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ACS South Australian Branch


Happy New Year!
Nick Remy Matthews ACS Q+A Screening

Member Profile Thomas Schaefer

Nick Remy Matthews ACS will present an exclusive pre-release screening and Q&A of his latest feature film, "I.S.S.". Nick studied at Flinders Uni in the early-2000's and worked in Adelaide for years, culminating with the Milty-Winning film "Hotel Mumbai" in 2017, before setting off overseas to shoot high-end Film and TV projects.

Nick has won the "Milty" twice, and has a wealth of Cinematography knowledge. Feel free to ask him how he shot in zero gravity, and the solutions he came up with when faced with a setting up lights in Space for "I.S.S.".

Tensions flare in the near future aboard the International Space Station when a worldwide conflict breaks out on Earth.

WHEN: Thursday 4th January 2024 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM
WHERE: Piccadilly Cinema, 181 O'Connell Street,
North Adelaide
WHO: ACS Members only and their close friends

(coming soon)

The SA ACS Branch are organising a hands-on

Local ACS legend and IMAX trained specialist Cinematographer Malcolm Ludgate ACS
will share his knowledge and stories about shooting IMAX 70mm film.

To shoot a normal wide shot of a landscape, you have to tilt up very high (like in the above image), as the frame has so much height and width.

We're trying to get an IMAX camera and film stock, but IMAX are a little busy. We'll definitely get a giant format digital IMAX camera.

Coming soon.
Keep watching the newsletters...


The SA branch of the ACS has a new Bronze sponsor!

Introducing Larry's Camera Hire!

Larry's is your local, semi-professional / semi-backyard camera hire shop, located just a couple minutes from the Adelaide CBD.  They offer production equipment for both stills and video shoots including Sony FX9, FS7 and A7R iii hire. As full time shooters themselves, they offer knowledge on all the gear they offer and also understand the needs of those working in the industry.

And as a SPECIAL OFFER to all ACS members, Larry's is giving 10% off on the rental of their exclusive Lighting/Gaffer dry hire van rental!
It's a van you rent that comes full of lighting gear! You just drive it out the door!

Here are the details:


Larry's Lighting Van Package - $800/day - ACS members 10% Off!

Larry’s Lighting Van Package has been designed to cover a large variety of shooting requirements.

As the first gaffer / lighting van package available to dry hire in Adelaide we are offering it at the introductory ACS members price of $720/day (Day price includes GST + Insurance) allowing more SA DP’s to experience the value and convenience of our lighting / grip package.

Find all the details and what is in the van here:


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 Thomas!



Well Tom, how did you end up working in this industry?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been obsessed with cameras. I used to do photography jobs for local businesses in the Barossa Valley as a kid, and slowly progressed into creating videos for them too. At the same time, I was learning more about business, clients, professionalism (even when you format the wrong card haha) and this eventually progressed into what I do now, running a production company and directing.
What’s the best thing about working in film production?
Speaking broadly about filmmaking, genuinely, I think it’s working with people you deeply appreciate and love to work with. My favourite kind of days are shoot days, everyone is there to produce something creative, and creativity should be fun. If it’s not, the end product will suffer as a result.
How do you approach shooting each new film job?
When directing bigger projects nowadays, I still approach projects the exact same as when I was an aspiring DP. I storyboard out every single frame that I want to shoot, whether it’s a ‘nice to have’ or crucial frame, I’ve got it on a piece of paper in front of me. I don’t know if this is pedantic or not, but I find myself in a much calmer place on set with all the ‘rules’ down on paper, and any creative ideas that come about are just the cherry on top.

What keeps you inspired to do what we do?
Previously, I was always motivated by capturing the most creative, ‘cinematic-looking’ footage I could, I’d jump on the computer straight after a shoot and review footage, grade it immediately, and export out still frames. A focus on building my style through the pictures I’d capture on a project. Now, I’m motivated by storytelling first. As my focus has changed, my primary role within the field of filmmaking has changed as a result. And I think it’s important to listen to that motivation first, before chasing a ‘job title’ just because you think it appeals to you.
What specific skills do you need to do your job?
Being detail-oriented is a pretty important skill I think filmmaking needs, generally. I’d challenge anyone who goes down the “that’ll be right” path, most times I look at my work and think that more could have been improved. However I think that’s what keeps you improving… or that might be terrible advice. But that’s just how my brain works!
What is a common blunder that film creators make?
Time. Your. Shots. My biggest mistakes, especially when directing commercials or music videos, are usually revealed when the shots captured on the day don’t line up with a VO, or a music track. Capturing changes in emotion within an actor’s face, or even a simple action can delay a shot by a few seconds. Time it out beforehand.

What’s your next project?
I’m writing this down to give myself some accountability… But I’m really excited to direct an original short film of my own. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot working with the restraints of specific projects, but creating something of my own is next on the list.
Where you think your future lies? Is it in camera, directing or perhaps just simply running a studio?
I think I’ll always enjoy a mix between directing and a small amount of camerawork. I still love being behind the camera, even if it’s just for smaller jobs, but I still love it. And I feel like it informs the way I go about directing as well. Beyond this, it’s niching down. If I can direct the kind of work I love, within a niche field like comedic commercials or automotive work, I can improve faster.
If you started your career over again would you have done anything different?
I’d have created more work. I always waited for the perfect creative opportunity to roll around before pursuing it, and I think that was a mistake. I’m a big believer in learning through doing. And maybe I would have gone to film school, to give myself more opportunities to meet people and produce more work.

If you could change anything in this industry what would it be?
This is a useless, diplomatic ‘nothing’ answer, but it’s what I think about a lot. I think we need more consistency of work to allow everybody to choose the work they love and pursue it. Maybe this is just an Adelaide problem, or Australian problem, but I think everyone has their place. I’d love it if we had more of those places, more often.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Hmm, well I guess his could have probably been a short intro, but I considered myself an aspiring DP for a long time, but have always directed alongside this role, mostly on music videos or corporate work. In the last few years, I’ve focused much more on directing, as it’s what I love and what I want to pursue. This I feel is where I fit best into the whole filmmaking process. So that’s it and hopefully my perspective is useful to those of you who have multiple roles!

Thanks for sharing your story Thomas! Keep it up!



Upcoming Dates

January 4 - Nick Remy Matthews ACS Q+A Screening
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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