View this email in your browser

ACS South Australian Branch


March 2022

From the Pres
Including Awards Events

Profile - James Ward Miller
From the SA Pres

Things are progressing well for the prestigious National ACS Awards for Cinematography to be held here in Adelaide at the Hilton Hotel on Victoria Square on April 30 beginning with pre dinner drinks at 6pm. Our MC is Ray Martin AM and please note this is a black tie event and the highlight of the ACS year.

The Awards judging has been completed, the Gold Tripods and Awards of Distinctions ordered and the engraving underway. Many thanks to the team at Artisan Post for hosting our National Awards judging in their superb theatre over the last weekend of February.

Bookings for the Awards and the ancillary events will open soon on March 14, all links available from our website, so get in early as there are limits at the venues and note that all bookings close by April 21.

The other events, which are free for ACS members and sponsors, include:
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 April 29 at the Mercury CX Cinema. The Bar will open at 6pm (buy your own) for a 6:30 Screening followed by the Q&A. This promises to be a great night and it will followed by the ROSCO - LEITZ sponsored Drinks & Finger food at a nearby venue going through until about 11:30pm.

Then on the following Saturday morning, April 30, we'll have the popular MEET THE NOMINEES session sponsored by ARRI Australia with Kim Batterham ACS once again moderating at the Mercury CX Cinema. We'll have as many nominated DoP's of differing genres on the panel that we can.

At these Awards you can see the best of the best work from Australian DoP's and it's a chance to mix with some of the best cinematographers in Australia. I do hope to see you at our 52nd National Awards for Cinematography here in Adelaide on April 30 at the Hilton Hotel on Victoria Square and help me to celebrate the legacy of outgoing National ACS President Ron Johanson OAM ACS and to welcome our new National President Erika Addis.

Please note that bookings are required for all the Award events. OK that's enough about the awards for now.

The ACS has three important initiatives that are being resumed in 2022. Check them out below. Maybe you could be eligible or know someone who could be?

Nominations are open for The Bob Miller Award, named after the inventor of the world’s first fluid action tripod head, Bob Miller.
The award is presented at the ACS Annual National Awards for Cinematography and comprises $1,000 in cash and a $2,000 Miller voucher enabling the recipient to purchase any Miller Camera Support product at 40% discount off list price directly from Miller, with a valued list price of $3,333.
In addition, Miller has donated an LP54 in a wooden case and a special Bob Miller Award plaque, which will reside at the ACS headquarters in North Sydney. The name of the award recipient will be engraved on the LP 54 Classic plaque, every year, in perpetuity. The recipient will also receive a framed, signed plaque to commemorate their win.

Nominations are now open and will close at the end of March 2022.
All those nominated must be financial ACS members who have potentially contributed in the 24 months prior to the 2022 Awards by way of technical and/or innovative practical ideas that have helped the industry to advance. You can nominate yourself or a member who you believe is worthy of recognition.
For consideration send, by March 30th, 2022, your nomination with a detailed description of the particular technical or innovative achievement, to ACS National President; Ron Johanson ACS;
Established with the generous support of the Llewelyn family in recognition of the legacy left by Drew Llewelyn ACS, The Drew Llewelyn ACS Camerimage Scholarship, enables one lucky ACS member to attend Camerimage in Torun, Poland with $4,000 towards flights and accommodation, along with introductions at the Camerimage festival.

The Scholarship, which commenced in 2015, will be open to financial Full and Active (Cinematographer & Camera Crew) members of the Society. It will be administered by the ACS and decided on by a subcommittee of peers after submitting a simple application explaining “Why you want to travel to Camerimage and how you see it having long-term benefits for you”.

Previous recipients of The Drew Llewelyn ACS Camerimage Scholarship are:
2015  Lizz Vernon  NSW
2016  Drew English  NSW
2017  Meg White  NSW
2018  Sissy Reyes  NSW
2019  Simon Woods  QLD
2020 - 2021  No Scholarships Awarded
The Australian Cinematographers Society invite emerging cinematographers to apply for the 2022 Panavision - John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award.
The Award provides a prize of $2,400 cash to an emerging cinematographer who is either currently studying cinematography at a tertiary institution, or has begun working in the film industry, and is a current member of the ACS. The prize can be used for any educational, training, or professional work that will further their skills and career in cinematography. They will also receive from our generous sponsor PANAVISION a camera rental package to the value of $15,000 (Insurance not included but can be arranged).

