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ACS South Australian Branch


August ReSend 2023

Awards Now Entry Open - From thePres
ACS SA 2023 Branch General Meeting
Survival of Kindness wrap up
W+ Screening Q&A August 26

Meet our Latest Sponsor
Profile Liam Somerville
From the Pres

Wow this happened quickly - the Entry window for our 43rd SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography is now open and you have only three weeks to enter as they close on August 23. Get your best work together and enter soon as you've got be in it to win it! ENTER via this link, then login & go to Awards.

Remember you must be financial if you wish to enter our 2023 Annual Awards for Cinematography we'd hate for you to miss out. The website will not allow unfinancial members to submit.

The awards are on Saturday October 28 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hindley Street. These awards include pre dinner drinks, 3 course meal, entertainment and we have a fabulous Guest of Honour who is a legend of cinematography coming in for it and they will also present a special screening & Q&A on the Friday night before the Awards so save both dates in your diaries. I certainly hope to see you there as it's my swan song after 19 years at the helm of our branch.

We have received submissions for the SA ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award and the panel are assessing them over the coming weeks. The winner to be announced at our Awards night in October. This award proudly sponsored by PictureHire and the SA ACS branch

Are you a cinematographer who films ants making war? Or films miniatures in your shed? Or only shoots Imax? Or shoots nature docos?

Have you invented a particular bit of gear that makes filming that bit easier? Well, then we need you to show us the magic!

A lot of what your branch presents is suggested and often presented by our committee members. I reckon they do a pretty bloody good job but we want to hear from you too.  So come on, contact us, let us know what is special about the projects you shoot or how you do it differently, or what bit of kit you've made and we'll try and set up evenings where you can demonstrate your magic, your special set of skills and inform, educate or amaze your fellow cinematographers.

One of the great things about the ACS is how our members are so willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

Please check that your membership level is correct for your current status. You can do this on our website on the membership page. This can be very important if you want to apply for Accreditation in the future. If you haven't paid your dues please do so using the credit card option asap.

Enough from me, this is my last newsletter as I'm passing on the baton to Maxx Corkindale. I'm sure you'll enjoy a good read from Maxx.
SA 2023 Branch General Meeting

Yep, it's time to elect our SA committee for 23/24 and great news we have nominations for most positions including a new SA President and a Newsletter Editor but we still need a Secretary, so volunteer now - nomination forms can still be downloaded from the links below but we need to receive them by August 4. The BGM will be followed by a Chinese banquet.

To be elected to our committee, it is a requirement to fill in a nomination form which is required to be submitted 7 days before our BGM is held. The nomination form also allows you to nominate for the positions of President, 2 x Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Assist Treasurer, Secretary and Assist Secretary, Newsletter Editor or as a committee member. Please note:
 only financial Accredited, Full, Active, Life & Retired ACS members are Corporate Members and eligible to nominate or vote for the committee or on any resolutions.

Our committee meetings are generally held on the first Monday night of the month (we get January off) starting at 6:30pm, we provide some nibbles and something to drink as they normally finish around 8 to 8:30pm. There's a great bunch of dedicated volunteers on the committee and although we are dealing with the business of the ACS and our own events the meetings are still fun. Check out who's currently on the committee on our website.

Please download a 2023 SA branch Nomination form, please note you'll need other SA members to Propose and Second your nomination. If you can't attend the AGM you can still have a vote by downloading a 2023 SA Proxy form, fill it in and email it to us.

SA BGM : Friday August 11
Where: CitiZen King William St Adelaide
Time: 6:15 for 6:45pm BGM
Bookings Essential:
Bookings Close: CoB 4/8/2023
Survival of Kindness screening + Q&A Wrap Up

Cinematographer Maxx Corkindale and focus puller Bonnie Paku presented the screening & Q&A of The Survival of Kindness  to over thirty keen and interested ACS members plus a few paying non members. Here's a pic of Maxx operating the Tilta Float with Bonnie keeping a close eye on the monitor whilst shooting on the clay pan on Nilpena Station.

They took us through the working methodology for achieving the shoot, the gear, the complexities of the locations and such a small crew of only nine! Their working relationship with an auteur like Rolf de Heer and the minimal coverage he required, yet they still achieved such a cinematic result with extensive camera movement helping to keep the viewer engaged.

The film has no dialogue so good cinematography was vital to carry the narrative of this compelling film and Maxx and Bonnie certainly achieved that!

