National E-News Bulletin 1 May 2014


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In this Issue:

- From the President (Australia gains IMAGO voting rights!)
- IMAGO News
- IMAGO GSC MasterClass
- MPIBS - Helping Hand!
- A Conversation with John Jarrat
- Andrew Commis ACS Q&A – “THE ROCKET”
- ARRI's Historic Donation the HQ Archive
- Postcard Philip M. Cross ACS in Melb.
- David Lewis ACS in Sumba
- Miller Raffle & MPIBS
- ACS Review - The Invisible Woman
- The Water Diviner Official Trailer
- AFTRS Open


Greetings ACS colleagues,

The countdown is definitely on to our 2014 ACS National Awards for Cinematography on Saturday, May 24 in Brisbane at The Tivoli, with our very special Guest of Honour, John Jarratt and Master of Ceremonies; Ray Martin. There will be the presentation of Golden Tripods and of course the recipient of the prestigious Milli Award for our 2014 Australian Cinematographer of the Year will be announced. Please put the date in your diary, phone, iPad, calendar, smart phone, etched into fresh concrete, carved on a tree, whatever it may be!

Our hosts this year are the thoroughly dedicated committee members of the Queensland Branch led by Jason Hargreaves ACS and Tony O’Loughlan, so it promises to be an absolute cracker of a night as is the Queensland tradition! GO QUEENSLANDER!

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW so please support your fellow cinematographers by going online and purchasing a ticket or two, or three. Click HERE


SPECIAL REMINDER TO ALL 2013 GOLD WINNERS - Attend ACS National Awards, Saturday May 24 – Brisbane!!

All those who attend the National Awards will not only share in the excitement of the evening by simply supporting the winners, but will also enjoy some fabulous food and wine along with experiencing Queensland hospitality and some fantastic “door prizes” offered by our generous National Sponsors.


I have just returned from Greece where I attended the Annual General Assembly (IAGA) of IMAGO. Many topics were discussed, of which some will be reported by our NZCS colleague Mark Swadel later in this E News.

The main discussion was the vote regarding admitting some of the Associate members; Australia (ACS), New Zealand (NZCS), Canada (CSC), Israel (ACT) and Japan (JSC) as Full members of IMAGO, with voting rights.

I am pleased and proud to advise you all that all four countries were made Full members, which is such an important step forward in the ongoing relationship between all member countries and all cinematographers worldwide. There are still some areas, such as Authorship rights that will take much time and effort to come to fruition, if at all, but at least we now have the mechanism in place to pursue these ideals.

It has been over 5 years since Ted Rayment, as our Federal President attended our first IMAGO meeting, and there has been much consultation and deliberation to bring us to where we are today.

See more at the IMAGO Website


A few months ago, our ACS Historian, Ron Windon ACS and I talked about having a small brochure explaining the fascinating history of the ACS available to all members. That “brochure” has now become a 160 page book, because of the passion of Ron Windon ACS, who has worked for hours, days, weeks and months to chronicle

not only the history of the ACS, but the many members who have contributed to the Society since our inception. This bound A5 book will be available free to all current members upon renewing their membership, and to all new members of the Society, in the coming months.

This publication has come about because of the generous support of Paul Jackson at Panavision and Nick Buchner at Sony, enabling us to do an initial print run of the book, something we are most grateful for, and could not have done without the contribution of Panavision and Sony.

Panavision »
Sony »


One of our other National sponsors, Deluxe, have agreed to support the Society in our efforts to have a presence at CINE GEAR 2014 in Los Angeles at the beginning of June. The generous support of Deluxe CEO, Alaric MacAusland and Marketing Manager, Hayley Davis will allow David Wakeley ACS and Ernie Clark ACS to attend and to “man the ACS booth” to increase the awareness of the Society to a larger, more focussed market.

Without the support of all our ACS sponsors we would not be able to pursue these in initiatives for the benefit of all members and supporters alike, and we are extremely grateful. » »


ACS Accreditation application is now open, so if you have been a Full member for 3 years you are eligible to apply for Accreditation. Should you require any information please contact National President, Ron Johanson [email protected] or ACS National Secretary [email protected].

I look forward to seeing you at the National Awards in Brisbane.

Until next time..
Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President


Thank you to NSW member Richard Wilmot for your support and generosity in becoming an ACS National Headquarters Patron.

The dictionary defines a Patron as “a person who gives financial support to an organisation, person, cause or activity”.

The ACS needs Patrons for financial support to help us maintain and run our ACS National Headquarters in North Sydney and continue our extensive ACS activities. These headquarters are the home to our prestigious AC Magazine, a base for the NSW Branch, a place to showcase our extensive and historic archives, a gathering place for interstate and local members and for our National Executive as well as International visitors.

