SA eNews June 2019 - National ACS Award Winners - ACS/VES Collaboration - From the Pres - Michael Selge Profile - HQ Visit


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The 48th Annual National ACS Awards for Cinematography Wrap Up

Wow the Vic's did really well, the 2019 Fujinon Fujifilm ACS National Awards for Cinematography were held at the grand Plaza Ballroom in the heart of Melbourne. Our Host and MC for the evening, the impeccable and erudite Ray Martin AM kept the night on track and running smoothly. The Guest of Honour, actor Jack Thompson AM, give a truly inspirational speech with everyone in the room hanging on every word. What a Legend! And of course our own legend, National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS, was tip toeing around the stage in his own inimitable manner.

The Gold Tripod is the highest award given in each category and our own Judd Overton won one for Serial TV & Comedy Series for No Activity (US) - The Raid. Sadly Judd couldn't be at the night as he was in prep for the next series. Still it looks good on my table! But I will have to drop it off to his parents house soon I guess.

Jack proudly displays his Gold Plaque.

The Best National Student Cinematographer Gold Award was also won by an SA member - Jack Davis for his entry Language. Many thanks to Helen Carter & Flinders Uni for helping Jack attend.

Not only that but our own Claire Bishop was presented The John Leake OAM ACS Award to an Emerging Cinematographer. It comprises a $2,400 cash prize and a certificate. Claire is intending to use the prize to attend an ASC Master Class designed for cinematographers, with an intermediate to advanced skill set, at a 5 day intensive seminar in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The 2019 Milli Award for Australian cinematographer of the Year went to Victorian member bob Nguyen for the Vietnamese feature Song Lang.

And would you believe it but Daniel Charlton from ProAv Solutions won a bloody good door prize of a Drone form DJI!

A great night was had by all. I'm sure the complete Winners List will be up on our website soon.

From the Pres

By the time you read this you'll probably have received your membership renewal so please pay them by June 30 and save our volunteers lot's of extra work chasing late dues. Please check you are in the correct Membership Category. Maybe it's time to upgrade to the next level - check out the membership requirements on our website via the link below.

Whilst you are at it, is your address correct? It costs the ACS 3 times the postage to have AC Magazine posted to you and then returned if it's not.

Also we have just asked our loyal sponsors to once again support us so please support them by buying and using their services. We need their support and I know they'd appreciate yours. Don't forget to support our National sponsors too!

Our 39th Annual Awards for cinematography entries open August 1 and closes August 21 so start collating your best work so you're ready to enter.

We are holding our awards at the Adelaide Town Hall this year, they have been most helpful so put aside October 26 in your diaries.

Maybe it's also time to think about getting your Accreditation Submission together as the submission window opens Sept 1 and closes Sept 30.

The SA AGM is not far away - August 12 - so keep the night free as we are planning on a bit of fun for the night. If you want to have a say in what our branch does you may like to nominate for the committee or even the President! Keep an eye out for the Nomination Form it's in this June eNews. Click the link below for it and don't forget you must be a financial, corporate member to be on the committee.

Recently I was told about some great articles about our 15 female ACS Accredited members. Check them out via the link below.

Click to download the SA 2019 AGM Committee Nomination Form »
Meet 15 ACS Accredited Women »
Click for ACS Membership categories »

ACS Craft & Art of Cinematography Night Wrap Up

Our collaboration with the local branch of the Visual Effects Society (VES) has begun.

Our panel of three of our cinematographers David Tang, David Gregan & Miles Rowland presented the Craft and Art of Cinematography. We ran through things including: the choices cinematographers make in the real world. Why we choose a certain lens, an aperture, a shutter angle or camera speed. Why we choose a hard light or a soft light, back light or front light. Why we put the camera there. We even discussed some of the mistakes we have made and the problems we may encounter on set.

The VES members seemed to really appreciate the night. I'd like to say thanks to Alex Meddick and Ian Cope from the VES and to Miles, David & Dtang for presenting.

In the next few months the VES will put on a reciprocal presentation to our ACS members about shooting for visual effects. This will be very educational and can only make the results of what we shoot for VFX that much better.

Ernie, Miles, David & Dtang presenting at the VES night

Michael Selge Profile

Michael how did you first become interested in our industry and what were some of your first projects?

I’ve been an avid photographer for many years after getting a Kodak Instamatic as an 8 year old to take on a family trip around Europe back in 1974. In High school I did a Photography elective which was primarily darkroom B&W but also dabbled in Video with my father’s Super 8 camera. Later I used a massive VHS video camera that had the tape mechanism in a separate shoulder bag. As an early adopter of Digital, my first few cameras were small point and shoot models but eventually I saved up for my first DSLR body, a D30 back around 2000.

I've owned and sold a fair few camera over the years including 20D, 30D, 50D, 5DMk1’s, then onto the 5DMk-2 which I used to take many thousands of photos with. I shoot a lot of live music around Adelaide venues with most of it challenging low light stuff with no Flash allowed. There were some weeks when I was shooting 2-3 bands a week. All of it was unpaid but I got to see some great bands and at the larger shows getting access to the photo pit up close without the moshpit crushing you was a big plus.

Michael shooting Stills at Womadelaide (Photo by Benon Koebsch )

What did you do to further your career?

