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September 2020
“With great power comes great responsibility.”

A Message from the President

Greetings ACS members and colleagues,

I cannot begin to tell you how absolutely delighted I am with the response to the #WHOISINYOURCREW initiative.

It gladdens the heart of this old bugger that we have as one come together to recognise and to acknowledge all our friends and colleagues in such a significant way. Well done to Bonnie Elliott ACS who along with a dedicated group got this off the ground and into clear air. Now is the time to keep the impetus going and to let it remain in the forefront of our thinking, both here at home and globally.

ACS ACCREDITATION is now open, so I encourage those eligible to contact me or your Branch President regarding your application. You will need to have all your material and paperwork uploaded into the SILVERTRAK dedicated Media Room by no later than the end of September. I wish you nothing but good luck.

Our Society cannot function without our Sponsors, and I want to thank all those Sponsors, past and present who have continued to support the ACS through some difficult times, the least not being Covid-19. This virus has impacted everything and everyone in it’s path and our Sponsors have also been affected. On behalf of us all thank you to all our Sponsors for their support and their collaborative spirit.

Until next time
Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President
Thinking about Accreditation...  .  
Submissions Open September 1st through 30th.
Now is the time to start thinking about the work you are going to submit if you are eligible to apply for Accreditation this year.

Please use the link below to review all the conditions, and if you require further information along with any advice regarding your submission please contact me or your Branch President.
How to apply for Accreditation


Join ACS NSW & Director of Photography Ben Jasper as he gives us an insight into living and working out of Asia as well as his experience shooting in Bollywood.
September Monthly Online Drop In
Thursday September 17th
7:00pm (AEST)
REGISTER here for Online Drop in...
Crew death renews concerns over film set safety amid COVID-19
John Nolan on the set of “The Paper Tigers,” a martial arts action-comedy film. Nolan developed COVID-19 symptoms after working on a commercial shoot in July and died last week.
(Al’n Duong)
“If any good can come from John’s passing, it would be for the production side of our industry to be more mindful this COVID thing is still out there waiting for us,” said Ben Ketai, a Los Angeles-based film and television director who worked with Nolan for several years on his TV show “StartUp” that first aired in 2016 on the streaming video service Crackle. “Film sets are busy, crowded places and it’s very easy to get into a comfortable rhythm and let your guard down. “
Click here to read original LA TIMES article


ACS Queensland is very excited to announce a new, special category of award for 2020. The Outstanding Support Award is designed to shine a light on the many fantastic people that support our projects and the broader industry. If you can think of anyone who you’d like to nominate, we’re now accepting submissions from our membership base, all we require is a short paragraph explaining; who you’re nominating and why! Nominees do not have to be members, it could be your favourite rental house, a focus puller who’s had your back all year, a production designer, or your mum who’s catering saved the day. Submissions will be assessed by the Queensland committee, with the winner announced during the Queensland Awards night. Please send your nominations to  Submissions close October 10


I recently received a grant from the Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship, which is providing me with about $16 000 to travel to Los Angeles to participate in two ASC Masterclasses. 

I heard about the fellowship through a series of Facebook ads, after the third time seeing the ad, I thought it was about time that I checked it out, and found that I matched their criteria quite well.  The fellowship aims to develop creatives internationally by undertaking training programs, mentorships or structured experiences. 
The application process was quite straight forward; explain what you’re wanting to do, submit a short bio and CV, and of course a body of work. 

The next step was slightly more involved; I had to provide lots of detail as to how the activities would develop my career and how I can share my experience and learning with the local industry and broader community. I think its key that anyone applying for these sorts of grants reads the questions very carefully and explain in great detail. Another aspect of the application that’s highly scrutinised is the budget, they required a detailed budget and quotes for all expenses that they were funding, just to make sure that it’s all above board.  
The final step requires applicants to attach letters of reference, I’d love to thank Ben Nott ACS and Erika Addis for offering to be my referees
Due to coronavirus its quite unclear as to when I’ll actually be able to attend the masterclasses, but be sure to keep your eyes on the newsletter, AC mag, and my instagram for updates. I really look forward to sharing what I learn and hopefully running into a few of our members while in Los Angeles.

I encourage everyone to keep their eyes out for grants and fellowships like this, you never know where you’ll find them. 

Big thank you to the Brisbane City Council, AFTRS, the ACS, Ben Nott ACS, Brian Flexmore & Panavision, Erika Addis and of course our wonderful National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS. 

Julian Panetta

Kees van Oostrum ASC highlights the 
Mark Milsome Foundation

Some 20 years ago, Doug Milsome ASC BSC and his wife Debbie were our neighbors in Los Angeles. Doug and I had worked together and became friends. Not only did we talk about cinematography, but our personal lives intertwined. Many an evening was spent conversing about our lives and often about our children. Ours were toddlers. His, Mark and Sarah, were teenagers and embarking on their careers. Mark Milsome, their son, was often spoken about. He was a camera assistant back in England hoping to become a cinematographer following in Doug's footsteps. As creative artists, we all strive to leave something behind, a great shot, a beautifully lit movie or, more importantly in both our lives, a son to continue on.

