National E-News SHORT ENDS 1st August 2015


AC Magazines

Editor: Lizz Vernon

In This Issue

- President's Report
- Awards Categories
- ACS HQ Report
- ASC extends an invitation to RUBEN GUTHRIE Screening with Q&A
- QANTAS Dangerous Goods Operator Approval - Download available
- Letter from LA LA Land
- Accreditation Applications & Drew Llewelyn ACS Camerimage Scholarships now closed
- AFI/AACTA Member's Event ~ Screening of "The Kid Stakes" (last of the silent films made in Australia in 1927)
- National Sponsors Initiatives for 2015-16
- NZCS extends and invitation to see Michael Seresin in conversation
- Postcard from Katie Milwright
- Letters from LA LA Land...
- Landmark NZ TV shot with SONY PMW-F55
- Film Review - Strangerland (2015) ~ Review by James Cunningham
- AFTRS ~ August Courses & Links
- ACS Sponsors

From The President

...he was just 17 …you know what I mean.

Greetings ACS colleagues,

This month I’m delighted to welcome our incredibly generous National sponsors who are continuing their support of the Society, and I welcome new National Platinum sponsors; Panavision, who are one of our long term, supporting sponsors, Flying Dragon and Dragon Image, along with Videocraft who have become our dedicated ACS CineKids sponsor and also to XM2 Aerial as a Silver sponsor.

I thank all of our National sponsors for your incredible generosity and support over many years. Support that continues to see the Society grow, and go from strength to strength. I remind all our sponsors that the Society is there to support you, and to encourage any marketing opportunities that could exist between our organisations.

Our ACS Awards categories committee have again reviewed all our Awards categories after consultation and discussion. Here are the categories that will be in place for the 2015 -16 Awards for Cinematography, with the relevantb National sponsor. I'm pleased to say that the connection between the Society and Lemac continues with Lemac becoming the Awards sponsor of the newly created category-

John Bowring ACS Entertainment, TV Magazine, Breaks & Promos, therefore continuing the long standing collaboration between our two organisatiions.

Here are the categories that will be in place for the 2015 -16 Awards for Cinematography.


CAT 2: Student Cinematography (AFTRS)

CAT 3: Experimental & Specialised (POST LOUNGE)

CAT 4: Music Videos (ARRI Australia)

CAT 5: Syd Wood ACS Local / National News (SPEAKEASY)

CAT 6: Neil Davis International News (MILLER CAMERA SUPPORT)

CAT 7: Current Affairs (BLACKMAGIC DESIGN)

CAT 8: John Bowring ACS Entertainment, TV Magazine, Breaks & Promos (LEMAC)

CAT 9: Corporate & Educational (SUNSTUDIOS)

CAT 10: Web Content & New Media (PANASONIC)

CAT 11: Documentaries (DRAGONIMAGE)

CAT 12: Ron Taylor AM ACS Wildlife & Nature (VA DIGITAL)

CAT 13: Advertising - Local / Regional (FLYING DRAGON)

CAT 14: Advertising - National / International (GEARHEAD)

CAT 15: Dramatised Documentaries (CANON)

CAT 16: Short Films (DDP STUDIOS)

CAT 17: Drama or Comedy Series & Telefeatures (SONY)

CAT 18: Features - Cinema (PANAVISION)

Ron Johanson OAM ACS National President

ACS Headquarters Report July 2015

Piet De Vries ACS - continues to hold his very successful PDV Digital Cinema Workshops at the headquarters

The Australian Production Designers Guild - hold their monthly meeting in the boardroom on the last Monday of each month.

The ACS National Board - has also held several meetings this month in the boardroom.

Channel 9 - 60 Minutes – Recorded several segments of it popular program at the HQ

Jon Shaw - ginclearfilm – held several of his underwater workshops :

NSW Thurs Night Drop In – Featured guest, Mr Les Zellan from Cooke Optics discussed how Cooke's high-end, Academy Award–winning cinema lenses are made. With over 100 years of experience, making the highest quality lenses, cinema and Cooke’s history are very much connected.

This very successful night presented by Lemac and the ACS was well attended and enjoyed by all .

The unique space below is still available for immediate rental. It would suit a small production or editing company – contact David Lewis for more info. [email protected]

Support the Headquarters and the ACS at upcoming events and watch it grow.
Remember the HQ is there for all members to use.

