SA eNews November 2017 - Awards wrap up - Mat King screening & Q&A - Profile David Foreman ACS - Cinematographer & the 1st AD


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From the Pres - 37th SA & WA Awards wrap up

Wilf & Cathy King with their son & Special Guest, Director Mat King with Rita Zanchetta

A proud but stunned Milty Award winner Michael Tessari

Well our 37th SA & WA Awards for Cinematography are over for another year.

There were quite a few highlights including Special Guest Mat King's wonderful speech about his relationship with over 20 cinematographers and what he has learnt from many of them whilst Directing some of the best British and Australian dramas.

Then there was ex WA President Simon Akkerman ACS receiving only the 51st ACS Life Membership.

Flinders student Sam Twidale was awarded the MRC prize of $1500 worth of equipment or facilities hire from the MRC. Sadly Sam was ill and suddenly could not attend so could not pick up his prize personally.

Rebecca Duncker with her Awards

Then first time entrant, Rebecca Duncker, picked up a Bronze and a Silver award as well as being acknowledged with the Cliff Ellis Memorial Award for a Camera Crew Member showing the Most Potential for 'Wishing You Well'.

Our own Aaron Gully was thrilled to officially receive his ACS Accreditation Certificate and pin and again this was followed by his fabulous speech. Aaron also won four golds on the night showing what a talent he is.

Local film maker / comedian Matt Vesely was our MC and really kept the evening moving whilst solo vocalist / guitarist Tristan Newsome performed some much appreciated music in the breaks.

Another highlight was an absolutely stunned Michael Tessari winning the coveted Milton Ingerson OAM ACS Award for Best Entry for the short film 'Release'. He was totally blown away!

Aaron with his four Golds and ACS Accreditation Certificate

And to finish off Producer and ACS committee member signed off the night by adroitly drawing the great range of National Sponsor door prizes and closing the night.

In case you couldn't get to the Awards we have copies of Aaron's Accreditation speech and Mat King's speech available via the links below.

You can also check out all the winners via the link below.

The positive feedback I received about our awards this year was fabulous. Things such as, wonderful pre-dinner drinks, great venue, fantastic food, some of the best awards we've been to, etc. Many thanks to all who contributed to make our 37th Awards truly a success particularly the SA committee.

All Gold winners are now automatically entered into the National Awards to be held in Brisbane at Customs House on May 5 2018 so plan to try to be there if you won Gold!

Whilst I have your attention, why not put Monday December 11 @ 6pm in your diary as this is the night for our 2017 Christmas drinks. It's always a good night and there will be a link to rsvp in the December eNews so look out for it.

Click to read Mat King's Awards Speech »
Click to read Aaron's Accreditation Acceptance Speech »
Click to read Simon Akkerman Life Membership Speech »
Click to download SA & WA 2017 Awards Winners List »

Wentworth Screening & Q&A

The screening & Q&A of the Australian drama series Wentworth we held with Director Mat King and Gaffer Matt Begg on the Friday night before the awards was very well attended with 48 members and interested film makers there.

Mat screened about 50 minutes of really well shot drama and afterwards the Q&A went for over an hour. It was great to hear about how the show is shot by Melbourne DoP Kathy Chambers, the differences with shooting drama in England and here in Australia and Mat's working relationship with the series DoP Kathy Chambers.

Mat's next project is Directing the ABC / Netflix production 'Pine Gap' working with local DoP Geoffrey Hall ACS the and we wish him every success shooting back here in Adelaide for the first time in 11 years.

Many thanks to Mat & Matt for their time and frankness in answering the numerous questions.

Profile David Foreman ACS

David, why Film?

At the age of 13 a good friend got a Standard 8mm camera for Xmas so we started making movies! I soon bought one for myself, a curious toy. We both moved onto 16mm movies after borrowing a wind-up Bolex from Flinders Drama Centre for a school holiday break. In the last term of Year 12 we started writing our first long form drama script, more fun than studying. We were now a film making team and started looking for finance and material support to make our movie.

Dave Foreman filming on the Road to Lampang in 1980

How did you become professionally involved?

As I walked out of school at the end of Year 12 the SA Film Corporation was just starting up. They needed a ‘junior assistant’ for their new office and I got the job, for 6 weeks anyway. At that stage they offered me a contract, as 2nd camera assistant, on their first planned project, a nine-camera-circular-cinema documentary promoting South Oz and the new film industry.

Three months of loading 9 cameras for every shoot, not to mention 9 film cans to label and 9 camera sheets to write up.
The cameraman was Ron Lowe, who had trained in England as a clapper loader on movies in the early 60’s. I learnt from Ron the ‘old school‘ system, which was handy to know right from the beginning. Starting on this project and working with Ron was a great foundation for my career as a cinematographer.

David waiting to shoot a car interior with a young Craig "Rags" Philpott

David ow did you get to start shooting?

The script I started writing in year 12 got support from the SAFC so we started shooting. My friend directed and I was the cameraman. I gained good experience as we shot it over the period of a year. I also gained a reputation as I won an AFI Award for the cinematography. I started full time work with Milton Ingerson OAM ACS who, I thought rather generously, gave me an opportunity to shoot a couple of Tourism Docos, both in 35mm followed by many other projects and TVC’s. This was my first break and a big learning curve.