Post high school I had completed a mechanical engineering degree which had me working in manufacturing industries for the first 12 years in both Adelaide and Melbourne. However, with the downturn in manufacturing I took a redundancy package and studied IT, then spent 12 years working in a Corporate IT environment, primarily in Adelaide. With itchy feet again I resigned to reassess what I wanted to do and decided on furthering my creative side.

The 5DMk-2 was an amazing stills camera at the time and whilst I knew it did capable video it wasn’t a feature I used until I saw a clip on filmmaking with the 5DMk-2 from Vincent LaFloret which opened my eyes to what this little camera was capable of. I enrolled in a Screen and Media course at AC Arts and completed the first year before applying for MAPS to get some more hands on experience in filmmaking. There I completed the Diploma course and was involved in over 30 projects in that one year as DOP or onset/post Audio. It was during that year in 2013 that I first joined the ACS which has helped me gain more knowledge of the filmmaking process and helped me meet other people in the industry.

Blatantly promoting the ACS may also help your career!

Michael blatantly promoting the ACS and another SA product on a holiday in New Zealand.

Did you find it hard to get recognised in our industry?

Yes, it’s definitely hard to get a start and probably even harder for someone like me trying to get into the industry at an older age. There is a lot of creative talent in Adelaide and the larger funded projects generally run with the same experienced crews. The smaller local projects, of which there are many, generally have no funding at all which can impact on the final product quality and sometimes result in the project never getting finished. This can be quite disheartening when you have invested so much of your own time.

Michael on the set of Friendship Love and Loyalty.

What has been your most rewarding project so far?

My four weeks camera department attachment on the Pine Gap series in 2018 as Video Split operator was an eye opener for me. Until that time pretty much everything I had worked on was either zero budget or extremely low budget. Seeing the efficiency of a much larger funded production team and the precision of each department to get their particular job done was a pleasure to watch. My most fun time on set was when I was asked to be the DOP for a short film (Collection) being produced by the final year AC Arts students I had studied with a few years earlier. It was a very collaborative shoot with scope for some creative camera work.

Michael your reputation for taking great stills on set is growing around town, is that where your future lies?

Historically when I have been involved in productions assisting the DOP, I also took along my stills camera to take some behind the scenes shots when time permitted and the resultant photos were always well received. Subsequently I’ve been asked to be on productions shooting stills, although I generally help out with everything where I can. On reflection this last year I have certainly found that I’ve drifted into the role of shooting behind the scenes stills and sometimes video. However, I'd really like the opportunity to do more cinematography and help mould the creative vision and have involvement in projects at an early stage. The ability of the current cameras I use to silently shoot with electronic shutters makes it possible to capture stills during actual takes when the actors are at their peak, but you need to have awareness on set, so as not to interfere with the DOP who always has the prime framing location. It is unfortunate that the role of a stills photographer is often left as a last minute inclusion to a project and more often than not seen as a volunteer role.

What project are you currently working on?

I should really get around to finishing off a project I started many years ago with Motion time-lapse. I already have quite a bit of footage shot at Night with long exposures and camera movement but it needs to be fleshed out with some additional footage. I have also inherited a huge amount of Super-8 film shot mostly by my father that I have now digitised but still to properly sort and edit.

Tell us, what are some of your favourite films and shows?

My all-time favourite films are the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Terminator 2 and the original Matrix. My favourite film for messing with my head was Memento by Christopher Nolan.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?

I spent my very early years from 6 months - 4 years old living in Penang, Malaysia with my father at the Butterworth air force base then spent a couple of years in Sydney before moving to Adelaide. I also have a passion for Music in recorded form and for playing instruments. I studied Cello and Clarinet at School and have been accumulating lots of different instruments including a Drum Kit, Synth, Keyboard, Various Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass guitar, Djembe, Bongos, Harmonicas, Trumpet, Flute, Ukulele’s, Cello, Clarinet and lots of small percussion. Some of them I can play reasonably proficiently whilst others I can barely get a note out of (looking at you Flute)

Please check out some of my camera work using this link to my photo gallery.

Michael (the band!) rocking it out!

Some upcoming dates

June 1 Think about getting your Accreditation Submission together for Sept 1

June 3 Committee Meeting

June 30 Membership fees due

July 1 Committee Meeting

July TBA Shooting for Visual Effects presented by VES

August 1 - 21 Entry Window for 39th SA & WA Annual Awards for Cinematography

August 12 SA AGM & Wine Bottling night

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 at Adelaide Town Hall

November 4 Committee Meeting

December 2 Committee Meeting

December 13 SA Branch Xmas Drinks


February 3 Committee Meeting

May 16 National Awards for Cinematography in Canberra

SA ACS member, Aaron Fiora, visits ACS HQ

SA member Aaron Fiora with David "Spider" Lewis ACS in the HQ Library

Click to see the complete story of Aaron's visit. »

Why not visit your National HQ

If you are in Sydney why not drop in like Aaron did to our ACS HQ, Level 2, 26 Ridge Street, North Sydney. The NSW committee will do their best to open up for you, contact Ted Rayment ACS

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Australian Cinematographers Society · Level 2, 26 Ridge Street · North Sydney, NSW 2060 · Australia