For details contact
David Lewis ACS or Richard Wilmot

[email protected] » - David Lewis ACS
[email protected] » - Richard Wilmot
RSVP essential - »


Are you planning n flying with Lithium ion Batteries?
Flying with the Qantas/Jetstar Group?

2015 Approval Form available for download via link below or on the ACS Website. Conditions listed via the links below:

Click Here to download PDF Approval »
QANTAS Approval to Carry Li-ion Batteries »

Accreditation applications for 2015 are now closed, as is the Inaugural Drew Llewelyn ACS Camerimage Scholarship.

The Accreditation panel will review submissions on August 28 and 29 at the ACS HQ. All applicants will be advised as soon as the results are known.

AFI/AACTA Member's Event

~ Screening of "The Kid Stakes" (last of the silent films made in Australia in 1927)

The evening is hosted by multi AFI award-winning producer Anthony Buckley.

Following the screening there will be a panel discussion featuring the former Lord Mayor of Sydney Lucy Turnbull, cinematographer John Seale ACS, Sydney Film Festival co-founder David Donaldson, NFSA curator Gayle Lake, and composer Jan Preston.

THE KID STAKES is a silent black and white comedy, adapted from Syd Nicholls’ Fatty Finn comic strip and directed by Tal Ordell. Film critic Paul Byrnes calls it "one of the greatest comedies of the silent era, although it was largely dismissed at the time as simply a children’s film".

Shot almost entirely in Potts Point and Woolloomooloo, the film offers unique insight into life in these harbourside suburbs during the depression era years of the 1920s. The film has been digitally remastered for this screening, and is the first of many treasures from the NFSA that we hope to present to members over the coming years.

RSVP Required: » - RSVP to attend The Kids Stakes: Sydney - 2015 AFI AACTA Member Event » - We hope you will join us in celebrating this charming film. Join AFI | AACTA and secure your seat today!



The CANON - ACS INITIATIVE is well underway, and we are asking for interested parties to contact us with your filmmaking ideas, in order to utilise the range of Canon equipment being made available to you, our ACS members.

• Applications will only be accepted via email to CANON - ACS convenor: Helen Barrow

[email protected] »
Canon Australia ~ ACS National Equipment Initiative »


ACS NATIONAL GOLD SPONSOR SUNSTUDIOS are contributing to the development of our ACS members with an initiative we've called SUNSTUDIOS – ACS TVC SHOOTOUT. More information and details will be available in the September National E News.


MILLER CAMERA SUPPORT, a sponsor and partner of the Society for decades will again offer the BOB MILLER - ACS TECHNICAL & INNOVATION AWARD, which was presented to Tasmanian member, Pawel Achtel at the 2015 National Awards, for his innovative 3D underwater housings.

Applications will be open early in the New Year, so keep watching this space!

VIDEOCRAFT - ACS CineKids Sponsor

This year will see VIDEOCRAFT become our first National sponsor dedicated solely to ACS CineKids.

The ACS will work closely with Jeanette Taylor and Heidi Tobin at Videocraft to further promote and develop ACS CineKids in order for it to reach a broader group of eligible children, who will benefit from participating as a member of ACS CineKids.

Some of the benefits for ACS CineKids members will be:

~ Prize vouchers for the ACS National CineKids Gold certificate winner presented at the National Awards in 2016 and for the State & Territory Awards Gold certificate winners in each age category
~ A special Videocraft promo pack voucher for every CineKids members when they join
~ Plus support the National ACS in its commitment to mentoring ACS Cinekids events


Since 2010 the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) have been instrumental in the progress of the careers of many young ACS members via the NFSA – JOHN LEAKE OAM ACS EMERGING CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD, and will continue their generous support in 2016.

Those successful recipients from 2010 – 2015 were:

~ 2010 Kirsty Stark SA,
~ 2011 Edward Goldner VIC
~ 2012 Jimmy Ennett ACT,
~ 2013 Dale Bremner NSW
~ 2014 Thom Neal NT,
~ 2015 Josh Farmelo VIC

Invitation A unique evening in conversation with Michael Seresin

You are invited to an evening conversation with Micheal Seresin, best is known for his work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Midnight Express (1978) and numerous other films.

