National E-News Awards Bulletin 1 June 2014


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In this Issue:

- President's Report
- Watch all the Winning Work with ShowReelFinder
- Accreditation applications open
- Jason Hargreaves ACS review - John Jarratt & Andrew Commis ACS Q&A's
- Callan Green, ACS at Sydney FF with Sony F65
- Thom Neal, NFSA-ACS Emerging Cinematographer of the Year
- Cannes Report by Marc Swadel ACS/NCZS
- Finnish Society Questionnaire
- 'Grace of Monaco' review
- Lord David Puttnam Seminar Series
- Pieter De Vries ACS Next Workshop
- AFTRS Courses and NEW Bachelors of Screen Arts
- AACTA Membership with President Geoffrey Rush
- Need a Presenter, Voiceover or Journalist interviewer?

President's Report

Greetings ACS colleagues,

The 2014 ACS National Awards for Cinematography were a resounding success and my heartiest congratulations go to the Queensland Branch as it was a fantastic night, with numerous highlights - and gives the Tassie Branch lots to think about.

The LIVE STREAMING initiative was a brilliant idea and something that we can now consider pursuing for all Awards. The Society were involve in the promotion and facilitation of the Miller Anniversary raffle, and we contributed additional book prizes as incentives. The raffles raised around $2500.00 with all proceeds going to the incredibly worthy Motion Picture Industry Benevolent Society (MPIBS). Something we as a Society will continue to support, as it could well benefit our own members in times of hardship.

The volume of time put into any Awards presentation is enormous, and in many cases for that period of time, lives are put on hold in order to ensure the success of these presentations, so thanks and congratulations once again to Queensland President; Jason Hargreaves ACS, the unstoppable Tony O'Loughlan, Tim Jordin, Mitch Kennedy, Karen Hayward, Bryan Crawford (who was busy taking stills) and all who played a part in the overall success and enjoyment of the evening.

I also acknowledge the work done by David Wakeley ACS and Marianne Wakeley.

As I said in my report in the Awards program, our Awards are unique because of many reasons which include the emotion attached to the event itself. I was particularly moved - and I know many others were as well - when Ron Windon ACS was presented with the inaugural Ron Windon ACS Contribution Award. There is no finer example of someone who continues to give and give of himself to the Society and to the members he cares so much about.

At the same time the generosity of Ernie Clark ACS, Mylene Ludgate and Marianne Wakeley cannot and was not ignored as these stalwarts of the Society were also acknowledged for their incredibly generous contributions. In Ernie's case - he also received Life Membership to the Society.

To all the recipients, congratulations for your outstanding work, truly amazing. To our Milli Award winner, John Toon NZCS ACS. It was a fitting result for a beautifully shot film, and it was great that JT made the trip from New Zealand for the presentation.

On the day after the Awards presentation, all the delegates from the Branches present rose bright and early to attend the OGM - Half Yearly Meeting of the National Executive. Some items discussed included the following:

Picture L-R: Mylene Ludgate, Anne Rayment & Marianne Wakeley

Ron Windon ACS accepts his Ron Windon ACS Contribution Award

Guest of Honour - John Jarratt

John Toon NZCS ACS receives his Milli Award

Ray Martin - Master of Ceremonies


Around 3 months ago I spoke to Ron Windon ACS about the possibility of him writing a small booklet that we could send to all current members, and new members about the Society and it’s beginnings.

I’m pleased to tell you that the “little book” I envisaged, is now around 180 pages, bound and thanks to the support from PANAVISION and SONY we will publish shortly in order to pass on to members at no cost. I cannot emphasise the contribution or thank Ron Windon ACS enough on behalf of us all for this truly historic document that will be available to everyone.


Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC and 1st AC - Colin Deane shooting with the ARRI 435 - Serial No. 7485 on The Lord of the Rings. Photo: Pierre Vinet

You are probably not aware but for some time now there has been a concerted campaign led by the unstoppable duo of David Wakeley ACS and David Lewis ACS to convince ARRI Australia and it’s CEO, Stefan Sedlmeier, that it would be great to have an ARRI 435 on display here at the HQ.

Well, Stefan took that a step further and contacted Stephan Schenk, General Manager of Camera Systems in Munich, to see if something could be done about this. At Easter I received the following EMAIL from Stephan Schenk.

As a result of this very generous offer from ARRI, on June 19 at the ACS HQ the camera will be “handed over” as part of one of the NSW Branch "Thursday Night Drop – ins", by Stefan Sedlmeier. Andrew Lesnie will be in attendance to make a presentation to Stefan on behalf of the ACS as a thank you to ARRI.


