SA eNews June 2015 - National Awards Gallery - ACS online shop goes live - Predestination Screening & Q&A - AADC Pool Night - Rod reporting - Profile SA Member Judd Overton - Plus more


2015 National Awards Pictures

VP Mark Evans & Christine Evans, Pres Ernie Clark ACS & Julienne Clark, Maxx Corkindale & Anna Bardsley-Jones. A stylish affair at MONA Hobart.

The pictures from the 2015 National Awards are now up on our website so click the link below to access them.

Of course you can check out all of the winners on our website: or to see clips of the winners go to The ACS 2015 Showreelfinder awards site:

Membership renewals will be going out very soon, if you haven't already received them. Remember the membership year is July 1 to June 30 and if you are not financial you cannot enter this years awards. We obviously prefer payment by the due date of June 30 and then you can claim your membership in this years tax return too!

As renewals for 2015/16 are fast approaching, we urge all members to make sure their member contact information is correct so you don't miss out on any benefits from the society.

You can log into your own member page via

Sponsors, I will be approaching you again soon for your continued support.

Don't forget if you are thinking of applying for ACS Accreditation this year submissions must be received between July 1 and July 31. Talk to me first if you are contemplating applying. Don't leave it till the last minute as I will be away for some of June.

Click to got the 2015 National Awards picture gallery »

ACS online shop open

That's right, we now have our own online ACS shop so you can buy all the ACS merch you could ever want. Check it out at

You can order back issues of AC mag, copies of Shadowcatchers, replacement plaques (as long as you've won them!), ACS branded Hoodies, Spray Jackets, Ladies & Mens Tees - cool new design or the original, Caps & Beanies, Mugs, Pens or Notebooks. Many thanks to Vic Pres Warwick Field and his team for iniaiting this.

Ladies Tees with the new design are available in:
Size 10 - 92cm, Size 12 - 96 cm, Size 14 - 104cm, Size 16 - 110cm
& Mens sizes in new design are:
Small - 106cm, Medium - 112cms, Large - 116cms, XL - 122cms, XXL - 128cms

From the Pres............

As I write this eNews I'm basking in the high 20 degree heat of the Pilbara. I'm up doing 2nd unit on the prequel to RedDog - BlueDog. Multi award winning SA member Geoff Hall ACS is the main unit DoP.

I'm lucky enough to be capably assisted by 2 wonderful ladies, 1st AC Rebecca Crowe, better known as Rowdy, and Karina Davies 2nd AC.

Luckily we have SA grip Justin Van Zyl to help move the "Beast" as we like to call it - the ARRI Alexa with an anamorphic 48 to 580mm zoom, it's a monster!! You know a lens is big when they put a substantial handle on top of it!!

Congratulations goes to SA member Viv Madigan for winning Best Cinematography at the recent SASA awards for Wastelander Panda. Also the film I received my recent Gold Tripod, "Injury Time", won best Drama so congrats to all involved particularly Director Jack Sheridan.

Please send any pics of you shooting to Miles' Mailbag:

Postscript: As I send out this edition of eNews I have had the heater on in Karratha as we are suffered "unusual" heavy rains & low temperatures! That's filmmaking!

Predestination Screening & Q&A with Ben Nott ACS

Thursday June 11, 1815 for 1830 start @ RSP theatre - Predestination Screening & Q&A with DOP Ben Nott ACS.

Come along and watch this enthralling and beautifully shot film with the very talented and multi award winning DOP Ben Nott ACS. This is a night not to be missed!

Ben has won the highest honour awarded to Australian cinematographers, the Milli for Australian Cinematographer of the Year. Outstandingly he has won this coveted award three times besides winning numerous National and State Gold ACS awards. He has twice been nominated for Excellence at the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers Awards, voted winner in 2008.

As well as Predestination his feature credits include The Lovers, Tomorrow When the War Began, Daybreakers, and Heatstroke. His television credits include the celebrated telemovie Sisters of War, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, The Stories of Stephen King and Ridley Scott’s miniseries Coma and The Company, for which he received a Prime Time Emmy Award nomination.

