ACS South Australian Branch
From the Pres
Awards & Events Wrap Up
And the Winners are...
Profile - Henry Smith
From the Pres
52nd Annual ACS Awards for Cinematography
were proudly presented by
From the Pres - Awards & Events Wrap Up
Apologies for the lateness of our May newsletter but after the awards we needed a break.
Over 180 attended the prestigious 2022 National ACS Awards for Cinematography which were held here in Adelaide at the Hilton Hotel on April 30th. This gala night was MC'd by the fabulous Ray Martin AM and is the highlight of the ACS year.
At these Awards we saw the best of the best work from Australian DoP's and got to mix with some of our best Australian cinematographers.
Due to very recent surgery, our outgoing National ACS President Ron Johanson OAM ACS attended via Zoom and watched our livestream; it certainly will be a night he won't forget for a long time as we celebrated the legacy of all he's done over 14 very productive years. It was also our chance to formally honour and welcome our new National President Erika Addis.
If you wish to relive the Awards night or watch them for the first time you can via this link. Scroll in, just past the 10 minute mark.
Or you could check out the photos of the night taken by Sam Oster.
Over the Awards weekend the other events, which were free for ACS members and sponsors, included:
Around 87 attended a special Screening and Q&A of The Dry with DoP Stefan Duscio ACS and moderator Kim Batterham ACS sponsored by PANAVISION on Friday night at the Mercury CX Cinema.
Immediately following the Q&A 40 of us enjoyed the ROSCO - LEITZ sponsored Drinks & Pizza in the Mercury CX foyer.
On Saturday morning 58 attended the popular Meet the Nominees session sponsored by ARRI Australia with Kim Batterham ACS once again moderating at the Mercury CX Cinema. This was immediately followed by a presentation by Phil Greenstreet for Rosco on their latest digital backgrounds which are amazing.
We raised $2,795 for the Motion Picture Industry Benevolent Society. The major prize was proudly sponsored by Panasonic - Lumix, a GH6 camera with a 12 to 60 lens valued at over $5k! We appreciate everyones generosity who bought tickets - the winner of the Lumix GH6 was our own Geoffrey Hall ACS! There was also a draw for a Lumix GH5 without a lens won by NSW member Dew English.
May I say a special thanks to the National sponsors, the SA Committee and the local sponsors who truly helped to make the Awards weekend a fantastic success. In particular thanks to: Kojo, Best FX, Aaron Cartwright, Pro AV Solutions, Picture Hire, Artisan Post.
On Sunday morning the National ACS Executive held a 5 hour Board Meeting - I must have really done something wrong in a past life!
And the SA winners are...
A big Congratulations go to SA's Brant Cumming for his Gold Tripod in the Syd Wood ACS Local/National News category and to Richard Chataway ACS for his Gold Tripod for The Better Angels in the Art, innovation & Specialised category.
Also congratulations to Bonnie Paku from South Australia, recipient of The John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award of $2,400 and $15K of equipment hire from Panavision.
Congratulations to those inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame:
Kim Batterham ACS from NSW and from SA our own Malcom Ludgate ACS &
Patricia Walter (deceased).
Congratulations to our new ACS Life Members:
David Brill AM ACS, David Hudspeth from Tassie, from NSW Velinda Wardell ACS and our wonderful JoAnne Bouzianis Sellick from SA.
Congratulations to Pawel Achtel ACS from Tasmania, the recipient of the Bob Miller - ACS Technical & Innovation Achievement Award for his approach to designing and manufacturing the 9 x 7 Camera.
Congratulations to Joshua Lamont ACS who was awarded the National Judges Merit - Sony Camera Prize for his work on Ancient Remains.
And the big one, The Milli for ACS Australian Cinematographer of the Year was awarded to Stefan Duscio ACS from Victoria for the his great work on The Dry in the Feature Film - $2m budget and above category.
All very well deserved winners and recipients!
The Door Prize Winners included:
Mollydooker wine packs from Fujifilm were won by Katelijne Pee, Luke Bickley & SA committee member Michael Tessari.
James Haskard from SA won a fantastic Creamsource Micro Colour Pro Kit.
XM2 cap and beanie went to SA member Andrew Roberstson.