The Society was invited to attend CINEGEAR LA this year as an Exhibitor, thanks to the pro activity from the industrious Heidi Tobin, which we happily accepted. At the beginning of June, David Wakeley & Ernie Clark will head off to LA to “man the ACS booth” at Cinegear, with help from some of our ACS – LA members, including Peter Moss ACS ASC, Ross Berryman ACS, Toby Oliver ACS and Barry Wilson ACS among many others.

It will afford us the opportunity to increase our ACS brand to a wider audience and to also continue our relationship first hand with the ASC, BSC and other associated organisations. This would not have happened without the generous support of DELUXE – DDP STUDIOS, who have funded the travel and accommodation parts of the exercise.

ACS CineKids

At the recent Executive meeting, it was unanimously decided that the Society should creat a new national membership category for our "junior" filmmakers. So, we've created ACS CineKids. This new membership category will be open to all children up to the age of 15 years. They will receive a membership certificate, card, note pad and pen, having access to our E news and various screenings and workshops, as well as having the opportunity to be mentored and guided by our "senior" ACS members. The annual membership fee will be $20.00, and there will be no joining fee.

Heidi Tobin is working on promotional material to place in our ACS publications and other outlets, which we will send on in due course.

I ask that all Branches encourage and support this initiative and also our ACS CineKids....our future Cinematographers.


I would like you to know how appreciative I am of the work all the ACS Branch committees do - the hours you commit to the successful running of your Branches is truly inspirational. All Branches have really extended themselves since our last meeting by running many events for not only the benefit of members but, in the case of the NT Branch, for the community as well.

I am not only thankful but confident this degree of enthusiasm will continue.

My personal thanks to all members of the National Executive, along with all the Branch President’s, Treasurers, Secretaries and Committees who give so freely of their time and their expertise to make the Society what is today.

Until next time

Ron Johanson OAM ACS


Proud National sponsor SHOWREELFINDER have all the Distinction and Golden Tripod winning clips ready to view at ShowreelFinder ACS 2014

ACS Accreditation

Applications are 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 or your Branch President.

John Jarratt and Andrew Commis ACS Q&A's - a review by Jason Hargreaves ACS

As part of the ACS National Awards weekend events, The Queensland Branch kicked off the celebrations with a conversation with our Awards Guest of Honour, Actor & Director John Jarratt on Friday night. John spoke about his experience directing his first feature film Stalkher. Over 25 lucky audience participants shared in hearing John’s stories from Wolf Creek and also his over 40 years of working as an Actor. We also had the privilege of watching some assembled scenes from his directorial debut while he discussed the challenges of directing and acting simultaneously. The film was shot at the Village Roadshow Studios, which Jarratt explained how much he enjoyed the benefits of working in a studio, not having to worry about weather, location noise or the general difficulties of location shooting. His working relationship with Cinematographer Jody Muston was also discussed, with John praising Jody’s cinematic approach to lighting and composition. The session was a fantastic view into John’s filmmaking experience and we thank him for his generosity and his time. A big thank you to Ernie Clark ACS for his tremendous moderating skills for this session.

On the Saturday morning of the Awards, the ACS Queensland Branch also hosted a screening of The Rocket, followed by a Q&A with Andrew Commis ACS. Andrew is known for his first film Beautiful Kate, which he won the Milli Award for in 2010 and he also photographed the acclaimed ABC series, The Slap. It was an inspiring session with Andy, as he took us through the logistics and the creative challenges of shooting on location in Thailand & Laos. Working with some first time cast members and entirely in the Laos language, presented its own interesting situations which Andrew and his crew managed to overcome to create a beautifully crafted, stunningly photographed story of determined young boy who had the odds stacked against him. Andrew shot most of the film off an easy-rig, keeping a documentary handheld approach, which allowed him to capture intimate moments that really catch the emotion of the characters. His stunning landscapes of Laos’ towering rugged mountains are breathtaking. Andrew spoke to over 30 people and offered us a real insight into his career so far, and his approaches to storytelling.

Callan Green ACS in Sydney Film Festival with Sony F65

Two independent short films, Show Boy and Grey Bull, both shot by Callan Green ACS on Sony’s F65 4K CineAlta™ camera, have been selected to premiere at this year’s Sydney Film Festival (4-15 June).

They're also on the list of finalists for the festival’s 2014 Dendy Award for Australian Short Films, with Grey Bull also selected for the Melbourne Film Festival later this year.

Commenting on the short films Green said, “Working on drama is always a massive highlight for me as the majority of my work is generally commercial and music video based. Fortunately for me and everyone else that was involved, both Show Boy and Grey Bull were superbly well written. Even very early on in their draft cycles the strength of their stories shone though. Both directors wrote their own scripts, which in turn created a real sense of intimacy toward the characters and story - especially when discussing a visual approach."

