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ACS South Australian Branch


August 2020

From the Pres
Enter 2020 ACS Awards Now
SA AGM August 11

Profile Richard Coburn
From the Pres

May I take this opportunity to thank the continuing members who saw fit to pay for their 20/21 memberships even when they didn't have to. From our branch a big thank you, it is much appreciated.

If you are thinking of applying for Accreditation now's the time to start getting your submission together and to get all the files sorted as you need to put your submission before your local President before submitting. The entry window for Accreditation submissions is September 1 to September 30 but contact me well before then please.

Nationally we are still working on how the State and Territory Awards will be run this year we will not be having the usual, flash 3 course dinner / Awards presentation, but depending on COVID-19, we will hold a much lower key affair.  Something I can tell you is we are discounting entry fees by about 30% to assist so many who have had little or no work for months but in turn we are asking winners to contribute 30% to the cost of their plaque/s should they want one. The ACS felt this was the fairest way to help as many members enter whilst not putting too great a financial strain on the branches.

Another thing that COVID-19 has forced onto us is that the interstate judges will not be able to fly in to SA for the Awards judging sessions -  we will still have two interstate judges but all the judging will be via MediaRoom 3 on Silvertrak.

Please don't forget to support our wonderful sponsors whenever you can. They look after us so it would be ideal to return the favour.

Most importantly, with productions starting again and a relaxing of attitudes in our relatively safe State, please stay well and stay safe.
Entries open for 2020 Annual SA & WA Awards for Cinematography 

The 2020 SA & WA Awards for Cinematography entry window opens on August 1 and closes CoB August 21 so start thinking about what you might enter this year.  There'll be more info about Award entries soon and make sure you read all about the changes and the new categories on our website. For the News camo's multi cam entries are possible once again so make sure you read the Entry Info & Terms & Conditions too.

Please note that physical entries will not be accepted this year due to our volunteers not wishing to handle such entries and judging will be via Silvertrak MediaRoom3.

To enter members will need to login in to their accounts and using the online entry form. Entries will be uploaded to Digital Pigeon. They must meet the Terms and Conditions tech requirements.


In exceptional cases we are permitting entries from streaming services such as Netflix BUT only if the video is not available by any other method. This is not an invitation for laziness on part of the entrant. Each branch is at liberty not to accept SVOD entries if they choose. Note: Links to entrant’s own Vimeo and YouTube accounts are not allowed.

Enter Here Now

SA 2020 AGM

The nominations for the 20/21 committee are now closed and we have received plenty for the 20/21 committee so we now need to hold the AGM on August 11. This formal process requires that the old committee steps down and the new committee is voted in.

Our AGM is the first "in person" meeting to be held by the SA branch for some months due to COVID-19. We therefore ask if you are feeling at all unwell do not attend the AGM as we do not want to take any chance in making any of our members ill. We ask that you all behave in a Covid safe way and respect safe distancing and physical contact.

Please book to attend the AGM / banquet via the trybooking link below. There is a limit to how many may attend so get in early. It is possible to only attend the AGM if you wish but still go to the booking link below.

Note: Only Accredited, Cinematographer, Camera Crew, Life & Retired members are Corporate Members and therefore eligible to nominate or vote for the committee.

If you know you can't make it to the AGM on August 11 and would still like to have a vote please fill in a Proxy form and email to us asap.

The AGM will be followed by a Chinese Banquet which we ask for a $20 contribution towards catering costs since we have not received our usual membership dues.  Sorry but if you have not booked you will not be permitted entry.


Date: Tuesday August 11

Where: CitiZen Chinese Restaurant King William St Adelaide

Time: 6:00pm for AGM 6:30 to 7:00 - Dinner follows

Book by 6pm August 8: Click here to book


Profile Richard Coburn

Richard can you please give us a little of your backstory?

While I started as a bit of a one-man-band type of professional, making corporates with Final Cut Pro version 1 and a Sony 3 chip Mini DV camera, I gravitated to a post position and have been with KOJO for over 15 years. I started there as an Avid editor cutting TVCs and everything under the sun but my role there has included VFX, motion design, CGI and animation.

Now I’m predominantly a writer/director who shoots on my own Red Epic Dragon. I largely shoot when the budget doesn’t allow for someone better, or the job is something that I really want to have a crack at. I love the nuts and bolts of the process and often, when I’m shooting, it’s the chance to do something that I’ve never done before or will improve my skills. (Pic: Rich shooting at the Gov.)

What did you do when you decide to further your career?

I’ve always found that personal projects have been the key to improving my career. I’ve won the Master’s Chair at the AADC awards twice, once for animated opening titles for my own film festival and once for a Hilltop Hoods music video I shot and directed the week a Red Epic I bought had arrived. The camera purchase was also a milestone for me at a time when the 5D and 7D were having such a huge impact on budgets. It was a commitment to myself that my work needed to be high end at this time in my career and over the last four years it’s totally changed my role. (Pic: Rich on set on Hill Top Hoods "Exit Sign" music video.)

