ACS South Australian Branch
From the Pres
SA Gold Winners' Screening Wrap Up
Q&A With Tim Sanders
Free Movie Tix
Profile Brant Cumming
From the Pres
Welcome to our 3rd newsletter for 2020, it's been great recently as we have been getting good ideas fed to the committee for trade and educational events that we could organise such as our recent Gold Winners' Showcase and here's one that Ella Kroning suggested that we're working on: A "What's in your Kit" event where we ask 1st & 2nd AC's, Camera op's, News shooters, Steadicam op's, cinematographers & DoP's to bring along their onset kits, a special tool, their trollies, their weather bags, etc to show what they take on set to make their lives easier, more productive or more comfortable. It's the sort event you may pick up a heap of ideas or just one little trick that could make your life easier.
For example, I can remember about 15 years ago a well known, ACS Accredited, Melbourne DoP who will remain nameless for now, he travelled with a very large Riedel red wine glass and corkscrew especially encased in cut out foam in his meter case! Got to get your priorities right!
Anyway, once it's announced we hope you'll all come along, share your favourite stuff and if you have an excess of any tools, gear, bags, tape, bits and pieces, you might like to bring them along and like ‘passing on the baton’ give them to to encourage people beginning their careers on set.
Don't forget on March 3 there's the Q&A with Tim Sanders the Producer of such films as Whale Rider, Perfect Creature and The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. It's free, all are welcome you just have to register further down the newsletter and there's free drink & food!
Keep an eye out for Stateless, premiering at 8:40pm on the ABC on Sunday, March 1, produced by one of our committee Kirsty Stark, I hear Netflix have picked up worldwide streaming rights.
We have some free movie tix to Never Too Late see the article further down the newsletter.
I received some sad news during the month, cinematographer Dene Oheme sadly passed away. Commiserations to Judi, her sons and family, may he rest in peace.
I hope to see you at one of our events soon, don't forget to get the most out of the ACS be involved. In the meantime, great shooting!
Wrap up of SA 2019 Gold Winners' Showcase
What a great night with 76 attending to see a heap of varying styles and genres of Gold Winning cinematography and to hear about what their process was, why they chose a certain, format, camera or glass. Did they use natural light, films lights, practical lights, different shutter angles, camera speeds, did they have a budget, no budget or not enough time?
These questions and many more were answered by our SA Gold Winning cinematographers including Michael Tessari, Tony Salvatore, Thomas Scott, Connor Gurr, Jo Rossiter ACS, Aaron Gully ACS, Geoffrey Hall ACS and Brant Cumming in Japan via Skype. Thank you all for being involved.
A disappointment was 16 people booking and not turning up. We had to close bookings off so quite a few who wanted to attend couldn't. If you are booking please do your best to attend.
Many thanks to SA ACS Committee members for their help, in particular Kirsty Stark, JoAnne Bouzianis Sellick, Mylene and Mal Ludgate ACS and many thanks to the SAFC for their support, it is much appreciated.
Q&A With Tim Sanders
You are invited to join us for:
Art for Art's Sake... Money for God's Sake
Q&A with Tim Sanders
Award-winning film producer and Professor of Creative Practice at Flinders University
TUESDAY 3 MARCH 2020
5.00pm | Welcome drinks and nibbles
5.30pm | 'Art for Art's Sake... Money for God's Sake' Q&A with Tim Sanders, facilitated by Dr Nick Prescott
6.30pm | Networking drinks
Limited spots available.
Alere Function Centre, Level 2, The Hub
Flinders University, Bedford Park
The Flinders University map is available here Alere Function Centre is located at H10.
About Tim Sanders
A Flinders Arts alumni who was featured in 2016’s Flinders 50 Creatives, Tim Sanders is an impressive screen producer with over 35 years of industry experience. Two British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) Awards, an Australian Film Institute (AFI) award, an MTV award and a Golden Globe nomination are some of the prestigious international prizes that Tim has won over the years.
He has worked on a number of New Zealand’s most ambitious movie productions, including the award-winning films Whale Rider, Perfect Creature and The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of The Ring. This repertoire is in addition to over 30 feature films or major television projects including the ambitious mini-series Fallout, The Frighteners, Kiwi Flyer and the dystopian TV series This is Not My Life which won a 2011 Aotearoa Television Award for Best Drama Programme.
He has worked in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Vietnam, Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, India, Israel, Fiji and Rarotonga, just to name a few. In 2014, he launched film production company Field Theory - with The Guinea Pig Club based on the revolutionary WWII work of plastic surgeon Archie McIndoe and The Yarrabah Brass Band, the story of the re-formation of Australia’s first ever Aboriginal brass band - amongst his first projects.