Ben recently completed production on the new feature Skin Trade and his latest work, Now Add Honey for comedy director Wayne Hope promises to be another visual treat.

ACS members & Sponsors must book for this event. Pizza will be served after the screening.

Bookings are essential for all attending as places are limited, ACS members free, AADC members $25. Book via:

The SA Branch proudly acknowledges the financial support of the South Australian Film Corporation assisting us to put on this special event.

Map to RSP theatre via the link below.

Click to download map to RSP theatrette »

ACS members invited to AADC Pool Night

This is the first invite developing from our partnership of the AADC & the ACS. The AADC Pool Night is on June 3 so hurry get a team together and win! Or just go along by yourself and sink a few, I've been to many of these nights and they are great fun and with the help of my team mates we even won the trophy a few times. ACS members $32, same entry price as AADC members.

Report from Rod

Rod Bolton shoots on ARRI Aleaxa

SA Member, Rodney Bolton, recently shot the short film “Never Forgiven”, produced by Blue Velvet Productions, and written and directed by Steven Spiel. Rod said it was a terrific shoot and his report follows.

"I had the privilege to utilise the Arri Alexa (from Picture Hire) over three days, at three locations. Initially we were to shoot RAW but due to time constraints, budget and massive data issues, we decided to step down to Pro Res 4:4:4:4.

Rod takes light reading in the interview room

We shot in actual locations; using a disused respite home, residential premises in Glenelg and an office we turned into a studio set covering the white walls with ‘blacks’ to create ‘negative’ fill. Each scene/location had a different look and feel. We mixed daylight lighting fixtures with tungsten and James, 1st AC, and I tweaked the colour temps in the Alexa to create the mise-en-scène for each scenario.I found this camera a dream to work with and using prime lenses was a welcome return to old school film-making, ensuring each set up and composition was thoroughly considered. Needless to say, looking at the footage the picture quality is amazing. I would certainly use the Alexa again on any shoot that could afford it.

For a special “in camera” hallucinatory effect, I used a Camera Obscura, which worked a treat. Using an 18th century designed camera next to the Arri Alexa was indeed a photographic historical pleasure.

Dead Oscar on the bench. Tasty lighting!

We had a very professional crew, namely James Ward-Miller and Claire Bishop in the camera department. Lighting was simple but effective; special thanks to Andrew Robertson, Anifex and Malcolm Ludgate ACS for supplying much needed gear.

The interview room, with Oscar behind glass

On a musical note; Steven, producer/director, obtained the rights for Rachael Leahcar’s song, “Heart’s A Mess”, (a Gotye composition), to use in the film. A brilliant song which makes the final scene soar! Rachael gets a tiny role too. What a lovely lass.

We are presently in the edit suite, where we are adding special effects, audio tweaks and composed soundtrack; followed by a grading session with Ian Routledge, our data guy.

We are striving to get the picture released early June, ready for film festivals around the world."

Ed: We'd love more local reports like this so please send us your words & pics soon.

Profile ACS member Judd Overton

Judd operating on Nims Island

Judd let start with the staples, favorite film? Amalie

Favorite tv series? The Wire

Favorite on set food? Almonds

What started your interest in film?

I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a cinematographer. My first taste of what it was to be a cameraman came from News and Current affairs crews who visited my parents cattle station in the far north of South Australia. Mulka Station is in the Guinness book of records as the driest permanently inhabited place on earth. We also had the opportunity to test a prototype Geothermal Power Plant, turning the hot artesian bore water into electricity.

We were pretty isolated from the outside world so when these teams would come to visit it was exciting to see movies being made around the ‘farm’. One time a young camo called Shane Yeend came up to the property with the Mike Willesee show. He had just returned from shooting onboard the Yachts for the America’s Cup, so as we traveled over sand dunes and mustered cattle he swung the camera around while hanging off the back of my motor bike as we chase the 4wd at high speed. I thought, “This is a cool job”

What was your first industry job?

When I moved down to the big smoke (Adelaide), to start high school I explored the media world through work experience at TV stations 7, 9 and 10 as well as a TV commercial production company called Great Southern Films Adelaide.

