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ACS South Australian Branch


October 2023

From the new President Elect
Bookings open for Awards night
Bookings open for John Seale ACS Screening + Q&A
Virtual Production Event!
Awards Judging wrap-up
Monolith Screening/Q&A report
We have Instagram now!

Profile Manuel Ashman

I'm so excited to move into the role as President of the SA branch of the ACS. We have some great events and programs coming up for you, our members, and I'm keen to get started in implementing them.

First up, I’d like to introduce myself. I’ve been active in cinematography since the early 80’s and pushed an old black and white TV camera at the long-gone Kilkenny, Multimedia Training Centre in 1979. I worked with film and digital for Broadcast, Cinema Release (Short Films mostly), Training and Projection for Live Theatre until starting as a lecturer at Flinders Uni in 2000. Over the last 20 year I have taught cinematography, screen acting and screen direction to students studying Screen and Drama.

I’d like to formally acknowledge Ernie Clark ACS for his huge commitment to the Society over I don’t know how many years, but especially for his time (19 years) as SA Branch President - an amazing effort!

I attended a day of the Judging for this year’s awards and was impressed by the efficiency of the
process, and the preparation and insight that this year’s judges brought with them. A truly difficult
task to reward those outstanding entries from among the incredibly high standard of entries
submitted. Big thank you to all involved as detailed below.

Thanks to Maxx Corkindale for moderating the “Monolith” screening and Q&A, a great insight into working within your resources and producing a result that surpasses the FilmLab budget allocation.

Glad to announce the MC for our 43rd Awards Ceremony is local comedian and presenter Lori Bell. Lori’s comedy career has seen her collect a stack of awards including an Adelaide Fringe Award, as well as being a three-time winner of both the Adelaide Comedy People’s Choice and Host of the Year. She also performs as her comedy alter ego Granny Flaps, where she has toured Australia with Puppetry of the Penis, played at Big Day Outs in Melbourne and Adelaide and even released a DVD.

While on the subject of the Awards, please get your bookings in, its October now! Also don’t miss out on the Evening with John Seale AM ACS ASC. John is an amazing raconteur and will have stories an insights aplenty.

As Ernie would say Happy Shooting!

Come and celebrate the Best Cinematography from SA & WA at the 2023 SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography!  We've had a record number of entries this year so come along and discover who was awarded and for what?

It's Ernie's last official function as SA President, please come and farewell him and welcome incoming President Richard Back, I know they'd both love to see you there. Book soon and make it a great night to remember!

Held on Saturday, October 28th at the Hotel Grand Chancellor on Hindley Street, Adelaide - proudly presented by ACS National sponsor Creamsource.

Our Special Guest is Academy Award winner John Seale AM ACS ASC with live music from Samantha Edge.

Where: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hindley St
When: October 28th
Time: 6pm
Dress Code: Smart
Cost: $125 inc GST

Includes Dinner & Drinks and entry to ACS After Party @ Hades Hula House
Bookings close: Friday October 20th



Academy Award winner John Seale AM ACS ASC will present his final Cinematography project, "3000 Years of Longing", directed by his longtime collaborator, George Miller AO.

John will kindly present the screening followed by a Q&A at the SAFC theatre on the Friday night before the awards - October 27th. Thank you to Marty Pepper & KOJO for providing this facility for what promises to be a special night.

WHEN: 6pm, Friday 27th October
WHERE: SAFC Screening Theatre - rear entrance
MAP: Click here for MAP of rear entrance
WHO: Free for ACS members - $15 for non-members
EAT/DRINK: Free drinks and pizza!!

We're holding a groundbreaking workshop on Virtual Production at Light ADL, co-hosted by our super sponsors, Picture Hire.
The workshop is designed for professionals to enhance their knowledge on the use of VP in Cinematography and Visual Effects. It will provide you with valuable insights and practical knowledge.
Beginning with a presentation from Richard Coburn (Director) with virtual environments supplied by Chris Traianos (Clarity VR) on how Unreal Engine and Camera Tracking are used for Virtual Production. You'll have the opportunity to experiment for yourself with Light ADL’s 150sqm LED volume and interact with and learn how these technologies are revolutionising the way we create immersive virtual environments.
Next up Richard Coburn and Simon Kither from Kither Co will chat about the cost-effective alternatives for tighter budget productions and explore the world of pre-rendered videos and LED wall backdrops that don't require complex camera tracking but still deliver stunning results. 
This interactive event will showcase the capabilities of entry-level virtual production inside The Light Room Studio’s LED Volume. Industry experts will guide you through a workshop that demystifies the process and empowers producers and directors to confidently explore this exciting medium. The session will also provide ample opportunity for asking actionable questions and experimenting with equipment kindly provided by Picture Hire.
ACS members will be able to enjoy free drinks from The Light Room bar before and after the event.

Date: Thursday October 12th
Time: 5.30pm – 7.00pm 
Location: The Light Room Studio, Level 1, 63 Light Square, Adelaide 

Please RSVP by registering for free via the link below. Space is limited so book now.


A record 189 entries were submitted into this years SA/WA ACS awards. Every entry was viewed by a panel of 5 ACS Accredited Members, to find the Best of the Best of this years work.