Tim Sanders is currently Professor of Creative Practice at Flinders and teaches across the Screen Production programs.
Free Movie Tix to Never Too Late
On behalf of R&R Films, we would like to offer our members the chance to win five double passes for the release of the latest Mark Lamprell film, NEVER TOO LATE featuring an all-star cast including - Jacki Weaver, Jack Thompson, Shane Jacobson, James Cromwell, Dennis Waterman and Roy Billing. Never Too Late opens in Australian cinemas on April 23.
Filmed here on location in Adelaide, Never Too Late was directed by Mark Lamprell, written by Luke Preston and produced by Antony I Ginnane.
First five correct answers for who directed the film, will get the tickets, only one double pass per financial ACS member. Click here to send your answer
Thanks to Tracey Mair Publicity.
Click to view the trailer
Profile Brant Cumming
Hi Brant, tell us how did you get a start in the industry?
It was a fluky start with plenty of hiccups and at least 1 retrenchment so far, but 26 years and 41 countries later I look back at some incredible life changing experiences, accolades and people I met, I didn’t leave the house with that intention but here’s how it happened. Recently I was quarantined after going to Wuhan so I have had plenty of time to reminisce.
It was 1994 and after completing my studies as a mechanical engineer I bounced around a few jobs in manufacturing when some associates had suggested I come and work with them in TV, I asked ‘ what do you have to do? ‘. They replied ‘carry stuff around and it’s a lot of waiting really’. Very prophetic, as that does simply describe quite a lot of what happened after that. My friend’s father rang me early the next day introduced himself and said ‘starts when you get here’ It was Channel Nine in Tynte street North Adelaide where many a great cinematographer has got a start including I believe Dean Semler ACS ASC.
I was hired casually there for a number of years as an assistant, I worked with a few older film cameramen at the end of their career, poor bastards had been given the first generation of video cameras that were too heavy and broke their backs, the unions had taken the company to court and the ruling had the BTS LDK90’s broken into two pieces, the camera head and the recording units, connected by a massive multi cord cable, by the time I had come along this was mainly BETA, with a few ½ and ¾ inch analogue tape units around.
I tried to learn as much as I could about the industry, I guess I looked at it from the mind of an engineer and we were manufacturing TV. The imminent demise of the old technology and with it the demand for casual assistants and introduction of newer lighter cameras would see me learn to shoot and edit along with a desire to understand the technology and what was next. Handicams would appear and with it the prophetic statements from people who didn’t use cameras- ‘oh you guys are f@#%ed, we are not going to need cameramen anymore.’ Well it hasn’t happened completely yet, but it still might, love the new Osmo pocket by the way.
Who was it that influenced you the most in your career?
You know I think it would be hard to pick one person, I think the drive came from within and it was, and still is a competitive game, initially I was just happy to be in a fun and dynamic industry, soon after I would develop a desire for the ability to tell stories and journalistic ambitions and ethics, the amount of money driving TV and news back then was astounding, Adelaide had at least 4 big news rooms dedicated to nightly TV news with about 13 or so full time cameramen each, we had our own helicopter, often we were asked to just fly it over the competitors events just to peeve them, think Anchorman and you not too far away. When I think about the equipment, I was shooting football training on a camera that at the time was worth the same amount as what I had paid for a house. These days there’s somewhat of a gap between the two, but many things remain the same.
Anyway I digress, as an assistant I worked with many excellent camera operators and news people whom I tried to take from them, their best attribute or trick. As a cameraman I would work opposite them sometimes in a co-operative way sometimes not, always learning, trying to compete, do better.
When did overseas work come into the picture?
After moving to the ABC in the late nineties, and receiving excellent training and mentoring in many areas, for one reason or another I felt I had done all I could do in Adelaide, I certainly enjoyed working in a newsroom and I would happily return to it, if it was remotely similar to what it was like then, in some cases I felt couldn’t move into the jobs that I wanted to do more of, current affairs, documentaries, longer more meaningful work, I had to find another way forward and maybe around.
In that time, I had taken a job as an editor of a half hour international show and also stopped working as cameraman to assist in longer format shoots for children’s education. I wanted to learn more, I still do, I had been shaping my skills to be able to work in much smaller units, aiming myself towards an overseas posting. For me this had to be the best possible direction and possibility for me in my career. It was difficult to get noticed by the head office being located in Adelaide but eventually it happened and I moved to the Middle East. It was a monumental step, but it was one I was ready for.
No more chasing ambulances, fire engines, Crow’s training and live crosses. Now I was riding in tanks and helicopters in Iraq and beyond. A massive assault on the senses with the work and experiences that followed, with the accolades soon to follow, I won two Gold Tripods in the first series of ‘Foreign Correspondent’ segments that I worked on, and a U.N. media peace prize too. The journalist I worked with won a Walkley for one of our stories, I knew I had ended up in the right place. I’m on my second posting now and it certainly is a privilege to represent my organisation and also my country, in this way.