DOP Michael Seresin

Michael's story is about a Kiwi who left his job as a PA at Pacific Films in Wellington in 1966 to pursue a career as a freelance camera assistant in Europe. From 1970 he combined commercials work with shooting movies, becoming a director of photography for Harold Becker, Adrian Lyne and Alan Parker, on films such as "Bugsy Malone", and "Angela's Ashes."

Come and hear him draw on his unmatched experience to give you insights that you'll never get anywhere else.

All this while sipping on a glass of some of New Zealand’s finest wine from Michael’s own winery, Seresin Estate.

Hope to see you there,

When: Thursday 6th of August at 7 pm
Location: The Allpress Gallery, Browns Mill Building, Cnr Drake and Adelaide Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland
RSVP: [email protected]
Entry: NZCS members (free) and friends ($5)

‘Looking For Grace’ in competition at the Venice Film Festival Director: Sue Brooks Cinematographer: Katie Milwright

Photo credit: Richard Roxburgh, courtesy of Getty/Noel Vaquez Katie Milwright, courtesy Giovanni Losetto

After delivering a critical and crowd favourite with 2003’s Japanese Story, writer/director Sue Brooks' new film Looking For Grace – is in competition at the prestigious Venice Film Festival.

Brooks has nabbed a top-tier cast in Richard Roxburgh (Rake, Moulin Rouge) and Radha Mitchell (The Waiting City), who will play the parents of 14-year-old runaway, Grace (newcomer Odessa Young), who hit the road with a retired detective (Terry Norris) to try and retrieve her.

The film was produced by Lizzette Atkins, Sue Taylor and Alison Tilson, and executive producers are Antonio and Benjamin Zeccola of domestic distributor Palace Films. The Cinematographer is our very own ACS Victorian branch member, Katie Milwright

Tristan Milani ACS

The great news here in LA LA is my favorite reality show Naked and Afraid (Nat Geo Channel) has been nominated for an Emmy this year in the TV reality unstructured section. This series puts two naked people in the jungle, that don’t even know each other, to survive on their wits for 21 days totally in the buff. The show is my new favorite and taken over from my preference of other favorites including Red- neck Island and Say yes To The Dress, New Jersey.

Reality television is booming in LA and many production crew are happy to work on the shows because they can remain in LA and not have to travel interstate. In my wildest dreams I never imagined I would ever be involved in a “reality” production but last year I helped a director out and shot a pilot..
These shows often run with 8 to 10 cameras, each with with an AC, sound recordist and producer. On some shows there are more than 20 producers.

There is an explosion of camera rental houses now in LA that just cater to the “reality” world of TV. SoCal and Rgear are but two I am going to mention. The cameras come with a huge technical dept to wrangle the cameras and data all beamed by microwaves into a central control room. In the control room the director sits closest to the screens, then the 3 EPs and then the network. The story producers all have their own monitors on the other side of the room.

Most of the “reality” series are non union so there is no time and a half on the sixth day. More often than not the shows shoot for 24hrs and bring on an an entire new camera team after 12 hours. There are between 8 to 12 remote cameras recording as well with an operator in the control room. These productions are huge I had 10 electrics working for 3 weeks to pre light the spaces...

Tristan Milani ACS

What I found is that the young camera operators are a force to themselves. They carry these very heavy cameras (approx 20-25 lbs) on their backs for hours on end and if a light is in their way they just move it. Forget old school this is the new way. I had a Cam Op even ask the gaffer to move a light out of his way. This happened on multiple occasions. The ADs have little or no regard for the director’s opinions because the cameras are constantly rolling. There is no off button...

If you find yourself on one of these reality productions as a Cam Op please take great care of your backs. When I suggest to these young people what they are doing to look after their spines I just get stared at..they just look right through me!

Reality TV is on the up and up and up. It is very cheap to make, no union issues and no cast costs! It didn’t take long to discover is was not my thing! I prefer to watch the silliness than make it...

Tristan Milani ACS

Hillary: a mountainous challenge Landmark NZ TV drama shot with a SONY PMW-F55

David Paul NZCS

Faced with capturing on screen the essence of venerated Kiwi climber and adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand cinematographer David Paul NZCS knew he would be asking a lot of his camera.