Jeremy Rouse ACS from Vic drew the Rosco DMG DashPocket Led kit.
The John Seale AM ACS ASC signed Camerimage book went to longtime ACS supporter Lester Bishop from NSW.
Alison Croft received from Tec Art a Manfrotto Nitrotech 608 fast, single leg, carbon tripod.
SA 's own Bonnie Paku won the Canon Selphy Square QX10 printer.
4 VA Digital keep cups/mugs & bags went to Dave & Ruth Hudspeth, David Pascoe & double winner, Geoffrey Hall ACS from SA.
And finally an ACS merchandise pack went to SA Student member Alexander Nguyen.
Profile Henry Smith
This Profile is slightly different in that it's about an ex SA ACS Member who moved over to the Eastern States some time ago and has been quite successful. Hope you enjoy the read.
Henry, how did you get into the film industry?
I have the wonderful art director, Tony Cronin, to thank for my break into the film industry. When I was 16 years old, I had created a stop-motion animation that Tony had seen win best film at a film festival in Adelaide and he offered me 2 weeks work experience with him on McLeod’s Daughter’s in 2004.
During my second week on set Tony sat me down for a bit of career advice. “So, what do you think?” he asked, “see a role that you want to do in the future?” Judging by the credit roll of my stop-motion film that he’d seen, this was a fair question as I had listed myself in every role from animation to sound recordist to set design. I probably even credited myself for catering as well. Thinking Tony could be my ticket into the film industry, I told Tony that I really liked production design. But he had a pretty good idea that I was actually interested in cinematography. “You can’t get halfway up the production design ladder and expect to step across into the camera department at the same level. You start back at the bottom” Tony informed me. “You need to think about which ladder you want to be at the top of and start climbing that one.”
So that lunchtime as all the crew ate together, Tony introduced me to the unparalleled Roger Dowling ACS. I was equal measures terrified and awe-struck, but with Tony’s wise words, I nervously fumbled my way through a list of questions I was dying to ask him. Roger was of course very kind, very encouraging and spent his entire lunchtime answering my questions and giving advice on how to get started as a cinematographer. I was starting to climb the right ladder.
What prompted your move to Sydney?
When I was 19, I was halfway through my film course at uni and feeling a little bored and unchallenged so I was determining whether to complete the course or leave to try and work in the industry full time. Ultimately, I dropped out and mentally set myself 2 years to get as much hands-on experience as possible. Working on my 2nd feature, Coffin Rock, the brilliant 1st AC John Foster had given me the advice that if I really wanted to get serious about film and make a full-time living from it, I might need to consider moving to Melbourne or Sydney. By this point, moving from my home in Adelaide hadn't been on my mind at all.
On my next feature, I was fortunate to secure a role on Scott Hicks' The Boys Are Back. I was assisting the Playback Operator who had been brought out from Sydney and on the final shoot day after we had wrapped and were packing up his equipment in the car park he offered me a permanent role on his team based out of Sydney. It was a very quick "yes" and 2 weeks later, in 2009, I was driving my things over towards the East coast.
Have you had any mentors or cinematographers that have influenced you or help you in any way?
My wife, Genevieve, and I started our production company over a decade ago before we were even dating (ludicrous, I know) with the goal of helping great organisations to tell their stories. At the same time, Genevieve was launching Bus Stop Films, a not-for-profit training organisation for people with a disability to be able to work professionally in the film and TV industry. We incubated Bus Stop within our production company for its first seven years to ensure it could be sustainable, and now the two companies work side by side. The film industry is hard enough to break into as it is, so it has been a part of our makeup from the beginning to pioneer inclusive filmmaking and provide professional pathways into production for people from marginalised communities.
Today I am very fortunate to be able to work as a hybrid creative as a commercial Director, Producer and DP. Working as a creative and an entrepreneur, I have always intentionally positioned myself under great mentors across film production, business management and leadership. For the same reason Novak Djokovic still has tennis coach, mentors are extremely important to not just keep us accountable, but to help see our blind spots. A number of extremely talented cinematographers have been very kind to share their wisdom with me on my journey, including David Foreman ACS, Ernie Clark ACS and Greig Fraser ACS ASC.