Read the rest of Sony & Callan's Press Release here »

Thom Neal is the NFSA - John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer of the Year

Thom Neal was named Emerging Cinematographer of the year at the Australian

Cinematographers Society (ACS) National Awards, which were held on Saturday 24 May in Brisbane.

Neal is the recipient of the 2014 NFSA-ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award, which is presented in partnership with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA). The Award provides a cash prize of $3,000.

“As a young professional it is great encouragement to be recognised for the craft of cinematography, which is something I am very passionate about,” said Neal. “I am very much at the beginning of my career, but I have been quite fortunate to have one of my works screened both nationally and internationally, I’ve been able to shoot a variety of productions and stories, continually working with great collaborators. I have now received accolades from highly esteemed Australian film makers, so I find myself in a very lucky position, being able to try and do what I love each day.”

According to ACS National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS, “Thom was selected as this year’s recipient based not only on his detailed application– which included a very precise proposal of his intended use of the prize money - but also on his diverse range of work samples, which highlighted his use of light and distinctive cinematographic style. His positive attitude also stood him in great stead.”

Neal will use the prize money to attend the Cameraimage festival, which will take place in Bydgoszcz, Poland in November.

“The grant will allow me to cover all travel, accommodation and ticketing costs. The festival includes forums, master classes and screenings, and looks to be a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the art of cinematography,” he explained. “We're in one of the most remote locations compared to the rest of the film industry, so to attend a festival set in the heart of the European cinema landscape is something I am very grateful to be a part of.’

The NFSA-ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award was first presented in 2010. It has helped its four former recipients to further their careers; their stories are available on the NFSA website.

Applications for the 2015 NFSA-ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award will open early next year.

View Thom Neal’s showreel on Vimeo

CANNES REPORT - by Marc Swadel full member ACS + NZCS

Film-wise, Australia is well represented, by an eclectic range of films that take us from the Outback, Rock n roll, to theatre to the end of the world.

In Directors Fortnight, Apocalyptic thriller ‘These Final Hours’ directed by Zac Hilditch and shot by Bonnie Elliott stands tall, Rolf De Heer’s ‘Charlies Country’ is in the Un Certain Regard selection, lensed by Ian Jones ACS, it is the unofficial third film in a trilogy of films made with David Gulpilil. Rolf has had two previous Palme D’Or nominations, and always generates good interest with his films here at Cannes.

Screening out of competition, but creating a lot of buzz is David Michôd’s ‘The Rover’ lensed by Argentinean DP Natasha Braier. The bleak ‘post society’ outback thriller is getting a ton of press.

Other films at the market here are Sophie Hyde’s '52 Tuesdays’ shot by Bryan Mason, Craig Monahan’s 'Healing’ with Cinematography by Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC, Director team Angus Sampson and Tony Mahony’s ‘The Mule’ shot by Stefan Duscio, and hard rock epic ‘Mystery: Born to Rock’ by directors Steve Ravic and Neil Johnson and finally Gracie Otto’s self shot documentary ‘The Last Impresario’ about English film and theatre bon vivant Michael White.

On the New Zealand side, a co production treaty was signed between NZ and Denmark, hot on the tails of NZ/Danish feature ‘The Weight of Elephants’. It was also the first Cannes that the NZ film commission is no longer a sales agent, so the mood in the NZFC offices was strictly new business and producer support, with 45 producers in attendance and focused on new deals - so I expect more films to be shot over the next few years.

Watch this space.


President of the Finnish Society (FSC), Timo Heinänen, is not only a Cinematographer but a Professor of Cinematography at ELO Film School Helsinki.

At the recent IMAGO Assembly in Greece he asked if our ACS members would assist his research by answering a questionnaire and returning it to him.

Please click on the link to help Timo with his important and valuable research.

Questionaire »

GRACE OF MONACO (2014) - review by James Cunningham

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival opened last week with Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco and reactions to the film have been less than promising.

Taking us to a period of time some years after Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) married Monaco’s Prince Ranier III (Tim Roth), the film really works better as a political story rather than a character study. With endless shots of Kidman looking glamorous, immersed in temperate light, and a smattering of ridiculous close-ups on Kidman’s eyes - too much effort was invested into depicting Kelly as a “style icon” instead of the Philadelphia farmer’s-daughter-turned-European-princess, wife and mother. Dahan is no stranger to the biopic having directed the wonderful Edith Piaf story in La Vie En Rose (2007). That film won two Academy Awards including Best Actress for Marion Cotillard. By stark contrast Kidman’s performance in Grace of Monaco is lazy at best.

Dahan teams up with the French Cinematographer Eric Gautier AFC, an acclaimed Director of Photography who’s credits reach to over sixty films. Gautier’s recent and more memorable include: The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), Into the Wild (2007) and On the Road (2012). Scenery has always been an arresting aspect of Gautier’s work; however his usual focus on instinct and improvisation has been overlooked within Grace of Monaco. Somewhat mismatched, the film takes us to extreme, from a shoddy and haphazard clif-top driving scene featuring a buzzing assembly of arbitrary cuts, and odd close-ups; to a really quite impressive ball scene toward the end of the film.