In 1990 I got my first paid gig as a cable tracker at a live concert, this progressed into Summer jobs at the Tennis and weekends at the televised Football matches.

It was around this time that I discovered the ACS. I went along to a meeting at a pub in North Adelaide where I met Chanel 9 head cameraman John Sever. It seemed that, yes, there were definitely some cars that needed a clean on the Tynte Street lot and so my career in the camera department began, one soapy bucket at a time.

I camera assisted at Channel 9 freelance for a couple of years while still working in cafes to make ends meet. I was learning a lot of general skills: how to light quickly, record sound, keep organized and log tapes, but not any real hands-on camera stuff.

Things were starting to change in the TV world, Production work was being out-sourced and in-house news camos were becoming freelance stringers for any network. One day while roaming the corridors at 9, I bumped into Art Director Tony Cronin who was gearing up for a TV series Glad Rags, based at the station and needed an art department runner.

Cut to 3 months later, working in the art department and on film sets. This seemed to be a great opportunity but again, I wasn’t getting close to the camera no matter how helpful / how much of a nuisance I made of myself.

Working with the same art department team I then got to work on a range of TVC’s as well as 2 projects for Rolf de Heer’s Vertigo Productions.

Behind the scenes on Big Mammas

Judd how did you get your First break?

After hanging around the Vertigo offices and the SAFC at Hendon, it must have become apparent that 1, I was keen to move into the camera department and 2, that I wasn’t going to go away. Somehow it came to pass that I got an interview with DOP Tony Clark ACS who was about to shoot Rolf’s next film ‘Dance Me To My Song’.

I had never loaded on a job before but had a lot of enthusiasm and was willing to do it for the budget (i.e. for free). After 7 weeks loading 35mm in Thebarton I actually won the slate competition, which was a small benefit, but the big plus was all the lessons I learned by being thrown in the deep end and making all my mistakes while loading on feature film.

About a year after this and with a few freelance tvc jobs under my belt I was selected as in-house camera trainee at E.Films (formerly Great Southern) under the instruction of the knowledgeable and ever generous Ernie Clark ACS.

This saw me working with film equipment everyday as it was also the SA depot for rental house Cameraquip. Over my 2 years apprenticeship I progressed from enthusiastic general helper to quite decent loader and I even dabbled in some focus pulling. The most white knuckle being 300mm lens on a Mitsubishi spot, car racing towards camera through the curves, light fading… Nailed it!

During this time I also had the opportunity to moonlight on a couple more feature films including Paul Cox’s ‘Innocence’ where I had my first go at pulling focus on a feature film.

Around 2000 the TVC market really started to shift and production companies with studios and costly overheads found it tough. I found myself back in the freelance world but with a great opportunity given to me by Malcolm Richards (who also trained Ernie Clark back in the day!).

I was employed to set up and manage the local Cameraquip office out of the SAFC. As the point of contact for every film shoot coming through town I also picked up a lot of camera assisting work and met Sydney and Melbourne DOP’s. Additionally I was focus pulling second unit on ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ so it wasn’t too hard to cobble together a living.

My next 2 films really raised the bar. Feature film ‘The Tracker’ for DOP Ian Jones ACS and ‘Australian Rules’ for Mandy Walker ASC ACS. You wouldn’t find 2 more different styles of boss but each taught me great lessons and the projects pushed me to the next level.

And then you went to AFTRS in Sydney?

Yes, just as assisting work starting to flow in I got accepted to the AFTRS in Sydney! It was a fork in the road as I had never really ‘studied’ film and had left school 10 years before. It was a change of direction but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I packed my bags and headed for Sydney.

After 2 amazing years at AFTRS I had to choose either to re-launch as a camera assistant or dive in to my career as a cinematographer. John Seale came to speak to the cinematography department in our final weeks and when I asked his advice he diplomatically offered “it’s a different journey for everyone”. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but that coming out of film school with a decent reel, good contacts and some award-wining shorts was a great calling card.

