SA eNews February 2019 - From the Pres - Profile Johanis Lyons-Reid


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From the Pres

SA ACS members enjoying Christmas drinks. Thanks to Peter Thurmer for the photo.

Last December forty of our happy members got together to enjoy our Annual Christmas get together at the Colonist Hotel on The Parade, Norwood.

The lucky door prize winners included:
John Foster: a free SA membership
Michael Tessari: a free entry into 2019 SA & WA Awards
Chris Daniels: a copy of Shadowcatchers
Leona Cichon: Australia Day DVD, Panavision T & hat
Mylene Ludgate: Australia Day BluRay, Panavision T & hat
Michael Selge: Panavision T & hat
Malcolm Ludgate ACS: Minolta 35mm Camera

Maybe you might make our next Xmas drinks in 2019. Check out upcoming dates below.

The committee is meeting for the first time after the Christmas break on February 4 so we'll try to organise some interesting trade nights soon.

If you have any suggestions please let us know what you'd be interested in.

Just to finish off, I received some great feedback about an ex SA member who was working up in Sydney on a splinter unit on a large feature film with DoP David Lewis ACS. David was very impressed and here's what he said:

Dear Ernie,

Last week I had the pleasure of working with camera assistant ACS - NSW member Sian Bates now living in Sydney but formerly from Adelaide.

What on paper appeared to be an easy shot to shoot turned out be a little more complicated as it always is.

Our camera crew consisted of just the two of us, a Libra stabilized head and operator, tracking vehicle and 2 cameras running at once and requiring multiple filter changes.

I was really impressed with Sian’s professional attitude, knowledge of the very complicated camera set up and her coolness in situations when, of course, the unexpected happened.

Hopefully we will get to work together again on this movie in the coming weeks.

Regards, David Lewis ACS

It's wonderful to hear people from the big smoke being impressed by some of our technicians from good old Adelaide.

Don't forget if you've got a good picture of you on set, or in a exotic location or an interesting bit of gear please send it in for our eNews with a hundred words or so so we can share it with all of our members.

Profile Johanis Lyons-Reid

Portrait by Piri Eddy.

OK Johanis, please tell us what's favourite film/TV Show?

Lots; Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Maniac, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Se7en, to name a few. Oh, and Adaptation by Spike Jonze.

Favourite on-set snack/drink?

My poison of choice is a double shot flat white.

Johanis frames up a shot of the mighty Murray.

Who are some cinematographers and filmmakers who inspire you?

Michel Gondry, the French director and cinematographer who has done some pretty amazing practical effects. Cary Joji Fukunaga is another director/cinematographer who I think is really versatile and he draws on a lot of the concepts and visual style that I love. His work on the first season of True Detective, which was shot on film, was very gothic and reminiscent of Se7en. Actually that’s another one, I love Darius Khondji’s work from the 90’s/00’s. I also enjoy Charlie Kaufman as a screenwriter/director, it’s all pretty high concept stuff. And David Fincher is a king.

Johanis taking a still at the Port River. Photo by Piri Eddy.

Do you have any other passions outside of work?

I love film photography and I’m often seen in the wild lugging around my beloved Pentax 67. I take part in mixed martial arts and kickboxing regularly at my local gym, and I have two lovely and neurotic pooches.

Tell us more?

My puppers are both rescue dogs. Bridget who we think is a corgi x fox terrier joined our family in 2013, and Iggy is a Chihuahua X is tiny (just over 2 kilos) and we’ve had him for 9 months now.

Set up for interview of Ngarrindjeri artist Cedric Varcoe for the ABC iView miniseries Speaking for Sea Country.

When did you decide to pursue cinematography/ How did you start out?

My parents were documentary filmmakers and artists since I was young. Growing up, I wasn’t all that interested in documentary, until I saw an amazing film by David Gelb, Jiro Dreams Of Sushi. I’d already been working in the industry as a camera operator and filmmaker for a couple years, and seeing the visual style that Jiro brought to the table reinvented the small crew documentary genre for me. The possibilities that the film brought aesthetically to what I saw as a traditionally “small sensor, zoom lens, available light” mentality of documentary filmmaking changed the way I looked at the genre.

What was your first project/job?

I worked with my parents as a camera operator on a documentary exploring the making of a bark canoe by Major Sumner, a Ngarrindjeri elder. My first freelance gig was shooting a behind the scenes fashion piece (featuring the then-emerging Paolo Sebastian) through a contact I had met while bartending.

What has been your most interesting project?

My work with Ngarrindjeri elders and artists through a couple of documentary series’ has been the most creatively fulfilling work I think. They gave me an opportunity to do character study documentary, inspired by David Gelb’s work. It also gave me an opportunity to explore some of the damage that Australia has and continues to do to Aboriginal people and culture.

Johanis wears the Easy Rig. Photo by Mike Tessari.

Most famous person you’ve worked with/for?

I got to shoot a spot on Missy Higgins in her home in Melbourne for Welcome To Australia. My friend loves Missy Higgins, so I managed to sneak him along as an assistant. The high point for him was when she asked if he had a girlfriend, but the low point was when he had to admit he did.

Why did you decide to join the ACS and the ACS Committee?

I had been working solo for many years in the industry, and I was looking for ways to find inspiration and colleagues, peers and mentors. Joining the ACS is a really great way of connecting with other cinematographers and find out what’s happening in industry. They also told me sometimes there's free sushi and wine at committee meetings!

What would you like to try out in the future?

I’ve worked on a lot of short documentary, and I’m keen to start working on more long-form projects. I’ve also had great experiences as a director/cinematographer producing TVC’s and would love to do more TVC work going forward.

Bridget the rescue dog.

What have you been up to lately?

I’m currently directing a short documentary for SBS and SAFC, The Loop, which is a genre-bending film exploring disability and soap operas. I currently run my own production business JohaniSLR which has been going for 5 years, doing a mix of corporate, commercial and documentary work both locally and interstate.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?

I love Japanese whiskey. I have a collection of bottles I bought in Japan, which I’m slowly making my way through. The Yamazaki is particularly delicious.

What now?

Just drinking whiskey, fighting men, and documenting it.

Where can we see more of your work?

My website is and you can find me on instagram @johanislr

Thanks for telling us your story and for spilling the beans about our decadent committee meetings Johanis! Also thanks to DTang for doing this, our 58th Profile interview.

Upcoming dates

February 4 1st Committee Meeting for 2019

March 4 Committee Meeting

April 1 Committee Meeting

May 6 Committee Meeting

May 18 ACS National Awards for Cinematography in Melbourne

May 30 Send Membership Invoices & 2019 Sponsorship Proposals

June 1 Think about getting your Accreditation Submission together

June 3 Committee Meeting

June 30 Membership fees due

July 1 Committee Meeting

August 1 - 21 39th SA & WA Annual Awards for Cinematography entry window

August 12 SA AGM

August 30 - Sept 1 SA & WA Awards Judging

Sept 1 - 30 Accreditation Applications Window

September 2 Committee Meeting

September 6 Sponsors Deadline for Awards Assets

October 7 Committee Meeting

October 26 39th SA & WA Annual Awards for Cinematography

November 4 Committee Meeting

December 2 Committee Meeting

December 13 SA Branch Xmas Drinks

Why not visit your National HQ

If you are in Sydney drop into our ACS HQ, Level 2, 26 Ridge Street, North Sydney. The NSW committee will do their best to open up for you, contact David Lewis ACS [email protected] or 0408 273 702

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