The choice of a Sony F55 camera for this production was a no-brainer,’ he says, ‘I can just grab it and I am ready to go. I have used all the main cameras, and so sometimes people wonder out loud why it is now my camera of choice, but when they see the pictures they go quiet.’

Straddling a pitch-black crevasse Paul remembers that the thought flashed through his mind that this would be impossible had he chosen any other camera.

‘The global shutter is a huge advance,’ says Paul. ‘Suddenly you are not worrying about vertical lines or panning even within a static frame – it's quite subtle, but add these little things together and they count.

Paul and his AC Sam Mathews repacked the camera baggage several times, eventually stripping the Nepal main camera kit down to just five cases.

‘We simply couldn’t have managed this with any other type of camera,’ he says, ‘But we had to fly up into the mountains and the villages, where the planes aren't very big.’
The cut in weight and space, was partly due to the Sony F55’s economical power consumption.

‘We could only fly with 130 W batteries to Nepal, and we ran the camera all day on four batteries.

Paul and his AC Sam Mathews repacked the camera baggage several times, eventually stripping the Nepal main camera kit down to just five cases.

‘We simply couldn’t have managed this with any other type of camera,’ he says, ‘But we had to fly up into the mountains and the villages, where the planes aren't very big.’
The cut in weight and space, was partly due to the Sony F55’s economical power consumption.

‘We could only fly with 130 W batteries to Nepal, and we ran the camera all day on four batteries.

To read the entire article please click the link below:

To read the entire article please click HERE »

Film Review: Strangerland (2015) – review by James Cunningham

Beautiful cinematography by Irish-born PJ Dillion ISC (New Boy, Vikings) isn’t enough to rescue Kim Farrant’s feature debut Strangerland from its passionless narrative and bland reality.

Catherine (Nicole Kidman), and Matthew (Joseph Finnes) are newcomers to Nathagari a remote, fictional remote Australian town. Their strained marriage and parenting of troublesome teens Tommy (Nicholas Hamilton) and Lily (Madison Brown) is pushed to its overstated limits when the children go missing during a dust storm.

Australian cinema has a dear place for ‘lost in the wilderness’ films, yet they rely on a humble and detailed approach. All the elements seem at odds in Strangerland, it has a false modesty that is difficult to pallet and can’t seem to figure what it is.

Light is continuously natural and justified. Almost throughout the movie, light is soft and diffused and shadows are rare but well employed, creating an elegant and calm atmosphere, in contrast with the characters of the story.

… three stars.

Melbourne, Australia

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Upcoming highlights include Data Wrangling on Set: File Based Cameras plus Shooting HD on your DSLR and Six Things Every Cinematographer Must Know with Steve Arnold ACS, all in April.

Modern Cinematography ~ Ellery Ryan ACS
This two day course, led by two time AFI Award winner Ellery Ryan ACS (Is This The Real World, I Love You Too, Van Diemen’s Land, The Rage In Placid Lake) investigates the theory of visual storytelling. It features a lively mix of classroom theory and practical studio demonstrations.

15 - 16 August Modern Cinematography ~ Ellery Ryan ACS

Shooting HD on your DSLR ~ Gareth Tilson
Want to shoot High Definition (HD) video on your DSLR camera? Industry expert cinematographer Gareth Tillson will show you how to make the most of your DSLR and open up the world of the moving image. This is an introductory course for new filmmakers, photography enthusiasts & existing filmmakers.

29-30 August Shooting HD on your DSLR ~ Gareth Tilson

Camera & Sound Basics ~ Paul Warren

Led by experienced cinematographer Paul Warren (The Cup, Wrath), this course is suited to those who have limited camera and sound recording experience. It will introduce you to techniques and practical skills that will enable you to produce high quality images and sound for documentary and drama - with an eye to great storytelling, the goal of all good filmmaking.

12 - 13 September Camera & Sound Basics ~ Paul Warren

Content Creation on your iPhone/iPad - Online ~ Gareth Tilson

From the comfort of your keyboard, learn how to shoot quality videos with your iPhone or iPad and create stories on the go, in this five week online course. Filmmaker and cinematographer Gareth Tillson will lead this course featuring video tutorials, weekly assignments and a weekly online chat session, where you will get real time feedback from the tutor.

Starts 24 September, online, 5 weeks Content Creation on your iPhone/iPad~ Gareth Tilson

© 2019 Australian Cinematographers Society