Should you require further information please don’t hesitate to contact Ron Johanson on 0413 264 400 or at [email protected] or use this LINK

IMAGO GSC MASTERCLASS - by Marc Swadel (ACS and NZCS member)

Christian Berger's ‘Cine Reflect Lighting System’ a philosophy turned reality.

On the 23rd and 24th of April, the Greek Society of Cinematographers presented a series of Master Classes as the kick off to the week of events around the IMAGO General Assembly.

Cypriot/Englishman Haris Zambarloukos (Thor/Mamma Mia/Sleuth) Academy Award nominated Austrian Christian Berger (The White Ribbon/Raffl/The Notebook) and Greek/American Academy Award nominated Hollywood heavyweight Phedon Papamichael (Descendents/The Monument Men/3.10 To Yuma/Nebraska/Walk The Line).

Indian/UK feature Cinematographer (and RED Ambassador) Sundeep Reddy presented the new Dragon sensor. The presentation in 4K, showed the camera being pushed to its limits in a series of shots, and this resulted in an intense Q + A.

Haris Zambarloukos screened ‘LOCKE’ – a low budget shot in 8 days film directed by Steven Knight. It is based almost entirely for 90 minutes in a car, focusing on construction manager Ivan Locke (played by Tom Hardy) as his life completely changes on the journey from Birmingham to London. What sounds like a hard task to shoot and make interesting, becomes an engaging and elegant film due to Haris’s vision and skills. Low budget does not have to mean bland!

Papamichael gave an entertaining and inspirational account of his career, followed by a screening of János Szász’s harrowing tale of two WW2 Hungarian Twins ‘THE NOTEBOOK’. Lensed by one of the kings of European Art film Cinematography - Christian Berger - the film, based mainly in one run down farmhouse, is one of the most natural looking films I have ever seen.
After the film Christian Berger revealed why – his ‘Cine Reflect Lighting System’. With his hate for ‘Light Soup’ – the need to use many lights to recreate natural light in a location or set - Christian developed this system, which uses parallel lighting sourced and different types of reflectors to create a totally natural looking light source from the exterior, with smaller reflectors inside to bounce light from their exterior beams to highlight the action in places within.
Whilst not perfect for every shoot – it was a revelation to see such a simple system, get such natural and utterly beautiful results.

Finally, Sony went to pains to say how they have made the new range of the Sony Cine Alta range is a lot more user friendly and less about the ‘Sony Look'.

The IMAGI General Assembly in Delphi followed with the highlight of course being the voting to admit Australia, Israel, Canada, Japan and New Zealand as Full member countries of IMAGO.

- article by Marc Swadel (Full member NZCS & ACS)

Key frame from The Notebook showing use of DOP Christian Bergers "reflected light" system

Christian Berger Website » - Christian Berger

L - R GSC President: Yiannis Daskalothanasis, RJ, Haris Zambarloukos BSC & renowned cinematographer Christian Berger


Have you heard of the Motion Picture Industry Benevolent Society?

It’s been providing financial and emotional support to members of the cinema industry for more than eighty years!

It was founded in the years of the Great Depression by people in exhibition and distribution to help colleagues who had fallen on hard times. More recently, the MPIBS has extended its support to the production and post-production sectors.

Beneficiaries are young and old, working and retired. The MPIBS is a safety net which enables our friends and colleagues to be cared for when they need it most.

But the Society needs your help to continue its work.

Please visit the MPIBS webpage (or put MPIBS in your search engine) for information about how to donate. You could be helping one of your friends or colleagues…….




As part of the 2014 ACS National Awards for Cinematography events, the Queensland Branch proudly presents “A Conversation with John Jarratt”. This promises to be a great night with our 2014 Awards Guest of Honour, actor and now also Director, John Jarratt taking us through footage from his recent Directing debut on the thriller feature film, “StalkHer”.

You would remember John from his many appearances in a huge list of features over the years including The Great MacArthy, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Summer City, Blue Fin, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, The Odd Angry Shot and We of the Never Never, to name but a few.

More recently you’d know John in the role of sinister Mick Taylor in the Wolf Creek films or from his roles in Django Unchained or Australia.

Of course, you may also remember John from the multitude of appearances in numerous TV Series and he was also Co-Host on Better Homes & Gardens, with his ex-wife Noni Hazlehurst, for quite a few years. This series was actually shot in their own home!

John will discuss how he approached the film StalkHer, not only as the Director but as lead actor, whilst he was tied to a chair for 90% of the film. No mean feat! Long time collaborator Ernie Clark ACS will moderate the session, so don’t miss this opportunity.

