National eNews 3rd December 2015


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Editor: Lizz Vernon

Lizz Vernon

In This Issue

  • Message from the President
  • Check out the Winners from VIC/TAS Awards
  • Adelaide TWENTY16 Awards - Start Planning Your Trip
  • Postcard from Francesco Chiari - on set with Mentor John Brawley
  • 2015 Camerimage Drew Llewellyn ACS Scholarship - Lizz Vernon
  • AACTA Award Early Winners Announced
  • AACTA - book your tickets Last Chance!
  • ACS CineKids ~ Rolling Again
  • ACS/AACTA Meet the Makers 2015
  • AFTRS OPEN - Lastest Courses

Message from the President

Greetings ACS colleagues and friends,

November is behind us and all the ACS Awards presentations with it. Victoria/Tasmania were the last to be presented and the results are in a link below.

Once again the work of our ACS members gave the judges many headaches due to the incredible standard across the board, and the National judges will also have quite a task in front of them deciding from over a hundred Gold Tripod nominees across 18 categories. The process will commence in late March in Adelaide, the host city, with the National Awards taking place on Saturday, 30 April at the Adelaide Convention Centre, with some very special additional events taking place.


VIC/TAS 2015 Award Winners »

Sunday, 29 November was a very busy day for the Society with the NSW Branch hosting a successful CineKids workshop at the HQ, and our contribution to the AACTA – Meet the Nominees initiative was held at AFTRS, was moderated by Kim Batterham ACS and gave those attending the opportunity to hear John Seale ACS ASC, Martin McGrath ACS, Louie Eroglu ACS, Torstein Dyrting ACS, Damian Wyvill ACS, Nick Robinson and Jon Shaw talk about their respective films that were nominated in the various Cinematography categories.

The results of the first round of the AACTA Awards can be seen by clicking on the link, but recipients include John Seale ACS ASC for Best Feature Film Cinematography for Mad Max: Fury Road, Geoffrey Hall ACS received the AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in Television for Deadline Gallipoli Part 1 and the AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in a Documentary went to Nick Robinson, Luke Peterson and Jon Shaw for Life On the Reef Episode 1.

5th AACTA Awards ~ 2015 First Winners List »

In closing I want to pass on my thanks to you all, and wish you a safe and peaceful Christmas with family and friends alike. I will be spending time with my family in Perth this Christmas and look forward to being back in touch in early January.

Until next time…

Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President

ACS Mentor-Attachment Scheme – Francesco Chiari

Just like many young cinematographers, I’m eager to learn from the more experienced members of the ACS and although working as camera assistant does put you up close to their work, your own job always comes first. That’s why I was excited and pleased, when earlier this year I received communication that my application for the ACS Mentor-Attachment Scheme was successful, and that I was going to be attached to cinematographer John Brawley on the set of the upcoming Universal Cable Productions (UCP) TV series Hunters.

John involved me in the entire development of a single block of the show; from pre-production meetings, to location surveys, then onto the shoot where those days of planning would come to fruition on set, in front of the camera. My previous experience in shooting short form drama never prepared me for the scale of a larger production with all its intricacies of planning and developing in an ever changing scenario. What was valuable for me, was being able to see the entire process up close as the different departments, in collaboration with camera, planned each scene and when the shoot day arrived, improvised if conditions changed.

Being attached on set to your mentor is a truly privileged experience, you are placed in a position where you can observe, take notes and ask questions. John was incredibly welcoming as were all the crew, and despite being busy on the most demanding block of the production, John always cared about my experience, and took time to answer my questions.

The Mentor-Attachment Scheme is truly an invaluable opportunity for us younger members and we are lucky to have such a dedicated and generous society here in Australia. I would like to personally thank John Brawley and National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS for their continued support.

~ Francesco Chiari

Drew Llewellyn ACS Camerimage Scholarship Wrap Up ~ Lizz Vernon

Well I’m back from Camerimage and it is with great thanks to the family of Drew Llewellyn ACS and the ACS for allowing me to take part in the first ever Drew Llewellyn ACS scholarship and head to Poland for the most amazing film festival in the world.

Garrett Brown, Lizz Vernon & Richard Andry enjoying Camerimage

A film festival where the Cinematographers are the hero’s of the day and they all seem to converge into Bydgoszcz in Poland so thrilled to finally be able to meet, mix and mingle with their peers it is absolutely wonderful to be a part of such a brilliant event.

The festival itself is jam packed with all sorts of films including shorts, music videos, documentaries and features plus so much more my count was over 290 film choices alone across 14 venues, including venues in Galleries in neighboring Torun– so planning and recommendations really helped.

Also on offer more master classes and workshops than you could attend on topics such as lighting, stedicam inventor Garrett Brown ran a workshop about The Moving Camera: Why is one shot better than another? (Boy of boy is that guy tall!).

There was workshops on a range of cameras, loads on equipment, motion capture, latest in lens technology both anamorphic and spherical, sponsors workshops plus ample opportunities to go to seminars, Q&A’s, Special Talks and screenings with this years Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Chris Menges BSC ASC and even a tribute to Conrad Hall ASC. There were even scheduled opportunities for private meetings.

I took in as much as I possibly could every day and tried to really mix up my choices.

…and yes you can get an app for that… Check it out on iTunes! Lucky for me the App was in English and was an enormous help with getting around town, to the right venue at the right time and knowing what and where to go to after that.

The main venue was the Opera Nova which had a supersized screen especially fitted out with a special laser projector from Barco, which is the way films should be viewed, and was definitely a topic of discussion amongst the DP’s.

