong history of Australia and cinematography.

A huge thank you once again."

Thanks to everyone who entered the draw and helped get the word around. If you want to order the book, it is still available from The ACS will begin posting copies on Monday & Tuesday, and weekly after that.

The Collectors edition has only about 30 copies left, with the standard edition still readily available.

Follow The Shadowcatchers on Twitter: @Shadow_Catchers
Like The Shadowcatchers Facebook Page:

Friday on My Mind Sessions at AFTRS & ACMI

Sydney, June 1:
Jeffrey Walker, Jack Irish & Bad Debts

Emmy-Award winning actor Guy Pearce takes on the role of Jack Irish - criminal lawyer, debt collector and iconic crime character created by Peter Temple in 1996 - for two upcoming telemovies: Jack Irish: Bad Debts and Jack Irish: Black Tide.

Screenwriters Andrew Knight and Matt Cameron, who both worked on Sea Change, have adapted Temple's award winning novels for the screen with Jeffrey Walker (Rake, Angry Boys and Small Time Gangster) directing both.

Jeffrey Walker will discuss the challenges of bringing a complex and well-loved character to life, as well as the growing international reputation and respect for Australian television drama. Jack Irish: Bad Debts screens nationally on the ABC later this year.

Guest: Jeffrey Walker
* Session includes special screening after the session (99 minutes)
5pm sharp. FREE

AFTRS Theatre 1
Building 130,
The Entertainment Quarter
Moore Park, NSW

Melbourne, June 1:
Jill Bilcock and the Final Cut

"The final cut of the movie is the last draft of the script." - Tarantino

One name ties together high profile directors such as Sam Mendes, Shekhar Kapur, Baz Luhrmann, Fred Schepisi, PJ Hogan and Ana Kokkinos and that's the extraordinary talent of Award winning editor Jill Bilcock.

Having been celebrated many times over locally and internationally through numerous awards, nominations and associations, Jill Bilcock can only be described as a national treasure. Jill's outstanding skill has helped shape the success of feature films including Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Elizabeth, Road to Perdition, Muriel's Wedding, Evil Angels, The Dish, Blessed and most recently the box office hit Red DogÂ…and that's to name a few.

Jill will provide insights into her editing process through selected clips and talk about the editor's unique role in influencing performance and building drama and emotion. This is a rare opportunity to hear to one of the best in the industry talk about their craft.

Guest: Jill Bilcock

ACMI Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia

FREE tickets for Friday on My Mind can be picked up from the ACMI box office from 10:00 AM each Friday

Places are limited: First in best dressed

Go to to read more.

A Postcard from Greig Fraser in Jordan

Greg Fraser sent us a postcard from Jordan, where he was at around day 55 of a 65 day shoot of a feature film directed by Kathryn Bigelow from a script by Mark Boal.

It's a very interesting read, with tales of equipment held in customs, and car trips a little too close to the Syrian border for his liking.

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

Proposed New Course at AFTRS


Camera Operating Fundamentals

We are proposing to run a course, 2 days a week for 16 weeks, in 2013.

Would you be interested? I need to know.

We'd like to cover operating for Drama, TV and Documentary. This could include specialist equipment such as geared heads, steadicam and remote head crane work.

If you want to deepen and broaden your operating practice, email me now so I can begin creating this unique course.
02 98056546

Upcoming Short Courses at AFTRS Open

All ACS members are eligible for a 10% discount.

Modern Cinematography
What is good cinematography and how is it achieved? This two day course, led by two time AFI Award winner Ellery Ryan (I Love You Too, Van Diemen's Land) is designed to investigate the theory and practice of visual storytelling.
16 - 17 June, 9am - 5pm.

Cinema 4D: An Introduction
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 June - 1 July, 9.30am - 5.30pm.

Steadicam Techniques Workshop
As a camera operator proficient in Steadicam you will be able to market yourself as a specialist operator and enjoy one of the most rewarding jobs on a film set.
7 - 8 July.

For a full list of courses, visit:

Any questions? Contact AFTRS OPEN - 1300 065 281 /

Call for Entries - Canberra Short Film Festival

The 2012 Canberra Short Film Festival is now open for entries.

There's $6000 in prize money and the categories include: documentary, international, national, Canberra local, and schools. Films can be any length from 30 seconds to 20 minutes - the shorter the better!

Application forms are at and the event will be held at Dendy Cinemas Canberra from 14-16 September. Entries close 16 July. Action!

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