SA eNews December - Xmas Drinks & Specials. Apocalypto wrap up. Profile: Viv Madigan. Pick up your award entries

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2013 SA branch Christmas Drinks

Don't forget to RSVP for our Christmas drinks on Monday night December 9 starting @ 1800 @ The Colonist Hotel, The Parade, Norwood, cnr Sydenham Rd.

If you wish to attend RSVP for catering purposes to:

Come along and have a quiet one with your colleagues and mates and go into the draw for a copy of our own book on the history of cinematography: The Shadowcatchers.

If you can't make it then may I, on behalf of all of the committee, wish all our members, familes, sponsors and friends the very best for Christmas and here's to plenty of work in 2013. See you in 2014. Cheers, Pres


We recently have had a number of people who have positively RSVP'd for our events and then not turn up. We do understand that shoots sometimes go over or unforeseen things may occur at the last minute but if you are not able to attend we would prefer to be told.

Sometimes by RSVP'ing and not attending you may stop someone who wanted to attend not being able to, as we understood the event to be fully subscribed. Also, sometimes we spend on catering and if quite a few do not turn up we are wasting our precious funds.

So please RSVP if you are going to attend but if you can't make it please let us know. Oh, and we usually use the RSVP list for the door prize draw but only people who attend are included in the draw! Thank you.

It’s almost Christmas so as a special Christmas treat for ACS members, we are offering a Standard Edition copy of The Shadowcatchers along with an ACS Beanie in an ACS gift bag for $66.00. This would make an ideal gift for any member, sponsor or supporter.
Simply go to to order your copy.

Santa will happily sign your copy of The Shadowcatchers for you, or anything else for that matter!

Another ACS Special Christmas Gift Offer

This Christmas why not purchase some ACS merchandise from the ACS store?

If you purchase $100.00 or more we will offer you a copy of The Shadowcatchers for half price of $33.00 including gst. NOW THAT IS AN ABSOLUTE BARGAIN!!

ACS T SHIRT $20.00
ACS CAP $20.00
ACS MUG $6.00
ACS PEN $6.00

ACS merchandise available from ACS HQ Manager:

Wrap up of Apocalypto Screening and Q&A

Dean succinctly demonstrated how many shots were achieved.

Wow - 65 attended the screening and Q&A of Apocalypto presented by Dean Semler AM ACS ASC at the Mercury Cinema on Tuesday November 26th.

The master cinematographer showed us some great behind the scenes pictures and he told some interesting and often amusing anecdotes.

Dean also thoroughly explained his approach to Apocalypto and generously answered the many questions in the extensive Q&A that followed.

Johnathan Baker with Oscar & Dean.

I personally think it was inspiring to all who attended to hear of Dean's remarkable rise from a TV studio cameraman in South Australia to becoming one of Australia's most recognised and sort-after cinematographers who still loves his craft at the ripe old age of 70!

Many thanks to Dean for giving up his time and for sharing his invaluable knowledge and experience with our members.

Johnathan Baker won the door prize of a personally signed BluRay of Apocalypto.

Congratulations Johnathan and check out his Movember growth in the picture on the right!!

Profile: Committee Member Viv Madigan

Viv shoots, assisted by Maxx Corkindale.

Favourite Film? The Lion King and The Fellowship of the Ring
Favourite on-set snack? I don’t know about food, but I do love a can of Coke.
Favourite TV show? At the moment I really love Game of Thrones. I’m also really looking forward to season 2 of Bates Motel, a reimagining of the characters featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’.

Viv contemplates the light....or not getting paid!

Any other interesting facts? I have a Persian cat called Hamish. He is the best.

So Viv tell us a little bit about yourself:

In 2003 (when I was a whippersnapper) I knew that I wanted to do something in film. I wasn’t sure what exactly but I wanted to be involved somehow. The catalyst for this life decision was The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition DVD’s. Watching the 20 plus hours of behind the scenes and making of documentaries made me so interested in film that I got a job at a shoe shop and saved $1,000 over 3 months and purchased a SONY handycam. At the time I didn’t really have a plan of what I was going to do with it and never used a video camera in my life but it seemed like a good place to start if I was going to be involved in the film industry.

I started teaching myself how to use the video camera because at the time my school didn’t offer a video production/film subject. That meant I borrowed a lot of DVD’s and watched the behind the scenes of anything I could my hands on. It wasn’t until my final year of school (2005) that I started shooting and editing something other people could watch, and that was my year’s year 12 video.

Basically I would film the year 12’s at the swimming and sports (or any other big school event) and then cut it to a popular song to make a short, 3 minute, music clip like video. The videos were so well received that I started filming year 12 parties too. By the end of the year I had put together a 3 DVD set of all the events from the year and sold heaps to the students.

After finishing year 12, I only applied for one course at university; a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Film Production at Flinders University. I was lucky enough to get in and the next 3 years of my life are a bit of a blur.

I only really decided to pursue cinematography at the end of first year after assisting on a few short films shot on 16mm film. While I did try out other crew roles I found that being in the camera department suited my abilities, as I liked working hands on while being on set. University was also great because the people I worked with and met for the first time there, are people I work with on set now.

While at university it took a while to get my first real assisting job, however it finally came when I assisted cinematographer Russell Marrett on a Fantastic Noodles TVC. It wasn’t paid however but it was a great wake up call about how a professional set was run.