When: Friday May 23rd @ 7:00pm.

Where: Griffith Film School, Brisbane Dock St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

RSVP by 20/5/2014 to: [email protected]

Cost: ACS members free, others $15.00 inc GST. Attendee’s names will be on a door list, if a non-member, please pay on the night.


The ACS presents a special screening of the highly acclaimed film The Rocket with a Q&A hosted by Milli Award winning cinematographer, Andrew Commis ACS.

When: Saturday May 24th @ 11:00am.

Where: Griffith Film School, Brisbane Dock St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

RSVP by 20/5/2014 to: [email protected]

Cost: Admission is free but you MUST RSVP.


During April we received the following email from Stephan Schenk (General Manager Camera Systems Arnold & Richter, Munich). The ACS also acknowledges the contribution and ongoing support from ARRI Australia Managing Director, Stefan Sedlmeier who made the initial approach to Stephan Schenk regarding the possibility of us receiving the camera.

“Dear Ron, David and David,
First of all I hope this finds all of you well and ready for a nice Easter weekend. It has been a while now that you were so kind to welcome me in your ACS office and spend quite some time with us and the new AMIRA.

One thing I have promised to look into was a contribution to your historical collection. Like I said, one if not THE biggest contribution ARRI made on a feature in Australia/NZ certainly was with “Lord of the Rings”. We are proud that Andrew Lesnie used our equipment on his incredible journey which resulted in one of the best cinematography and features of all time.

One part of this equipment was the ARRIFLEX 435 Serial Number 7485. According to our ARRI Rental Germany manager Manfred Jahn, who checked this in his books, this camera was on main unit of all 3 parts of LOTR.

Last week I could arrange to exchange 7485 against another 435 from our Cinetechnik stock. Therefore I am now happily in the position to officially donate the ARRIFLEX 435 Serial Number 7485 to the ACS in recognition of the great and long-time collaboration between the ACS and ARRI and the outstanding achievement of Andrew Lesnie on "Lord of the Rings".

The camera is on its way to ARRI Australia and Stefan will be more than happy to officially hand it over on my behalf to find a suitable place in your office.

All the best for the future and as I said in Sydney, whenever you guys are in Munich please give me a call so I can return your hospitality”

- Stephan Schenk

Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC shooting Orc Commanders, with ARRI 435 Serial number 7485# on "The Lord Of The Rings- Fellowship Of The Ring" 1st AC is Colin Deane. Photo by Pierre Vinet with thanks to Caro Cunningham


Hi Ron,

Keeping you up to date with life!

This year I'm not at Neighbours as I'm shooting Series 4 of "Winners and Losers " for channel 7. Here's a photo in our main sets at Melbourne Dockland Studios with the lovely Melanie Vallejo who plays "Sophie" in the show and some of the crew. .
Much of the schedule is out and about around Melbourne which is a lot more fun than being stuck in the backlot at "the wad".

Peter Falk ACS is my "A" operator and I operate the second camera which usually is doing a closer angle before both cameras come in for close up work. Quite a huge workload. I'm always on my feet dashing between the cameras and video village to check the reference monitors. Shooting on two Alexa's with mostly zooms.

Peta is great, and still on Neighbours, she has completely redesigned the show now.
I'm missing the Queensland sunshine, but it's been three full years of work down here on drama, and we're not getting any younger. So Melbourne is going to be home for a little longer.

All the best.

The main "Winners and Losers" sets at Melbourne Dockland Studios with the lovely Melanie Vallejo who plays "Sophie" in the show and some of the crew.

David Lewis ACS shooting in Sumba, Indonesia for the Sumba Eye Program

David Lewis and brother Peter in the clinic at Sumba

During the first week of April, I joined a group of 3 optometrists and one ophthalmologist on a trip to Sumba, an island just north east of Bali in West Timor, organised and sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Glenferrie & Kew in Victoria and the Sumba Foundation and The Royal Australian College Of Surgeons. One of the optometrists was my younger brother Peter who was one of the founding members of the project. My task was record a small promotional video for the project that they could use to raise funds to continue their important work.

Each year, since 2007 the eye team travels to Sumba to provide ophthalmology and optometry services to the Sumbanese people. The team consists of optometrists, ophthalmologists and nurses who volunteer their time and skills to improve eye care in Sumba .It performs consultations, operations and distributes spectacles and sunglasses over the one-week visits. Approximately 750 patients are screened on each visit, with 90 to 100 patients receiving sight restoring surgery, improving their function and mobility and enabling them to return to productive work in the family and community. The predominant surgery carried out by the visiting teams is cataract surgery.