When the word got out a few years ago that Mark had passed on because of a terrible accident on a movie set, I could not imagine the loss this meant for the Milsome family. To lose a child, the father of your grandchild, is beyond any expectation. It seemed so unjustifiable and crude under the circumstances. At first, my thoughts were with Doug, Debbie and the family, but then over the past years, hearing more about the details of a car stunt gone out of control, my sorrow was overtaken by anger. I could not, and cannot, to this day, overcome the feeling that this deadly incident was unnecessary and could have been prevented if some simple safety precautions were in place.

What remains today, besides the memories of a son and a father, is the crude reality of life after. Part of this life is a process of healing for those that stayed behind, Part of this process is the quest for justice. The Milsome family, supported by many friends and colleagues in the industry, have justifiably embarked on this quest to make sense of this tragedy and as an effort to prevent this type of accident in the future. 

An inquest started over two years ago, a process to find answers. Answers that eventually will lead to a better world for us in the name and remembrance of Mark Milsome.

The Milsome family needs our support and I hope that you will join them on their path as, in the end, it affects us all. You can read the letter from Sarah Milsome, which includes details of how to donate to the Mark Misome Foundation, now by clicking here.


Kees van Oostrum ASC
President IMAGO

ACHTEL 9×7 65 Megapixel Motion Picture Camera

Pawel Achtel ACS has been working on a 9×7 Megapixel Motion Picture Camera for the last couple of years and this week he officially announced it.

Australian cinematographer and camera inventor, Pawel Achtel ACS, is no novice when it comes to inventing and producing high-end camera technology. His company’s DeepX and 3Deep camera systems for underwater cinematography featured revolutionary designs, using carefully tested and matched Nikonos underwater lenses mounted on RED cameras. And, the company’s patented 3D beam-splitter was recently used extensively on James Cameron’s latest Avatar sequels, in New Zealand, prompting the legendary Hollywood director to write that the results were the best underwater 3D images he’d ever seen. By far.

The 9×7 is a 65MP camera that has a resolution of 9.3K x 7K. It was nicknamed 9×7, due to its native resolution being just over 9K wide and 7K tall and boasting twice the pixel count of the highest commercially available large format digital cinema cameras.

This is a specialized camera designed for IMAX and Giant Screen, VFX, and VR, hence the 4:3 aspect ratio and small size to rig it for 3D configurations.
The file sizes huge, but with that, you improve image quality which is important when displaying on giant screens.

Matthew Allard ACS interview with Pawel Achtel ACS about the 9×7
All photos Copyright: Pawel Achtel ACS
Read full NEWSHOOTER.COM article by Matthew Allard ACS

Learning From Europe: Denmark? is a Hybrid Conference that will take place at Metro Kinokulthaus in Vienna, Austria, this Thursday, 17th September. 

Through keynote speeches and a panel over the course of one day, the conference will take a closer look into Denmark’s film industry and the links between fair working conditions, gender equality and high-quality film production.
The online event is completely free to attend and is open to everyone, wherever you may be in the world.

Register for Free HERE

Keeping Dementia in the front of our minds

Currently there are an estimated 459,000 Australians living with Dementia. Some of those may be your family members or friends.
Mind Games for Dementia fundraiser
From 6:00pm on the 23rd October 2020
until 6:00pm on the 25th October 2020

The fundraiser will be a marathon event whereby participants are to play board games and puzzles in relay teams over a 48 hour period.  Boards games and puzzles are to be played as these activities are often referred to as good stimuli for one’s brain. The event will be held at my school, Santa Sabina College , Strathfield NSW 2315.
For donations please go:  
Thank you and stay safe.
 Bella Merlino

Cinematographers Society embraces greater diversity

31 August, 2020 by Don Groves

Instigated by the Society’s president Ron Johanson OAM ACS, the ACS Women’s Advisory Panel, which was formed eight years ago, has been expanded and renamed as the ACS Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation Panel.

As a result, the membership base has been broadened to include cinematographers of colour, Indigenous Australians, LGBTQI-identifying people and many women from the original WAP, chaired by Justine Kerrigan.

“Working under a mandate to discuss more openly ways to improve these matters within our own Society, in camera departments and on film sets, we anticipate the meetings will become an open forum for all to share thoughts and experiences and to put forward ideas that will help the Society move forward in positive and inclusive ways,” Kerrigan said.

Among the new members of the panel are Cara Hurley, Allan Collins, Lucas Tomoana, Murray Lui, Claire Bishop, Vanessa Cox, Miguel Gallagher, Joanne Donahoe-Beckwith and Ben Cotgrove. 

The continuing members include Sissy Reyes, Ron Johanson OAM ACS, Erika Addis, Anna Howard ACS, Bonnie Elliott ACS, Carolyn Constantine ACS, Lizz Vernon, Velinda Wardell ACS and Katie Millwright ACS. 