All my friends on "All My Friends" in Brisbane.

So what happened after leaving film school?

Quite soon after leaving film school I was lucky enough to be offered a feature film. I had worked with the lead actress on a short film, which was a Tropfest finalist and she suggested the director should meet me.

The film, ‘All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane’ was a perfect coming together of great talent on screen and raw enthusiasm behind the camera. The entire cast and crew moved to Brisbane, living in one house that was our production office and about 5 locations. We shot the film for $70K on Super 16 with a very low ratio and some amazing industry support. We then managed to secure post production funding from Screen Australia to re-shoot the big finale wedding scene with professional art department, grip and electrics, then to grade and blow up to 35mm. It was an amazing experience for all involved and a great continuation of my learning, taking many of my film school ideas into a real life environment.

While shooting ‘All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane’ I received an out-of-the-blue call from Rolf de Heer. We had kept in touch over the years and he said, “I have a little project you might be interested in”. 6 months later we had completed photography on my next film ‘Dr Plonk’, a hand-cranked, silent, black and white film shot on 35mm short ends from the bottom of the fridge.

Both films were well received and I had the honor of attending film festival premiers in Adelaide, Brisbane and Toronto. In Toronto, after a night of Whiskey appreciation I hit it off with Perth / Melbourne Producer Matteo Bruno. We stayed in contact and two years later I found myself shooting ‘Big Mamma’s Boy’ for Matteo and Producer/ Actor Frank Lotito.

On the set of Dr Plonk, camera assist Carla Hurley. Note the lighting rig!

A shot from "Franswa Sharl"

What about short films?

Well, around the same time I had some great success with the short films I continue to shoot, making new relationships with directors as well as trying out visual ideas. The film that garnered the most acclaim is ‘Franswa Sharl’. The last of the Screen Australia funded shorts, ‘Franswa Sharl’ won a number of awards including the 2010 Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and Best Australian short at Melbourne International Film Festival. Shot on Super 16mm film and blown up to 35mm, Sadly, this was probably my last project shot on celluloid.

I’ve definitely built up an eclectic body of work, from indie films to shiny comedy to video art installations. The high point of my commercial career (so far) came in 2012 when I was offered the sequel to the US box office success ‘Nim’s Island’. Shooting this film for cinema in Australia and the Hallmark channel in the US was an amazing opportunity. I was also working at the Village Roadshow studios with a great Queensland crew who are used to the demanding schedule of Hollywood back-lot productions.
While there is always a juggle to make the most of resources and especially time, on ‘Return to Nim’s Island’ we got the chance to do some great sequences utilizing multiple cameras, big cranes and a zip-line camera rig through the forest, as well as the huge studio build by designer Scott Bird and almost three hundred VFX shots. I’m really happy with the scale of the film. We made it feel a lot bigger than its budget.

Tell us about your documentary work?

Another side to my career has always been an interest in documentary, especially visual arts docs and also, it seems travel. I have been around the world a number of times with documentary projects, some of the most notable are New Zealand dance documentary ‘Virtuosi’ which won a Silver ACS award in 2011 and heart breaking ‘The Surgery Ship’ for SBS, a feature length version of which just won the Audience award at the Sarasota Film Festival in the US.

A scene from "That Sugar Film"

My latest project ‘That Sugar Film’ is also a documentary, though not like any you have seen before. Shot over 2 years and 3 continents, the film is on one hand a ‘Super Size Me’ style observational road trip across middle America following Director / Actor Damon Gameau as he force feeds himself 40 sugary teaspoons a day of “healthy” low fat food. Secondly and more spectacularly the film is a saccharine sweet visual overload of over 300 VFX and green screen moments, skits and a music video which use advertising techniques to target short attention span little folks and change the way people think about what they consume.

A Feature Cinema documentary from the outset, ‘That Sugar Film’ has played festivals in Berlin and Amsterdam and sold to Samuel Goldwyn in the US and territories around the world. It is currently the second highest grossing Australian Documentary of all time.

Any lessons that you've learned?