Congrats to Maxx who won Gold for his stunning work at the 2022 SA & WA ACS State Awards for Cinematography and subsequently won a highly prized Award of Distinction at the 2023 National ACS Awards for Cinematography in the under $2m Feature Film category.
W+ Screening & Q&A

Join us for an enriching event featuring five female cinematographers - Grace Lui, Claire Bishop, Bonnie Paku, Helen Carter and JoAnne Bouzianis Sellick - all have been awarded for their work in the SA ACS awards. During the session, they will present their previous works, including showreel, short film, commercials and corporate content. 

The session will commence with a brief introduction to the society. Each panelist will screen some of their work, sharing their reflections on the challenges and inspirations that shaped each project. You'll get an exclusive glimpse into why they opted for specific shots, techniques and equipment to bring their visions to life.

A Q&A session will follow the screenings and discussions where the audience can engage directly with these talented cinematographers, asking additional questions and gaining valuable insights from their experience.

This special event is dedicated to empowering and encouraging W+ACS members, as well as prospective female and LGBTQI members, to showcase their finest work for awards. Our goal is to inspire and uplift underrepresented groups in the industry, motivating them to embrace their creative vision and contribute more to the art of cinematography.

Where: Iris Cinema, (Mercury CX)13 Morphett, St Adelaide
When: Saturday August 26
Time: Welcome Drink 2:45, session starts @ 3pm thru to around 5:15.
Cost: ACS Members free, non members $10 includes a welcome drink
Bookings: Yes via this link - please note, #'s are limited.
A Meet our latest Gold Sponsor

I hadn't been to Stepney Studios and since they have become our latest sponsor I asked if they could tell us about themselves.

"Hi, I’m Thomas from Stepney Studios.

I'd like to introduce you to our company since we've recently become a proud Gold Sponsor of the SA ACS branch, and since attention spans are pretty short nowadays (I’m as guilty as anybody!) I’ve listed a few things below in dot point form.

Who are we?
We are a proudly SA-owned video production company, servicing the advertising and commercial markets. We’re a nimble team at the moment, with myself, my business partner Cooper Rees-Jones and our editor Billie Lambert-Stockman.

What drives us? 
I personally love directing, and Cooper loves Producing. All video work, big or small, requires a left brain and a right brain. A creative and logistical side. We like to think we work pretty well in that sense. I’ve been shooting videos as far back as I can remember, Cooper’s literally grown up on film sets, so I guess part of what we do comes down to fate.

What makes us different?
We’re situated in that tricky spot between a creative agency and creative freelancers. We particularly love bridging that gap to produce high-quality work, no matter if it’s a TV commercial or a social media campaign. We love enabling creatives to do their best work, and at the same time, supporting creative agencies to get their ideas onto screen. In addition to this, we have a studio space available for hire for any creative purpose. It's a perfect space to build small sets, construct anything you need or just shoot a plain old interview. More info here:

Why would you want to work with us?
We spend a lot of our time and resources on ensuring our shoots are well organised and, more importantly, enjoyable to be a part of. We try extra hard to ensure every department has what they need, not just handing the DP some media and saying “good luck!”.

We love expanding our networks with industry folk from all departments, so reach out if you like the sound of working together! And, if a job comes across your path that you need help with, we’d be happy to provide assistance. The more great work we produce here in SA, the more opportunities we get as a whole. :-)
So if you need help with your project, why not get in touch with us, Thomas Schaefer - Creative Director at Stepney Studios, we're just down the road in Stepney!"

Thinking of Applying for ACS Accreditation?

The window for applying for ACS Accreditation for 2023 is getting closer, it opens for three weeks only on September 1 and closes September 21.

So it's time to start thinking about getting your submission together and passing it by your
Accredited President for advice well before then, preferably in the first couple of weeks  in August. This process helps minimise the Assessment panel having to look at submissions that are "not up to scratch". Please don't leave it to the last minute as it's a busy time of the ACS year.

Accreditation assessments are not a mystery. The process involves a panel of ten ACS Accredited cinematographers, who work across as many genres as possible, gathered together (COVID willing) to assess the work. The submitted works of the applying cinematographers are screened and assessed before voting on each submission by secret ballot. 
To gain Accreditation a minimum of 8 of the panel of 10 must vote in the positive. It's tough but if the work is considered a high enough standard you should get through.

It's best you check out the ACS Accreditation page on our website so you make sure you qualify to apply and read the guidelines.