That sounds like a terrific experience, so after that adventure what’s next for you?
It certainly is a different industry now in Australia for the electronic media, and for me in life, I am a father and a husband, and I have to consider their lives and developments. There’s a definite plan of returning to Australia for a while, but I will deal with that when it comes. I returned to Australia after my Middle East posting and worked in Australia for a few years and it was certainly very difficult to begin with, the acronym PTSD is tossed around liberally these days and certainly I had been affected by the things I had done and seen, personally I felt I suffered from a compassion overload, I was affected by being the conduit for some pretty severe stories told to us, one day I felt I really couldn’t hear anymore, my body surprising me by shutting down my ability to absorb anymore.
I look back and some colleagues and friends provided much needed support, workwise I enjoyed grounding myself with opportunities working on shows like Landline and alongside the environment reporters, still travelling but, shooting eclipses, cows, chasing camels in helicopters around Uluru and still keeping my hand in some more mundane stuff in the Business and economic programs. I and my skills still were relied upon to go overseas many times to report back in the middle east, and for cyclones in the Pacific, documentaries on various things like same sex marriage in Ireland, some very rewarding work in the Lateline program before it was axed, making mini doco’s and profiles engaging in different topics like drone racing, and hearing the life stories of convicted murderers and criminals.
I don’t know what exactly I will do after this posting in China but I do know I will do my best.
What about you, tell us something about you we probably wouldn’t know.
I have a couple of long term interests not necessarily directly related to this industry, I am an avid mountain biker, getting away from the city and expending some energy is so necessary, It has served to keep me fit, re-balance the body against the lopsided rigors of camera work. At times it is so engaging that there’s no room to think about anything else, a complete mind reset which I love.
Once upon a time it was downhill racing but these days as well as cross country I enjoy having gravity sessions at places that provide uplifts like Ski resorts in summer, such as Thredbo and Mt Buller, but have chalked up many overseas missions at Portés du Soleil, Lake Garda northern Italy, Wales, Spain, New Zealand of course, even snuck in some in assignments to Ireland and on posting in China and Israel, so much fun, and the people I have met and stayed friends with in the sport have been on the whole some of the most reliable and balanced people in my life.
You know when you meet someone and have a conversation about your life and you say you have been a war cameraman or the like, some people like to tag you as an ‘adrenaline junkie’ for me – ‘no you mistake a passion for my craft- I get my adrenaline doing this sport’
I also own, ride and restore classic motor scooters, mostly from Italy with a few exceptions, Vespas, Lambrettas and some others, a hobby I picked up as my first taste of freedom has never left me, I use my engineering skill again to solve problems (there are many!), and once again it is a grounding influence with my friends around me that I have known since I ‘got my L’s'. Thanks for letting me tell some of my story.
Wow, my life seems pretty tame back here in safe old Adelaide. Many thanks Brant for being involved in our Gold Winners' Showcase via a live cross to you in Yokohama and stay well!
ACS Facebook Group
A while ago we started a Facebook Group where all current financial ACS members can join. Members can post their work, connect across states, link to events, ask for advice, and put up equipment for sale etc. here. 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.
March 1 Premier of Stateless on ABC @ 8:40pm
March 2 Committee Meeting
March 3 Q&A with Tim Sanders @ Flinders Uni
End of March - SA branch ACS Ladies Chapter meeting - TBC
April 6 Committee Meeting
April 23 Never Too Late opens in Australian Cinemas
May 4 Committee Meeting
May 15 National AGM in Canberra
May 16 The prestigious National Awards for Cinematography in Canberra plus Meet the Nominees
May 17 Post Awards Brunch
May 31 Invoice membership renewals & Approach SA Branch Sponsors
June 1 Committee Meeting
June 30 Membership fees due
July 6 Committee Meeting
August 1 to August 21 State Awards entry window
August 8 Freelancer Survival Workshop run by Monica Davidson
August 10 SA AGM
September 1 to Sept 30 Accreditation Applications window
September 7 Committee Meeting
October 5 Committee Meeting
October 9 & 7 Accreditation Assessments @ ACS HQ
October 10 National 1/2 yearly meeting @ HQ
November 2 Committee Meeting
November 7 40th Annual SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography @ Adelaide Museum “Pacific Cultures Gallery”
December 7 Committee Meeting
December 14 Christmas Drinks - Venue TBC
May 7 National AGM in Adelaide
May 8 The prestigious 50th National ACS Awards for Cinematography in Adelaide plus Meet the Nominees on Saturday morning.
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