There is a Roger Deakins quote I like:

“Things usually work out better than you plan. When you're shooting a film you're so close to it, it rarely lives up to your expectations while you're there. You always want it to be better, more perfect. When you see a cut, maybe two or three months later, you come to it fresh. It's generally much better than you thought it would be.”

Many years ago DOP Marty McGrath ACS told me that the way to succeed in this game is to just keep shooting. I love my work and have always endeavored to do just that, keep practicing, keep learning, and keep shooting.

So to finish off Judd are there any other interesting facts or hobbies?
Yeah, I enjoy swimming, yoga & rock climbing.

ED: Well another really interesting profile; Judd shows how tenacious he had to be to realise his dreams. It's been great for me to be able to observe Judd grow as a person and as a cinematographer, cheers Pres EC. BTW why not contact me about profiling you?

From National Gold sponsor Miller, with a deal worth considering

Walt Disney Pictures' "Tomorrowland" - brought to life with Sony F65 and F55

Sydney, 28th May, 2015: John Fauer, ASC recently interviewed Claudio Miranda, ASC, about his latest project “Tomorrowland”, a Walt Disney Pictures production which has its theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand today. Shot using the Sony CineAlta F65 and F55 cameras, it was directed by Brad Bird and stars George Clooney and Britt Robertson. The picture was shot in multiple locations in Canada, the United States and Spain. Last year John also interviewed Claudio about his work as cinematographer on “Oblivion”. It was among the first major features to be shot with the Sony F65 camera.

Jon Fauer: Claudio, what can you tell us about how this production was shot? Claudio Miranda: We shot “Tomorrowland” with the Sony F65 and F55 cameras.

How did you use F65 and F55 together? Was there a difference in look and so on? With Oblivion, the main camera was the Sony F65, and for the small cameras we used REDs. But on Tomorrowland we were able to use F55 cameras when we wanted to get into small, tight places or required a lightweight package. So it was a great complement to the F65.

The F65 was your “A” camera and the F55s were grab cameras? Yes. The F55 cameras were for grab, Steadicam, mounts, rigs, and action cam kind of situations.

What were the significant differences between the cameras? Naturally the F65 is still the sharpest one. There’s a mechanical shutter on the F65. The F65 has a greater selection of internal ND filters. Flexible and adaptable

Could you see the difference in the dynamic range, shadows and highlights? The F65 has a larger dynamic range. It’s still a stronger camera. It’s just a more powerful beast. There’s just a lot of horsepower behind that so there’s still more latitude in the F65 than the F55. But for action shots, the F55 cuts really well with the F65. I don’t have any issues using the F55. In fact, I used it often. For the size, it’s actually pretty great. I love the internal NDs. It has a great form factor. It’s easy to play and record. Every now and then the Director wanted to do some action sequences to run at 20 or 22 fps to kind of tighten up the pace a little bit. In the beginning this was only available with the F65. Then as future updates were implemented, the F55 was able to do the same. So we learned and grew with the camera as it evolved. It was similar to the way we grew up together with the F65 on Oblivion. On Oblivion, at the beginning the F65 camera did 24, 30 or 60 fps, but it didn’t do 48 fps. Halfway through the movie its software was updated to have frame rates 1-60 fps, which the Director really wanted. And now the F65 can do 120 fps. And the F55 can do 240 fps 2K RAW and 60 fps 4K RAW. The F55 is an amazing little camera that just fits. It has a great, nice, open beautiful colour space. It’s simple to use.

I guess you recorded RAW on both cameras? We recorded RAW on both cameras. In the beginning, for all my camera tests, I used the F55. For simple camera tests and scouting I just went directly to the SxS cards. I didn’t even have a camera crew on some of the tests. I went out with a little zoom lens, and I tested with practical lights and I just did it by myself. It was really simple. During scouting or prep, if someone asked how something would work with blue screen, I could just pull the camera out, shoot and put in a blue screen. It was that simple.

What frame rates did you mostly work at with these cameras? Mostly 24p.

Did you have the DVF-EL100 EVF for the F65 this time? I think you were not happy with the EVF on Oblivion? Yes, we had the new EVF. And we had the same OLED finder on both the F65 and the F55. These new ones were great.

