ACS NSW Focus 13th January 2015


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In this Issue:

January Drop In
Meet the Makers
Sony CineAlta Magazine
A Letter From LA LA Land
Awards Entry Media

January Drop In

Our guest at the January Drop In will be Jane Castle ACS who will present a very thought-provoking session bound to spark a lively discussion about what it means to be a cinematographer. Jane will present her film in development, When the Camera Stopped Rolling, a personal work about our mysterious art, the interchange between image and reality and her mother, Lilias Fraser, one of Australia’s first female cinematographers.

Jane Castle ACS on location in Los Angeles, photo Sally Eccelston

Lilias shot her first film in 1957 but despite being lauded for her luscious black and white photography found it difficult to make headway in the profession because she 'wouldn't be strong enough to carry the cameras'. But Lilias was very tenacious and eventually found her way into directing instead.

Her films were upbeat and full of light but when Jane shot her first film at 17 she saw a different world, a gritty, dystopian landscape in black and white, reflective of the dysfunction at home ‘when the camera stopped rolling’. By her mid 20s Jane was freelancing in the US and became the second woman to be accredited by the ACS.

Lilias Fraser & Jane Castle ACS on location for Women of the Iron Frontier, photo Bronwyn Murphy

Lilias Fraser & Mick Von Borneman ACS on location in PNG, photo Norman Castle

After a long break from the industry, Jane, along with producer Pat Fiske, has secured the majority of the film’s funding from Screen Australia and is now crowd-funding to raise the rest. Jane will talk about her mother's career as one of Australia's first camerawomen, her own personal journey as a cinematographer and how she is traversing the divide between the highly specialised vocation of DOP and making personal work.

Make a note in your diary for the first Drop In of the year - Thursday 15th January. As usual the doors of HQ (address below) will be open from 6pm with proceedings starting at about 7pm or so.

Meet The Makers


New in 2015, AFI | AACTA ScreenWeek (26-29 January 2015) will highlight the past year of Australian film and television more than ever before, with 10 new Meet the Makers events held over two days, complementing the 4th AACTA Awards major events.

AFI | AACTA is proud to be collaborating with each of the screen craft guilds and industry organisations to develop this comprehensive, cross-sector program.

Meet the Makers events will be held in Sydney on Monday 26 January and Wednesday 28 January, with each one-hour event featuring AACTA Award nominees and leaders from each screen craft providing insights into film and television productions nominated for the 4th AACTA Awards.

As a member of the Australian Cinematographers Society, you have exclusive access to attend the following event, along with AACTA members:

Monday 26 January 2014
6.30pm – 7.30pm
Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney

Entry to this event will be free although an RSVP will be necessary.
Further details and RSVP details will be made available closer to the date.

Sony CineAlta Magazine

Issue 4 of Sony CineAlta magazine is now available for viewing.

CineAlta is a publication focused on production stories told by filmmakers and in this issue you’ll see:

ANNIE - It’s a 4K Life – with the Director and Cinematographer

Workflow Made Easy with Catalyst Browse and Catalyst Prepare applications from Sony Creative Software

4K in Corporate Production

Sundance Labs – Education in Film Making

Behind the Scenes with Sony Professional Service

The Wedding Ringer

And interviews with:
Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC on using the F55 with Director Martin Scorsese
Daryn Okada, ASC on shooting Dolphin Tale 2 and Let’s Be Cops
Director Joseph Kosinski discusses TRON: Legacy, Oblivion, and his Destiny

To view issue 4 or previous issue use these links:

CineAlta issue 4 »
Access to all issues of CineAlta »

A Letter From LA LA Land

Whatever Happened to Focus Pullers...!

On a recent shoot I was having a natter with my gaffer Tim Strattan (an LA legend 40 yrs in the biz). He had just wrapped on Fast and Furious 7, a 110 day shoot around the world. He was mainly focused on the Atlanta, GA. portion of the shoot.
Tim went on to tell me they had 7 Alexa cameras running on the show the whole time. What is so interesting about this? Apart from the number of cameras it is the powering of all the monitors for the ACs. Seven cameras, seven tents, seven 1st ACs all tucked up nice and warm starring at 4k monitors. All needing power to run the electronics. Tim had to put on an electrician just to the service the ACs!
On a recent movie in Australia my 1st AC told me with great conviction and confidence “ don’t worry Tristan, I wont be anywhere near the camera..” He took his Preston and very expensive monitor and hid in various locations, in back rooms on location, outside under a tree, next to the camera truck, near the coffee trolley! Anywhere but nowhere near the camera...
Am I the only DP that finds this a concern, a strange new way of doing things? Now I have to get off the dolly and walk to find the AC, and tell them if I thought the shot was slightly soft. We cannot yell across the set “ hey man its out...” that drives them all crazy!. It used to be a whisper and a nod and straight back into it!
I miss the bad old days. I miss the great AC Frank Hruby by my side with the wiff of tobacco on his breathe. I even miss his shirtless stage, the coldest of night shoots. Still no shirt for Frank.....
The grips are the best part about production. I love my grips, the grip on my last film even gave me a present at the end of the shoot. A book, a great book “The Book Of Insults”. He hadn’t read it of course but it was a lovely gesture. We got to know each other really well because there was no one else around the camera!
Come back guys and girls we miss you! It makes for better filmmaking if you are standing by the camera. After all, the camera is the audience...
Tristan Milani ACS

Awards Entry Media

As mentioned in previous issues of Focus, all Awards entry media (hard drives, USB flash drives DVDs etc) is available for collection from ACS HQ. Please email David Lewis ACS or Richard Wilmot (addresses below) to arrange a suitable time for pick up. Media unclaimed by the end of January will be recycled and retained for use by ACS NSW.


AFTRS Open has a number of upcoming short courses including:

Modern Cinematography with Ellery Ryan ACS
Advanced Lighting Skills with Roger Lanser ACS
Content Creation for iPhone/iPad: Online with Gareth Tillson
Camera & Sound Basics

To view all cinematography short courses at AFTRS Open use this link:

AFTRS Open cinematography short courses »

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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