Grace of Monaco is interesting, certainly, but maybe for all the wrong reasons. A final recommendation would simply be to watch the film and make your own mind up. If your expectations are low then you may end up enjoying the film… two stars.

Melbourne, Australia

Lord David Puttnam Seminar Series @ Griffith Film School, Brisbane

Lord David Puttnam, Oscar winning producer and educator, will be again conducting his seminar series at the Griffith Film School.

An innovative method of education, David conducts this series via video conferencing live from his home in Ireland with the ability to see and converse with the audience in real time.

The final seminar will be conducted in person by David.

Where: Griffith Film School cinema, South Brisbane
When: beginning at 5pm
Cost: Entire Seminar Series: $400 / Individual Seminars: $50

Seminar 1: 25th August - Live Video Link
Seminar 2: 29th August - Live Video Link
Seminar 3: 1st September - Live Video Link
Seminar 4: 5th September - Live Video Link
Seminar 5: 8th September - Live Video Link
Seminar 6: 12th September - Live Video Link
Seminar 7: 19th September - Live Video Link
Seminar 8: 22nd September - Live Video Link
Seminar 9: 26th September - Live Video Link
Seminar 10: 6th October - In Person

Topics will be announced shortly and posted on our website.

To register please visit The Griffith University Website Note: seats are limited!

To find out more about Lord Puttnam and his work Click Here


The next Sydney weekend course will be on the 5th & 6th of July 2014.

THE CAMERA, THE STORY and THE LIGHT - the three elements forming the foundation of successful video camera craft and of the workshop.

· Workshop Information and Bookings for Video Camera Users

· Workshop Information and Bookings for DSLR Users

Visit Pieter's
Facebook Page
for news of upcoming workshops and innovations.

AFTRS Cinematography Course & New Bachelor of Screen Arts Information Day

Directing the Moving Camera Masterclass with Gil Bettman

Director, author and professor Gil Bettman of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in California, brings his Masterclass to AFTRS Open for the first time. This seminar redefines the overarching principles of how to use images to tell a story.

Students are taught how to apply those principals to the unique requirements of each scene in a film in order to devise a moving shot which strikes the perfect balance between motion and drama -- and best advances the story through that scene.

Over two days of theory and practical demonstrations (with actors) in the AFTRS professional film studio, you will learn, prepare, choreograph, shoot and critique a dialogue scene, putting Gil's teachings into practice in director/cinematographer teams of two.

This class will be limited to 14 students so get in quick!

DATES: July 12 – 13
DETAILS: AFTRS Moving Camera Masterclass

AFTRS is also introducing a NEW Bachelor of Screen Arts degree for 2015.

Deeply focused on the art and craft of storytelling, the three-year program also provides exciting opportunities to collaborate with other students and be taught by some of the best screen practitioners in the best facilities in Australia.

To get the facts and speak with academic advisers AFTRS's is is hosting an Information Day.

When:Saturday June 28
Where:AFTRS, Building 130, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park (Entry via Lang Rd)

Voted the top #20 film school in the world, by industry bible The Hollywood Reporter (in October 2012), AFTRS presents unrivalled opportunities for students to network and form life-long professional relationships.

Entry is by merit selection. Applications for 2015 will open in September 2014.

More information: AFTRS Website

AACTA Membership - A Message from Geoffrey Rush

Geoffrey Rush here... as AACTA Prez, I invite you to engage with the ever-blossoming Australian Academy and become a member today.

The AACTA Awards is a sparkling annual celebration of the best and brightest in our screen industry. But if that's all you think AACTA does, think again!

Join colleagues and friends at our regular Members' Events, learn about and debate new trends and ideas, and be inspired by the work and stories of our talented screen creators.

Now in full swing in Sydney and expanding each month in Melbourne, our year-round Members' Event program has been embraced by members both new and long-standing.

For a full list of member benefits and to become part of the Academy visit

Watch Geoffrey Rush Video Message »


Designed especially for the ACS by Scott Windon these new shirts will also feature a small ACS logo on the back - and comes in a good range of sizes!

Cost: $25.00 + postage.

Need a Presenter, Voiceover or Journalist to interview on or off camera?

Renee Brack is now out of contract and available for production work.

She is a long time friend of the ACS and participated in many ACS Awards and panel events.

Her skill set includes scripting, presenting, interviewing and voiceover and is comfortable with serious, technical subject matter as well as light entertainment.

And here's the best part - you can contact her direct via her website:

Keep up to date with ACS news via Facebook

ACS Facebook page »

ACS National Headquarters
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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