So you were able to see focus and everything else? Correct. It was much better.

Which lenses did you use on this show? We used the ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes and the Fujinon Premier Zooms again, same as the Oblivion package. We did some interesting testing in the beginning. Brad Bird, the Director, wanted to shoot dual formats. He wanted to shoot 4:3 format, which might originally have made it an ARRI Alexa production. And then, for another part of the story, he wanted it to be 2.39:1 anamorphic. To achieve that, we tested the Sony F65 with 1.3x Hawk anamorphics. If you rotate them 90 degrees, that would make the format 4:3. And if you rotate them back to normal then you get 2.39:1. That would have been interesting - in one part of the story you’d have vertical flares and the other part of the story you’d have horizontal flares. These tests were very interesting, but we didn’t shoot the movie this way.

You have the same DIT, Alex Carr? Alex was with me. And the first camera assistant was Dan Ming, who worked with me on Life of Pi.

And how did you deal with on-set, near-set and dailies? Alex and I would, at the end of the day, go through the rough looks for the day.

Control & Creativity - on the fly The F55 is an amazing little camera that just fits. It has a great, nice, open beautiful colour space. It’s simple to use.

Were you setting different looks for each shot or go through it like one lights? It was mostly like one lights. Sometimes I gave it a little bit of a look, which is nice on the F65 and really easy to do. It’s interesting. Alex could access the colour wheels on the camera and we could give little corrections to each camera on the fly. Alex is pretty great at doing that. There were some new updates that gave Alex a lot of control.

And in terms of viewing dailies with the Director and production, how did you do that? We had a theatre for watching dailies. Furthermore, I always have a great monitor and I’m always looking at it. Basically my monitor works as my on-set dailies viewer. I know it well. At the end of each day, we spend anywhere from fifteen minutes to a half an hour just grading the dailies And then, Alex will take a look file that he sends on a USB stick to the dailies processing people.

What monitor did you use on set? The same as last time: a 25” Sony BVM OLED Monitor. Because the F65 doesn’t output 4K for live viewing, I can see what I need to know in HD.

Preview Claudio Miranda’s work with the F65 & F55 in the trailer for “Tomorrowland” at

ACS CineKids

You might know someone who may want to be an ACS CineKid, if so encourage them to join our newest membership category. - ACS CineKids - has been created to encourage and foster interested kids up to the age of 15 years to participate and take an active hands-on approach to Cinematography.

An ACS CineKids Member is a young person, 15 years or under, who has a passion for cameras and filmmaking. ACS CineKids will receive a Welcome Pack with a membership certificate, membership card, note pad and pen, access to our E news both National & State, and various screenings and workshops, along with mentoring from our ACS cinematographers.

To find out more and how to join ACS CineKids click on the following link:

Click to access the CineKids membership application form »

Upcoming dates

2015 events to come including New lighting, Screenings with Q&A's; maybe you can suggest something?

May 31 Sponsorship Proposals Distribution & Invoice for Membership Renewals

June 1 Committee Meeting

June 11 Predestination Screening and Q&A Thursday June 11 with Ben Nott ACS

June 30 Membership Fees Due

July 1 Accreditation Submissions Open & Call for SA Committee nominations

July 6 Committee Meeting

July ?? Drone Night - stay tuned

July 31 Accreditation Submissions Close

August 10 SA AGM

August 14 SA/WA Award Entry Opens

August 21 Chase Sponsorship Assets

September 18 SA/WA Award Entry Closes

September 7 Committee Meeting

September 26, 27 & 28 SA/WA Awards Judging & Deadline for Sponsorship Assets

September 29 Award Ticket Sales Open

October 5 Committee Meeting

October 23 Deadline for Award Tickets

October 31 2015 35th Annual SA/WA ACS Awards for Cinematography in Adelaide

November 5 Committee Meeting

December 7 Committee Meeting

December 14 Christmas Drinks

2016 March 30 National Awards in Adelaide

ACS SA Branch Facebook page

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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.

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