I wish I could say that I got lots of paid job offers after assisting on my first real job. But I didn’t. It wasn’t until almost a year and many, many more free assisting jobs on short films that I was asked to be a 2nd AC/Video Split on a 5 day Mitsubishi job. I was asked onto that project again by Russell Marratt, the focus puller for the job who remembered me from the Fantastic Noodles TVC. He originally tried to get Maxx Corkindale and Kirsty Stark for the job however they were both in the Flinders Ranges on the film ‘Road Train’ so they were unreachable. Russell took a punt on me, and I must admit I was way out of my depth working with the Sony F-35 for that first time and working with equipment I had never seen before in my life. However, I only needed to be shown things once and I made sure I did things as quickly as I could and if I didn’t know something I would ask about it straight away.

After that initial job with Russ, he started getting me on other jobs as 2nd AC/Video Split and had a great time working hard and meeting all the professionals on set. After 6 months of assisting on various commercials and corporates (with Russ as the focus puller 90% of the time) I got a call from Maxx Corkindale – someone I met through the ACS – who asked if I would be interested in Video Split on a feature. The only catch was that my position would be unpaid for 7 weeks. I still jumped at the chance to work on my first feature (Swerve) even if it was unpaid and had a fantastic experience working with everyone on board.

In the same year of working on Swerve I also managed to get paid assisting jobs on the movie Red Dog and Danger 5 series 1, as well as numerous big commercials. However while I was doing lots of camera assisting I felt that I needed to do more shooting. One day while I was talking about wanting to shoot more creative projects with fellow ACS member and friend Kirsty Stark we decided that we should fund our own films. Using various grants and our own money we funded and shot a short film each, which was shot on super 16mm film. We also formed a company, Epic Films to produce other short films.

Viv recently won Gold for Wastelander Panda at the 2013 SA & WA ACS Awards.

After making several other short films Kirsty and I started on a new project called Wastelander Panda, with Kirsty as the producer and myself as the cinematographer. After producing the initial trailer for a budget of $8,000 and releasing it in early 2012 to a large internet response we were able to secure funding from the SAFC and raise funds from online crowdfunding site Pozible to make three 10 minute webisodes. Those 3 webisodes were released online this year and we are now being funded to write and develop 6 more webisodes to hopefully be released in 2014.

While Wastelander Panda is one of the major projects I have been involved with I also now shoot commercials, corporates, short films and music videos and of course still enjoy assisting, with most of my 2013 taken up being 2nd AC on TV series Sam Fox and ABC’s Anzac Girls.

That’s is my career so far in the film industry but I hope it continues on for many more years to come.

So how come you decided to join the SA committee Viv?

Well, I joined the committee to become more involved in the cinematography community.

Thanks for your time Viv and good luck in the future!

Cheers, SA Pres Ernie Clark ACS

Viv receives an award from National President Ron Johanson ACS.

2013 Award Entry Pick ups

All 2013 SA & WA entries, other than Gold winning DVD or BluRay entries, are available for pick up during office hours from Anifex, 65 King William Street, Kent Town.

The SA Gold winning clips and Winner's List will soon be uploaded to National Gold Sponsor - Showreelfinder's site: so keep an eye out for them.

Phone-tography 2013 - 2014 Comp

Dr Who by who??

Our Phone-tography Comp is on again in 2013 - 2014. There are great prizes to be won, the results to be announced at our AGM in August 2014. To enter email your phone pics to

So get your phones out and start snapping. If you'd like to see a gallery of last years entries check them out via the link below:

Phone-tography T&C's:
photos to be taken at work, on set, on location, photos related to filming, but the photos MUST be taken on a Phone and then submitted into our Phone-tography competition. The photo/s must be taken by entrant. It's not just about the image but could also be about the subject matter, the location, the people, the occasion, even you! And you could win CASH PRIZES from a prize pool of $900.

Flinders Trucks by Kirsty Stark

The photos must be submitted via email by July 31 2014 and will be judged in 5 Categories (make sure you title each entry as 50 photos called untitled doesn't really work! :-0

1. Best Composition
2. Most Creative
3. Funniest Photo
4. Best Selfie (a picture you took of yourself)
5. Best Manipulated (Includes: Panoramics, Instagram filters, Hipstamatic + other apps)
6. People's Choice (voting for Cat 6 will take place @ 2014 AGM)

1. Entry is free and only open to SA branch ACS members
2. Photos taken on Phones only after 13/8/13 and submitted before 31/7/14
3. Photos to be taken "On the Job" i.e on set, on location, at work
4. No Photoshopping or filters allowed, except in Category 5.
5. The photo/s must be taken by entrant.
6. Entrants agree by the act of entering the ACS SA branch Phone-tography Competition that they give the ACS the right to publish the photos as they see fit
7. To enter email please ensure you title your picture and select a category if you wish.
8. Please consider the photos may be seen publicly
9. The decisions of the judging panel will be final and binding. The judges may use their discretion and not award all prizes
10. Winners will be announced at the SA branch AGM in August 2014

1st Prize in Category $100
2nd Prize in Category $50
Plus the People's Choice prize of $150

Click to see 2012/13 Phonetography entries »

Upcoming dates

December 2 Committee Meeting @ Anifex

December 9 ACS Christmas drinks 1800 @ The Colonist, The Parade, Norwood

February 3 First Committee Meeting for 2014 @ Anifex

May 24 National ACS Awards for Cinematography Brisbane, Queensland

August 11 SA AGM

November 1 34th Annual SA & WA Awards for Cinematography

ACS SA Branch Facebook page

The ACS SA branch has its own Facebook page.

We will use this page to advertise upcoming events, as well as create photo albums of Awards and Trade Nights.

To become a fan, go to the link below and click the 'like' button.

Join the ACS SA Branch on Facebook »


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