Operating a 35mm Moviecam on "An indecent Obsession" on Lord Howe Island.

Please tell us about your move into drama productions.

Before working with Milton I had started working as a clapper/loader on feature films shot in SA. I was keen to do more of these so I went back to freelancing where I could ‘dovetail’ camera work on smaller projects with assisting work on feature films. A compact way of learning on different levels at once. Here I had a chance to work on films like ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock” and ‘Breaker Morant’ getting experience from different DOPs and Directors. During this time I was also shooting documentaries with Scott Hicks and some of those were dramatized giving Scott and myself our early drama opportunities.

David operating 35mm BL2 on "Reunion" with continuity Ann Walton, Clapper Loader David Wolfe-Barry, DoP Ernie Clark ACS, Director Chris Langman and 1st AC Martin Turner (back to cam)

Around this time I got my first chance at camera operating on feature films from Ernie Clark ACS. This led onto operating with other DOPs including Geoff Burton ACS, who I had previously assisted on several movies. ‘Robbery Under Arms’ and ‘Playing Beatie Bow’ were two projects I operated on during this time. Being the 80’s the film scene was busy and it didn’t take long before I was offered a DOP position on a feature length project with Craig Lahiff – ‘Coda’.

Several more movie opportunities followed which I mixed in with TV mini-series and series. This now gave me a chance to work interstate, particularly Melbourne, while remaining based in Adelaide. During this period I won several National ACS Awards for mini series and telemovies including a Golden Tripod for ‘Territorians’.

Kylie Minogue on the set of "Sample People" talking to DOP David Foreman ACS

What about your experiences on US productions?

At the end of the 90s I got called on to shoot a US Movie of the Week on the Gold Coast for an LA TV production house. Straight away I started a positive working relationship with an LA based director and after doing several shows on the Gold Coast he asked me if I would work with him in Canada on a Fox cable feature. Mmmm,- OK! It was shot in Toronto during winter and I enjoyed working with the Canadian crew. It worked out well so I went back for more, an NBC mini series called ’10.5’ shot in Vancouver. When it was screened it was the highest rating mini series in the US not only for that year but also for the previous 5 years. Everyone thought mini series were back in vogue. Not quite yet, that took another 7-10 years before cable mini series/series took off.

What now David?

By 2008 the US TV work was slowing down (GFC) and I decided to move to Kangaroo Island. I guess it was a way of slowly moving away for film work although I continued with occasional projects, including ‘Coffin Rock’ and ‘Swerve’. Working in film can be all consuming and after 40 years as a freelancer giving a lot and getting a lot back it’s a good time to stop and try some other things. I still love watching movies and many of those endless cable series and mini series.

Kangaroo Island has a large arts community and I involve myself in projects and art installations that include visual and audio elements as well as further exploring still photography.

Now that's what I call a crane! David getting a high angle on the feature "The Honourable Wally Norman".

The Cinematographer and the First Assistant Director

Rick Beecroft working on Hong Kong Harbour whilst the crew sets up the hothead and crane.

Here's an article about the relationship between the Cinematographer and the First Assistant Director written by 1st AD Rick Beecroft.

The aim of every 1st AD is to have the film set run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Everybody on the same page; each department working effectively getting the film made.

Today budgets have become tighter and tighter, resulting in less days to film. While understanding the Director's vision for the film and the Producer's budget limits; just as important is the understanding of the needs and requirements of the Cinematographer.

As with the Director, I have to get into the Cinematographer's head. What type of Cinematographer am I working with? For example do they like exterior locations back lit or front lit? I have worked with both. Or would they rather be shooting in full shade? Understanding their individual preferences particularly for exteriors greatly impacts the scheduling strategy.

'The earlier the better' is an apt phrase when it comes to scheduling. Years ago I was working on a German film in Asia. I had released a preliminary shooting schedule during pre. A few days later the German gaffer came up and told me, after discussion with the German Cinematographer, that a day in the third week of the schedule had a scene which would need more time because of a difficult lighting set up. Could I give him an extra hour to achieve this? This type of early feedback is invaluable. The schedule is still pliable allowing a simple adjustment to give the needed time. If he had approached me the day before shooting, the easy adjustment may not have been available.

If you wish to read the whole article download it via the link below.

Download a pdf of The Cinematographer & The First AD »

Upcoming dates

November 6 Committee Meeting

December 4 Committee Meeting

December 11 SA ACS Christmas drinks

Christmas / New Year Break


February 5 Committee Meeting

March 5 Committee Meeting

April 9 Committee Meeting

May 5 2018 National Awards for Cinematography in Brisbane @ Customs House

May 6 National AGM

May 7 Committee Meeting

May 30 Membership Invoices sent

June 1 Start thinking about getting your Accreditation Application together

June 4 Committee Meeting

June 30 Membership fees due

July 2 Committee Meeting

August 1 to 18 38th SA & WA Annual Awards for Cinematography entry window

August 13 SA branch AGM

August 31 to September 2 SA & WA Annual Awards judgings

September 1 to 30 ACS Accreditation Application window

September 3 Committee Meeting

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October 27 38th SA & WA Annual Awards for Cinematography

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December 3 Committee Meeting

December 10 SA Branch Xmas Drinks

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