What has been your most interesting / memorable project?
My favourite projects are always when I see people who wouldn’t usually get an opportunity, get to work on a professional film set. And what I find even more amazing is seeing the life-changing reactions of our film crew mentors.
My first big test of this inclusive model was when we created a short film called The Interviewer. I had moved to Sydney from Adelaide 12 months prior and had been working as a Playback Operator on TVCs and Stuart Beattie’s adaptation of Tomorrow When the War Began. This had given me the chance to work with some of the best film technicians on the East Coast, so I courageously reached out to ask them to work on our short film, and each to mentor a student filmmaker who had a disability. As a part of the process, we had many of them come into the Bus Stop weekend classes in the weeks leading up to the shoot to teach a 3-hour masterclass on their specific profession. We then had 12 filmmaking protegees working side-by-side with their film mentor on the day. As the DP I was mentoring Audrey, a young woman with a disability, and we still see each other regularly, almost 10 years later.
The students were immersed in the amazing world of filmmaking and it was incredible to watch them have the opportunity to get hands on and learn first-hand from filmmaking professionals. But the greatest part for me was witnessing the impact on the mentoring crew. Each of them were impacted by having the chance to give someone an opportunity on a film set that usually would be completely overlooked. Nearly the entire crew still work with us regularly and love being a part of inclusive productions.
Do you work overseas or only in Australia?
I’ve loved (and still love) the gift of being able to travel and experience the world through my work. Highlights have been shooting documentaries and branded content in LA, New York, Germany, Timor Leste and Myanmar. But an absolute standout was shooting a short Shakespeare in Tokyo in Japan. Genevieve and I were invited to submit a concept to showcase some of the unseen gems of Tokyo for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in the lead up to the 2020 Olympic Games.
The resulting film starred a young man with Down syndrome (Gerard O’Dwyer) who escapes the watchful eye of his older brother (Patrick Brammall) to explore Tokyo on his own, where he encounters some of the incredible locations, tastes and people of the grand city, including bumping into Shioli Kutsuna and Sonny Chiba.
We partnered with the Japan Down syndrome Society and mentored 6 students with disability to work on the film – the first time anything like this had ever happened in Japan!
During pre-production, Genevieve and I spent a week exploring the city with our Japanese co-producer, Seigo. This was one of the most spectacular weeks of my life; we ventured through Ancient temples surrounded by gardens so dense that you’d forget you were in the middle of one of the world's busiest cities, we squeezed into a tiny standing sushi bar with the most spectacular sushi made by a sushi master with hands were so soft and smooth from 60 years of shaping sushi rice, we climbed ladders up into the crammed sake bars of the Golden Gai, we rode the old ferries down the river towards the tea houses in the Hamarikyu Gardens and we shared traditional soba noodles that would come out on wooden trays as big as the table. At many moments during the week, I had to step back and pinch myself, realising; making films is the best job in the world.
Why not check out these links:
Thanks Henry, you should be very proud of what you and Genevieve have achieved with BusStop Films. I know numerous NSW ACS members are involved in the mentoring.
ACS Facebook Group
All current financial ACS members can join our Facebook group. Members can post their work, connect across states, link to events, ask for advice, and put up equipment for sale, etc. To join, simply follow the link below and request to join, and one of your local committee members will approve your request. Of course, if you're not a member please don't apply as rejection is not really in our DNA.
May 9 Committee Meeting
June 7 Committee Meeting
July 5 Committee Meeting
August 1 - 21 Awards Entry Window
August 15 SA AGM & fun night
September 1 - 30 Accreditation Application Window
September 6 Committee Meeting
October 3 Committee Meeting
October 14 & 15 Accreditation Assessments in Sydney
October 16 - National AGM in Sydney
October 29 42nd WA & SA Awards for Cinematography @ Frazer's Kings Park, Perth
November 1 Committee Meeting
December 5 Committee Meeting
December 12 Christmas Drinks
Here's a few dates to get next year going - more to come!
February 6 - 1st Committee Meeting for 2023
March 6 - Committee Meeting
August 1 to 21 - Awards Entry Window
August 14 - SA AGM & fun night
September 1 to 30 - Accreditation Application Window
October 3 - Committee Meeting
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