Camerimage App »

Beside the venue runs the Burda river making it most picturesque and the perfect place to run a drone workshop on a windy day – enter ARRI with the Helicopter Girls and our very own Nicola Daley ACS showing a packed workshop how to capture stunning footage of a couple crossing the river on a footbridge using an ARRI Mini mounted in a drone. Very impressive.

There were films galore at the Multikino and a wide range of presentations at the MCK-Orzel Cinema which was only a stroll away from the Opera Nova – The Personal, Political and Poetic approach to film À La Christopher Doyle style was a highlight as was the talk on Anamorphic & Large Format presentation from Panavision. It was wonderful to be able to attend these events while catching up with some really lovely people from all over the world, but especially nice to touch base with so many London based Aussies.

While everything was mostly within walking distance there was also a fleet of BMW’s on hand to get you across town or to a party all part of the much appreciated sponsorship for the 23rd festival. There was even a daily Art Bus to get you to Torun for the fabulous exhibitions

There is a multi-level Expo showcasing the latest in Lights, Cameras, Lenses even a set of Anamorphic 65 Lenses released only days before the show, an amazing selection of fabric diffusion and so so much more, and the dedicated reppleWebKit/601.4.4(KHTML,likeavailable day and night at their stands, or mixing and catching up at the workshops or during the evenings at the parties or clubs. The sun may turn early in Poland but none of the Camerimage participants did!

The evenings and sponsors parties provide the perfect opportunity and atmosphere to catch up on the days events and meet with so many people.

Each set of friendships you make seems to cascade into further introductions and so it goes, "The magic of a festival." You can start and continue conversations over successive evenings, and venues listening intently to what someone has to say, and over the course of your jam packed week and by the time you leave you have forged the start of some lifelong friendships, met with your peers, your hero’s, your mentors and in some cases the very people who inspired you to seek a life in this industry in the first place – what an enormous privilege to be apart of it all.

I would urge you to put Camerimage in your sights – The Pilgrimage for every cinematographer.

Tired, Inspired and ready for more… Get yourself there, you won’t regret it!

~ Lizz Vernon

Check out the the winners at Camerimage 2015 »

ACS CineKids Workshop, Nov 29th ~ by Richard Wilmot

L-R Momoco Hill-Travis, Mirabai Levin de Graaf, Harry Jones.

ACS CineKids Rolling again!

Lights, Camera, Action…CineKids were rolling again on Sunday morning at the ACS HQ.

Under the watchful eyes of Anna Howard ACS and myself, 8 CineKids were on set for the second workshop of this very new and exciting category of the ACS.

Call time was 0930 and all crew were on time with their films ready to be screened.

Harry Jones screened his school project “Water” which was shot in 30 minutes.
Aiden Emery screened his school project “Soccer” cut to an AC/DC soundtrack.
Darwin Schulze screened his award winning “Mission Implausible” a spy/comedy action film.
Momoco Hill-Travis screened her award winning film “I Scream” a dramatic heart felt story.

All of the junior cinematographers then shared their stories and revealed some of their “on set” secrets with each other. All films were definitely from different genres but what was abundantly clear is that all told their stories in excellent cinematic fashion.

Next the group moved onto some practical exercises, including tripod set up, framing, tilting, panning and even focus pulling!
With our most generous CineKids sponsor VIDEOCRAFT donating a Sony XD Camera, Miller Tripod and Dedo Light Kit the CineKids crew were well equipped to perform their various tasks.
The final exercise was looking at perspective. Long lens v wide angle lens, high angle v low angle, foreground v clean frame and light v dark. The entire group was enthusiastic and very quick to learn and showed no fear in trying the new techniques that they were being shown.

Thanks must go to David Lewis ACS, David Wakeley ACS, Marianne Wakeley, Lizz Vernon and Jacqueline Cosgrove all who gave their time and energies on a Sunday morning.

All participants enjoyed themselves and decided that at the next workshop that they would like to learn about camera movement, dollies, sliders and filming action sequences!

Wrap time was 1230pm.

ACS @ AACTA Meet the Makers 2015

Last Sunday eight of our finest Cinematographers assembled at AFTRS for a public seminar on their work. They were all nominated for AACTA Awards across three categories and representing seven films.

Torstein Dytring ACS - Prison Songs
Jon Shaw and Nick Robinson – Life on the Reef
Louie Eroglu ACS – The Killing Season
Marty McGrath ACS – Banished
Bruce Young – The Secret River
Damian Wyvill ACS – Oddball
John Seale ACS ASC – Mad Max: Fury Road

Each DP talked about the challenges and aims they had for their films. It was so exciting to here such disparate experiences. Nick talked of wrangling turtles night after night, for 5 nights, while he guarded his time-lapse rig on a remote Torres straight atoll. The turtles would charge up the beach in there hundreds to lay their eggs, not caring what was in the way whether it was Nick or the camera.
Damian Wyvill ACS had a similar problem with animals. The penguins where great, if you gave them a fish they would do anything, until they were full but the Maremma sheepdog was basically untrainable and spend all its time making sure the set was safe from predators.

Torstein talked about creating a musical documentary in a real prison under available light. The time you have in prison each day was short, 2 or 3 hours at most, so the pressure to get things done is huge. Not only that you had guards and prisoners who didn’t want you there and would disrupt or slow you down.

John Seale ACS ASC charted some of the erratic history of Fury Roads long gestation; the abandonment of the 3D and the extraordinary planning that had been done to achieve the amazing look of the film and those incredible stunts.

Everyone riffed off each other, Nick said afterwards,” It’s a strange profession in that we rarely get to meet other image obsessive's and after spending an hour on the panel with them I left with a real sense of belonging.”

Kim Batterham ACS


Don’t miss out on celebrating at the Australian screen industry’s major Awards at @TheStarEventCentre in Sydney
- industry tickets are available now via



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The Six Week Film School

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