A huge thank you go to our judging panel:

Kathy Chambers ACS (VIC)
Malcolm Ludgate ACS (SA)
Jim Frater ACS (WA)
Ron Johanson ACS (QLD)
Garry Phillips ACS
A big thank you also goes to:
Chair of Judges - Ernie Clark ACS.
Tally Master - Mylene Ludgate
Content player - David Tang
KOJO and Marty Pepper for providing the wonderful judging venue

Cinematographer Michael Tessari and Director Matt Vesely held a very special Q&A screening of their much applauded feature film, "Monolith".

It was a great turnout by members and Mike and Matt were very kind sharing their experiences and knowledge with everyone who attended.

The SA branch of the ACS has Instagram now!

Follow to keep up with all the latest news and events from our branch.
We're also featuring content from all our local ACS members, so tag us in your work!

Hi Manny!


What’s the best thing about working in our business?

Sometimes the weather is good and I get to be outside for it.


When did you first become attracted to working in our profession and what was your first job?

My first job was as a sound recordist freelancing, primarily working with Flinders’ Creation, which is now Frankie Films. In recent years I get more excited about composition than I do sound and have pivoted to camera. On my first gig as a videographer I teamed up with a fellow film student, Andrew Ilicic, on a shoot for Burnside Village. We had no show reel, just experience making student films. They weren’t doing much in the way of web content then and had no budget for us. We had an agreement where they’d buy the video off us only if they liked the finished product. It was a minimum risk deal for them so they took the chance. Thankfully it was great. It even got some marketing awards. For context, this was in 2015.


What keeps you motivated to do this job?

I am obsessed with composition. There is always something new to play with from interesting locations that inspire fun lighting and staging to different lenses and filters. I enjoy Anamorphics and think they should be standard with smartphones.


If you could change anything in this industry what would it be?

I recall being told when I was younger that, 2% of film students will end up working in the industry. You could call it a reality check but statistics don’t reveal the issues. I don’t like the mentality that there are no jobs and no money in a career in film and arts, even if we just joke about it. I’d rather hear about the specific challenges and engage in more frequent conversations about the scope of the industry and career pathways so that younger people can be empowered to take more control of their careers and the industry.


What has been your most interesting or challenging project so far and tell us some of the hardships you faced doing that?

The most fun and challenging shoot to date would have to be The Bluff, a short film with a wild look with 500mm lens, split diopter and dolly zooms on a beach. I love location shoots, but the sea spray and stairs down to Petrel Cove were brutal. We saved budget on the lenses using rubber gears on stills glass, which I will never do again for a shoot like this. I learned the hard way that when you are versing nature you don’t also want to be in a simultaneous battle with your gear. I love all the wacky shots we got on this one but there is a part of me that is still on that beach. I do hope the filmmakers finish this film one day.


What are you currently working on and what’s your next project?

Right now, I’m working on a handful of projects. I am writing and developing a couple of long form comedy projects. I am trying to bring back a film and arts convention I started pre-pando called Testfest. Later this year I will be shooting my first music video for a local band called ‘Wake in Fright’, which I am very excited about. The latest thing I shot was some footage for the Adelaide Roller Derby. I used a 75mm Anamorphic and manually pulled focus. I hope they find the one shot that was sharp and use that one.


What’s the best advice you ever received?

The best advice is your own advice, and take breaks.


Are there any special tricks you have learned over the years?

I shoot with DSLRs a lot. A cheesy, trick shot I sometimes do is a spinning hand-held zolly. I do this by holding the focus ring and spinning the camera instead while easing in and out on a subject. I can also balance a boom pole on my head.


I’ve also learned that no matter how much I think a shot could be better, everything ‘looks great’ when a client is asking. It probably does look great but is ‘great’ really good enough!!!?


Upcoming Dates


October 3 - Committee Meeting
October 12 - Light ADL Virtual Production event
October 13, 14 & 15 - Accreditation Assessments @ ACS HQ, NSW
October 27 - Special Screening & Q&A with John Seale AM ACS ASC @ SAFC Theatre
October 28 - 43rd Annual SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography @ Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hindley St Adelaide
November 1 - Welcome our new President Richard Back
November ? - Nick Matthews ACS Screening + Q&A
November 26 - National AGM via Zoom
December 4 - Committee Meeting
December 11 - 6pm Annual SA ACS Christmas Get Together @ Colonist Hotel
December 12 - SA Branch hibernates until Feb


February 5 - 1st SA Committee Meeting for the year
February ? - How To Shoot IMAX event
May 4 - 54th National ACS Awards for Cinematography in Queensland 
July 1 to 14 - SA ACS Emerging Cinematographer Submission Window
August 1 to 21 - Awards Entry Window
August ?? - Branch General Meeting
September 1 to 21 - Accreditation Application window 
September ? to ? - 43rd SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography Judging
October - Accreditation Assessments

Oct/Nov - 44th Annual SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography
November ?? - National AGM via Zoom
December ?? - Annual SA ACS Christmas Get Together

55th Annual National ACS Awards for Cinematography in Victoria
56th Annual National ACS Awards for Cinematography in Adelaide

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South Australian Branch
Australian Cinematographers Society
PO Box 212, KENT TOWN, SA 5071

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