This trip’s priority was to teach some local nurses who work for the Sumba Foundation, (set up to supply fresh drinking water, sanitation and to try and control the spread of Malaria) to do basic eye examinations, prescribe glasses where possible and identify anyone that would benefit from an operation. These operations will take place in September when the 3 Optometrist, 3 Surgeons and nurses will return for 5 days.

Eden Creative supplied me with a Canon 1DC camera, lenses and tripod and will post produce the video. At first the camera was a bit of a challenge but it was perfect for the task. I managed to get some really exciting footage despite facing a huge range of exposures and not having the ability to repeat any of the shots.

I am looking forward to returning in September to record some of the operations and complete the video.
David Lewis ACS

Sumba Eye Program » - Sumba Eye Program

Sumba village, Indonesia

MILLER RAFFLE & SURVEY - With all proceeds going to the MPIBS

Members and friends may order the $10 Miller LP 54 Limited Edition Tripod raffle tickets by email to David Wakeley ACS @ [email protected] giving your credit card details (including expiry & cvv), or pay by direct debit to ACS NSW clearly giving name & LP54 in the reference or description panel to: 
Account: ACS NSW, BSB: 032 085 Account no: 255091

Please support this wonderful initiative from Miller Camera Support, with all raffle proceeds going to the Motion Picture Industry Benevolent Society (MPIBS) who are currently supporting, nationally, 31 cinema & production recipients in need, including most recently, ACS member, Phil Balsdon.

There are only 40 of these Miller LP54 collectors items being produced for distribution worldwide in similar style.


THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (2014) - review by James Cunningham

Cinematography saves the day in an unfortunately tortured tale.

Recently, film biopics have tackled both daring and unusual folk; think Cecil Gaines (The Butler), Ron Woodroof (Dallas Buyers Club) and even Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street). So a film about Charles Dickens may be seen as ultimately stuffy in a rich landscape of semi-biographical films (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Behind The Candelabra, Rush). The result is Ralph Feinnes’ (who directs and stars as Dickens) The Invisible Woman, a “fact-based” tale of love that is missing any romance at all, and falls far short of the intellect of Dickens. Based on a book by Claire Tomalin (who has penned biographies for Dickens, Hardy, Austen, and Shelley amongst others) and adapted into screenplay by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady), the film thankfully features utterly breathtaking cinematography.

Award-winning Cinematographer Rob Hardy BSC (Shadow Dancer, Broken, Is Anybody There?) manages to capture the charm and refinement of the age with warm colours that make each shot deserving of its very own oil painting. Hardy goes to great lengths in allowing the visuals to breath, shooting with seemingly handheld cameras and lighting that perfectly captures the dimly-lit interiors of the period. These attractive visuals help at least to sustain us through the narrative. The film opens with a stunning shot of a woman walking across a deserted Margate beach in 1885, evoking simplicity and grandeur. In one scene, which deserves special mention, takes place at the racetrack and includes a simply astounding introductory shot where. Here, Hardy’s photography is both pointed and dazzling.

The Invisible Woman was shot entirely on location in London and the coastal region of Kent; where Dickens lived and these events took place. “I had never shot a piece set in the Victorian-era and was itching to do one”, says Hardy, “I wanted to find a way to translate what that time may have been really like visually, without romanticising it”. Beneath the sumptuous period setting and lamp-lit refinement, The Invisible Woman also features an excellent performance by comedy actress Joanna Scanlan in the role of Dickens wife Catherine. But it really is Rob Hardy BSC (who US Variety Magazine have already mentioned as an Oscar contender in 2015) who is the standout performer here… Three Stars.

Melbourne, Australia

The Water Diviner Official Trailer

Take 7mins out of your day to check out the official trailer for Russell Crowe's directorial debut "The Water Diviner", with Cinematographer Andrew Lesnie ACS, ASC

Official Trailer » - The Water Diviner official trailer


AFTRS Open has a range of Cinematography and camera courses in the coming months including Advanced Lighting Skills in June. All ACS members receive 10% Industry discount.

Advanced Lighting Skills
An Advanced Lighting Course for Cinematographers wanting to expand their knowledge in lighting for film and television drama. Over three days, students will light a set to various scripted scenarios under the tuition of a professional cinematographer. Students will work with a gaffer, best boy, camera operator, grip and two actors in AFTRS' state of the art studios.
25 - 27 June

To view all upcoming AFTRS Open cinematography courses visit the website

Advance Lighting Skills course in action.

Keep up to date with ACS news via Facebook

ACS Facebook page »

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Level 2, 26 Ridge Street,
North Sydney
NSW 2060
Ph: 02 8920 8535

HQ Manager: David Lewis ACS email
Assistant HQ Manager: Richard Wilmot email


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