What’s the best advice you ever received?

I can’t remember who said it to me but someone once said, “you wouldn’t call yourself a painter if you never painted” which I took to mean that you just have to keep making stuff and if no one is giving you the opportunity, create your own. Back when I was trying to make shorts as a director, this really hit home, as trying for funding meant that I was lucky to make one film a year and had a hard time calling myself a film maker.

Another great piece of advice was when I was once talking about some teaching I was doing, and how free with information I was. This could be seen as giving away all my secrets to potential competitors but a friend said, “people will probably only remember about 15% of what you say but they’ll always remember you as the person that knew.” I’ve taken this to mean that it’s always better to be as free with information as possible.

Who do you look up to in the industry, did you have any mentors?

I’ve always placed a massive importance in mentors. Showing people your work and finding the right people for constructive criticism is invaluable. I have worked closely over the years with a number of people that I’ve been able to learn from and aspire to. (Pic; BTS oh Hill Top Hoods shoot.)

Working with established legends like Kent Smith, Aaron Gully, Russell Marret, Joanne Bouzianis-Sellick, Anna Howard, Miles Rowland and you as well as exciting youngsters who I’ve seen grow including Ben Dowie, Maxx Corkindale and David Parkinson, to name a few that I’ve worked closely with over the years. There are many more outside the field of cinematography, like producers, directors and post specialists too as I’m a firm believer in expanding your view of the industry.

What’s the best thing about working in our business?

Where else can you get paid to do some of the things we’ve been able to do? It’s also an industry where most people are really excited to be there and have a work and team ethic that makes shoots and projects that particular blend of hard work and camaraderie that you don’t find everywhere.

How do you approach shooting a new project?

I’m a firm believer in working to the budget. As most of my projects see myself as the director or creator as well, I believe in an approach that works with what we have in terms of coming up with an idea/creative that’s achievable and then using that as a base to take the project to the next level.

My work is also based around a holistic approach where the style of the imagery fits the edit and concept as a complete piece. On top of this I’m always looking for times when it’s possible to do things I haven’t done before as I’ve realised over the years how essential this is for growth.

Where you think your future lies? Is it in camera, directing or perhaps editing?

There’s something in my DNA that finds it hard to pick one future. I really enjoy the process of working with a crew as a director and collaborating with someone whose cinematography skills far surpass mine. The work is always better to be honest. But I have a love of coming up with an idea and doing all the bits to make something like some sort of digital Lego creation.

I’d love to direct long form content down the track but for now, just being able to make stuff and challenge myself to create hopefully world class content is very satisfying. (Pic: BTS on State Theatre shoot.)

Do you have any advice for other young people getting started in our industry?

Learn from everyone you can. My experience has been that SA has a bunch of older, amazingly talented DPs who are still excited about the industry and it’s possibilities. They are also very willing to share invaluable knowledge. You have to respect that. Perhaps the best thing is the most obvious but make as much stuff as you can. I’ve always best learnt from doing and failing at things before I’ve seen any success. The more mistakes and experiments you make, the more you grow in confidence as a professional.

Do you have any advice for the established, older generation in this job?

Work with the younger generation to help them learn the right ways, such as on set behaviour and good work ethic, etc. Freely give them advice and at the same time watch them. They will experiment and show us new ways to do things that we may not have considered. Enthusiasm is contagious and the stronger our industry is, the better it is for everyone.

If you could change anything in this industry what would it be?

I think that SA people are reasonably good when it comes to diversity but it doesn’t hurt for everyone to ask themselves, can we do more? Not just for crew roles but casting as well. I don’t think it’s enough to just say we hope for a change and I know it’s hard for anyone to get into this industry but we are probably in a time where an extra effort on our part will help create a more equal future for the talents to come.

Rich, tell us something about yourself that not many people know, do you have any hidden talents?

In my mind, I play soccer better than any of my film related talents.

Thanks Rich, as a first time entrant it was great to see you do so well at last year's Awards, well done!

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 1 to August 21 State Awards entry window
August 11 SA AGM
September 1 to Sept 30 Accreditation Applications window
September SA & WA Awards judging via Silvertrak
September 7 Committee Meeting
October 5 Committee Meeting
October 9 & 7 Accreditation Assessments via Silvertrak
October 10 National 1/2 yearly meeting via Zoom

November 2 Committee Meeting
November 7 40th Annual SA & WA ACS Virtual? Awards for Cinematography 
December 7 Committee Meeting
December 14 Christmas Drinks - Venue TBC

May 7 National AGM in ACT
May 8 The prestigious 50th National ACS Awards for Cinematography in ACT plus Meet the Nominees on Saturday morning.

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South Australian Branch
Australian Cinematographers Society
PO Box 212, KENT TOWN, SA 5071

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