Profile Liam Somerville

You're an established member of the ACS, please tell us when you became interested in working in our industry?
 I fell in love with capturing images long ago, it started with a 35mm SLR, the Pentax ME Super which I carried with me most days, I took pictures of my friends, nature, light, shadows and unconsciously documented my adolescent adventures. I was entranced by the look of the prints I would get back from the lab, seeing the grain, the subtle twists of the colours of different film stock and the slight filter of a different reality captured on film. I then began to experiment more and more, cross processing slide film, using filters, playing with plastic lenses, different cameras, lighting and long exposures. I loved the unexpected results and really liked relinquishing a bit of control to collaborate with the medium. This love of capturing images later helped me decide on studying filmmaking and photography where I could continue to experiment and explore images of all kinds.

What makes you different from other cinematographers?
I guess I jump between two different roles as cinematographer and video artist. When I am on the camera I am working with a team, lighting the scene, composing shots and looking how best to tell a story through images. When I am making experimental videos I use a variety of different tech both old and new to create interesting and unique visuals. This can range from DIY motion capture, circuit bent AV hardware, VHS passes, video feedback, night-vision security cameras, video mixers and even generative 3D particle systems. I like to mix and match technology and techniques to see what I can come up with visually. Music videos are a great medium to experiment with different looks or creative ideas but I also share these video in exhibition or live music performance.

What was your first job?
My other great passion in life is food so it was obvious that my first job was working in kitchens as a dishy and then later on the pots and pans. Working in kitchens around Adelaide allowed me to taste and learn different cuisines and cooking techniques, whilst also paying the rent while I studied at film school. My last kitchen job was at Cafe Troppo and the managers were kind enough to allow me to quit and return a few times as I took the big step into trying to make a living in the early days of my film career.

How do you approach working on or shooting a new project?
 As a human we see the world and put it through our personal filters based upon our own life experiences. As a cinematographer our job is to capture a story or concept through our eye and show others what we see. I believe it is my job as a cinematographer to do my best to understand the subject/concept so I can accurately represent it. So for a doco that means get to the heart of the story and for a music video that means create visuals that appropriately represent the song.

What keeps you motivated to shoot more?
One of the great things about the visual industry is that I am constantly learning and refining new skills. Whether it is new camera gadget, lighting technique or new computer program there is always something to learn. I find I am never bored and always excited to work on the next project whatever that may be. I also make sure to throw ‘creative spanners’ into every project- a little hurdle or challenge I must figure out and conquer by the end of a project. This keeps my work fresh and ever evolving while ensuring I never get stagnant or stuck in my ways. The pic on is Photogrammetry for killer -Plastiq music video.
What specific skills do you need to do your job in this more technical age?
I think a big part of working well in this profession is teamwork and collaboration. I feel we all need to work together with all departments and technicians so we can keep all the gears of the filmmaking machine moving smoothly to achieve the desired vision. This requires active listening, allowing room for myself to evolve and learn lessons every day.

What’s your favourite film or TV show?
I don’t have a favourite but I do love sci-fi so Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla (1994), Alien (1979) and Bladerunner (1982) are definitely up there.

What piece of equipment or thing could you not do without on-set?
For me it would be a tie between a c-stand and a Sharpie texta. C-stands are an amazing invention with 100’s of applications and are so useful to hold a light in a specific spot or to create some sort of dodgy shitty rig to hold a camera in an obtuse spot. And a sharpie because I never got my pen license and they write on just about anything.

What has been your most challenging project so far?
 Last year I was privileged to be DOP and Animation Director for the feature rock documentary The Angels: Kickin’ Down the Door Here's a frame from the shoot of John Brewster from the the band, they have been performing for over 50 years and so it was an enormous story to tell with terabytes of archive material and interviews with rock music legends all over Australia and the world. I was lucky to work with some amazing cinematographers and technicians to capture the interviews in COVID times but the work didn’t stop there for me. As we moved into post-production I was responsible for creating animations for the parts of the story we didn’t have vision for. I was blessed to be given so much creative freedom from Director Maddie Parry and Producer Peter Hanlon to bring my ambitious animation ideas to life. The final cut had motion-captured puppets, AI animations, watercolours, 2D hand drawn animations, rotoscope and a title sequence with a real neon sign.

Cam Op Jules Wurm, Liam & Maddie Parry interviewing the Brewster Brothers. Photo - Oscar Lewis.