This follows the recent election of NSW-based cinematographer Constantine as NSW branch president, the first woman to hold that post. She joins Erika Addis, who is the Queensland branch president.

Johanson said: “The Society encourages all women, people of colour, Indigenous Australians, LGBQTI-identifying people and disabled people to attend our meetings and events, which are carried out in a safe and welcoming environment and to let your collective voices help the Society to grow and foster diverse and emerging cinematographers.”

Last month 27 of Australia’s top cinematographers last night launched the social media campaign #whoisinyourcrew, aimed at boosting the number of women employed in camera teams and, more broadly, encouraging greater diversity across the screen industry.

The brainchild of Bonnie Elliott ACS, the six-week campaign is designed to reach all heads of department as well as directors and producers.

Within the ACS there are 16 accredited women out of 279 accredited members who are still active, which equates to under 6 per cent.

Of 676 cinematographers, 41 or 6 per cent are female. Among 296 camera crew, 50 or 17 per cent are female. The ratio is higher among student members: 29 of 109, or nearly 27 per cent.

For Screen Australia-funded productions between 2016-19, 13 of the 166 features were shot by female DOPs (7 per cent), and 29 of the 253 drama series were shot by female DOPs (11 per cent).

Elliott said: “The #WhoIsInYourCrew campaign has had global outreach and we are hopeful that this ACS campaign will open the doors in other countries and reinforce the message to all societies, which will then enable the ACS to work hand in glove with colleagues internationally.”


The Australian Cinematographers Society 


Alexis Castanga touches base after attending Lens testing at LEITZ
Hi Ron, 
I was recently invited to Leitz Park in Wetzlar, Germany and I wanted to share my experience and some photos with you and our members. 

From the outset let me say, this was my first time in Germany and having the cab driver apologise for only reaching 180km/ph for my first experience on the autobahn, made me remember I wasn’t in Australia anymore! Rainer, Silke and the Leitz rep for London, Kevin, were very welcoming and I was soon settled in the Leitz hotel. DoPs, buyers and rental houses from all over Europe were gathering under the guise of a lens test, really it was a BBQ; an excuse for a get together.    
There was a large contingent of Spanish and French Cinematographers as well as a lot of Italians and as you can imagine, a whole lot of Germans. We were quickly sorted into groups and I found myself in a group with Gavin Finney BSC (former president of the society), my dear friend Peter Marsden (a very experienced DIT), Charles Heals (a commercial Cinematographer specialising in cars), Aaron George (you may all remember from his Panavision days) who now runs CVP – a camera and lens retailer as well as a couple of charming Italians, Marcello Montarsi AIC and Emanuele Zarlenga AIC.
Sahin Karavar  with the 25 – 75 mm LEITZ ZOOM lens
We were given a tour of the factory (through glass of course). There we saw some cleaning and quality checks and one of the lovely Leitz 25-75mm zooms, ready for the shelf. From there we had a guided tour of the gallery Leitz have built onsite, a collection of stills were on exhibition by Dr Paul Wolff and Alfred Tritschler. Some wonderful architectural images from Hands to the Hindenburg and shots that document the rise of fascism. Images that inspired generations of photographic artists, if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend. Then we had the normal tour, some of the most iconic images of the last century and finally to the archive of all the old Leitz/Leica equipment.
The next day, whilst some decided on a late morning, Peter and I had a walk through the Leitz woods (yes, they have their own woods!). Making rifle sights, they of course need somewhere to show them off.


We came back for an organic lens test. Basically, it was a table full of lenses from a full set of the new full frame primes, including the prototype 350mm to the new zooms 25-75mm and 55-125mm, as well as the Thalias, the Summilux and Sumicron and the M lenses. For cameras, we had an ARRI Mini LF and a RED Monstro, either outside looking at the architecture and sculpture of Leitz Park or into the woods to have a look at depth and play with focus. Why not both?! The sunset brought an end to the testing, a Barbecue turned up full of delicious German treats. As you can imagine we talked, ate and drank late into the night.
Peter Marsden wanted to try and recreate the first photo attributed to Leica, so first thing in the morning we walked down the hill into the historic town of Wetzlar to find the plaque commemorating the exact position. Back at Leitz Park, I had just enough time for breakfast with Kees Van Oostrum ASC, the former president of the ASC and the new head of Imago who reminded me to pass on his kind regards.

I had an absolutely wonderful time at Leitz Park, my sincerest thanks go to Rainer and the whole Leitz team for a superbly organised event and their hospitality. A thank you must also go to you Ron, for facilitating the dialogue between Rainer and myself and to the ACS for their generosity in paying for my travel costs. 
If you ever find yourself in Germany, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a visit to Leitz Park and the town of Wetzlar.
Stay safe,
Thinking of you all,
Alexis K Castagn
We worked with a panel of professional scenic artists and professors to develop a range of practice kits that would provide colors and materials for painters to test and explore different scenic techniques.
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Lean more about ROSCO Scenic Sets
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