What’s your proudest moment so far?
One recent memory was going into the edit suite at Red Fox Films late last year to watch a draft cut of The Angels doco. I had to pinch myself when I saw the Universal logo sequence at the start of a project I shot, big imposter syndrome moment.

Have you met any colourful characters along the way?
By having a camera in my hands I have met so many interesting and incredible people over the years, this privilege has allowed me to be invited into spaces many people never see. Through working on my documentary Video Nasty: The Making of Ribspreader with co-director Matt Bate of Closer Productions I was reunited with Australia punk-rock legend and splatter punk film director Dick Dale (director of Ribspreader). Dick is an amazing underground filmmaker, his determination, acceptance and never-give-up attitude is inspiring and can be seen in both his film and my doco about it. 
Liam & Dick Dale on location for Ribspreader. Photo - Hugh Freytag

What  have you been currently working on and what’s your next project?
I am worked on finishing a VR experience - ESCHATECH VR for ASPERA conference which was in June. This project was started in the Assemblage Artist in Residence at Flinders University and is a simulation of the last 100 second of humanity. This cli-fi highlights the destruction humans have caused this planet through rampant capitalism, colonisation and unattainable infinite growth at the cost of biodiversity, indigenous culture and a liveable planet.
Do you see your future in camera, directing or perhaps editing??
I do love working in camera department, the problem solving, lighting real world situations and working within a team, however I find much of my recent work is crossing over into digital space or a hybrid between the two. Recently I shot a music video killer - Plastiq in virtual space using Leap Motion IR hand trackers to live track my hand so I could operate real-time handheld camera in digital space. Creating in virtual space has allowed me to achieve many shots and lighting setups that would not be possible within reality.

I have also been experimenting with photogrammetry and motion capture and have been lucky to be a part of the research and development team at The Void at Flinders University with Cam Mackness and Jason Bevan. Here we are really working at the edge of technology, pushing the limits of Integrated Virtual Production by experimenting and refining workflow.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people would know. For example do you have any hidden talents?
I am an avid SCUBA diver, I love being underwater and exploring wrecks, hanging out with marine life and inspecting hyper-colour coral. For me it was a great activity to get away from screens and just breathe slowly and explore the natural wonders of our oceans. Diving once a week has certainly kept me sane on some of my larger jobs. Although I have kept work and play seperate in this respect I am making steps toward doing more underwater cinematography.

Do you have any advice for other young people getting started in this job?
 Just make stuff!! Find or make friends from all sort of creative industries (music, fashion, lighting, artists) and create/collaborate with them. This will help you define your own style, hone your technical skills and you’ll have a fun, exciting life by creating with others. I feel it is important to be a human first, if you have a full and exciting life you will be open to different experiences and that will help you see things differently and tell stories better. Picture is of the Angels animation/motion capture puppets from the doco.

Thanks Liam, great insights to your career and great advice about being a good person, it really can help your career.

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.

Upcoming Dates


August 3 to 23 - Awards Entry Window
August 11 - SA BGM at CitiZen
August 26 - W+ panel screen Award entries & Q&A @ Iris Cinema
September 1 to 21 - Accreditation Application window 
September 8 to 10 - 43rd SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography Judging
September 4 - Committee Meeting
October 3 - Committee Meeting
October 13, 14 & 15 - Accreditation Assessments @ ACS HQ
October 27 - Special Screening & Q&A
October 28 - 43rd Annual SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography @ Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hindley St Adelaide
November 26 - National AGM via Zoom
December 4 - Committee Meeting
December 11 - Annual SA ACS Christmas Get Together @ Colonist Hotel
December 12 - SA Branch hibernates until Feb


February 5 - 1st SA Committee Meeting for the year
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

South Australia Platinum Sponsor
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South Australia Gold Sponsors
Best FX logo        Kojo logo        Picture Hire Australia logo        Stepney Studios logo

South Australia Silver Sponsor
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South Australia Bronze Sponsor
Sponsor ACS SA logo

South Australia Supporter
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National Major Sponsor
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National Platinum Sponsors
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National Gold Sponsors
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Miller Australia logo        Rosco logo        Showreel Finder logo        SUNSTUDIOS logo        VA Hire logo
Well Above logo

National ACS CineKids Sponsor
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National Silver Sponsor
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National Bronze Sponsors
Camerahire logo        Cinesure Global logo        Kino Flo Lighting Systems logo        Nanlux logo        Panasonic logo
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National Supporters
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South Australian Branch
Australian Cinematographers Society
PO Box 212, KENT TOWN, SA 5071

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