This incentive has been a total success, fostering young cinematographers in the pursuit of their career goals and the ACS is very proud to be part of this valuable programme.
SA Branch member Claire Bishop, recipient of the NFSA-ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award in 2019, said: “I was completely astonished. This award is so beneficial for aspiring cinematographers. It’s the push of encouragement, sense of belonging and connection with the industry I needed. I encourage anyone who thinks they aren’t ready to apply, to go for it!”
The 2022 recipient will be announced on Saturday 30th April at the prestigious ACS National Awards for Cinematography in Adelaide.

About the ACS John Leake OAM ACS Award
The Award is named in honour of the Australian Cinematographers Society co-founder, John Leake OAM ACS (1927-2009). John began his cinematographic career as a 15-year-old with Movietone News before moving on to Supreme Sound Studios. He served as both NSW President and Federal President of the ACS and was the Society’s Official Historian until his passing.
Applications are now open and will close on April 1st 2022.
For 2022 application forms please contact:

Previous recipients of the John Leake OAM ACS Award are;   
2010  Kirsty Stark SA
2011  Edward Goldner Vic
2012  Jimmy Ennett ACT
2013  Dale Bremner ACS  NSW
2014  Thom Neal NT
2015  Josh Farmelo VIC
2016  Simon J Walsh VIC
2017  Mark Kenfield VIC
2018  Ben Cotgrave QLD
2019  Claire Bishop SA
2020-2021 No Award due to Covid
Profile James Ward Miller

Hi James, please tell us how you came to working in our industry?
I was studying engineering when I bought my first DSLR stills camera as a hobby, two years later I was enjoying photography but had zero interest in finishing my engineering degree. While I was investigating photographic courses to move into my partner at the time suggested I go towards film as I was already such a film nerd. So that was that, it was a great suggestion and one I’ll always be grateful for.

Who initially  influenced your career.
Team Picture Hire, Dai Cookes and Dave Gregan were the two who helped me get a foot in the door and guided me through my first years in the industry. It was the first film industry job I ever applied for and it couldn’t have gone any better. Their support, teaching and friendship will always be valued.

What did you do when you decide this was the career for you?
Unfortunately in 2017 my father passed away and it prompted a bit of a shakeup in my life. I decided I wanted to pursue cinematography more strongly and work full time as a cinematographer. In 2018 I went to AFTRS 2 days a fortnight, flying in and out of Sydney twice a month to study their grad certificate in cinematography, a fantastic course that sadly they don’t run any more. I enjoyed it so much that I decided that I wanted to pursue my master’s degree at AFTRS and with the support of my partner we moved to Sydney together to try and further my career.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Easy. That work should be pleasant. Nobody wants to go to work and be miserable all day, so try and be polite, friendly and enjoyable to be around on set. I’m confident that my demeanour on set has got me more work than the quality of my work over the years.

How do you approach working on or shooting a new project?
I start by trying to get into the directors mind, what they envisage for the finished film. From there I just try and create a visual bible for the film, what is the standard aim with the lighting, how does the camera move, how are the characters framed, etc. Then I look to areas where I will need to break from the standard look or evolve it as the story requires. Finally it’s time to move into practical execution, will a scene require additional equipment or crew and if so what needs to be done there.
What keeps you motivated to do this job?

It’s fun! Keeps me out of the house and occupied.

 What is a common blunder that film creators make?
Big dreams are a necessary part of driving your work forward but excessive ambition often leads to a whole lot of wasted time.

I’d much rather execute a small project perfectly than a huge project poorly because the resources are only there for the small project.
The pic is when I was shooting my 1st short film back in 2012.

Please tell us what’s your favourite film or TV show?
I need to watch Sharp Objects again but that certainly stands out for me in the last few years in TV land. As for films I can bounce between the Lord of the Rings series to Prisoners to Pans Labyrinth and anything in between.

What piece of equipment or thing could you not do without on-set?
A stills camera to help find the frame, I just can’t get the same vibe out of a phone based viewfinder.

What has been your most interesting or challenging project so far?
I shot a short film last year that had cloned characters, so I needed to work out a variety of ways to show two of the same actor in completely different wardrobe and makeup in the same shot. Combined with a super low budget, every scene taking place in a new location and the fun of shooting as we were all adapting to working with Covid it was a great adventure that film. 

What’s your proudest moment so far?
I’m hoping to overtake this one soon because graduating from film school shouldn’t be the peak of your career but I was pretty happy to get my Master’s degree, going from almost failing high school, dropping out of Uni to get a high level degree was very satisfying.

What do you look for in people when selecting a crew?
I always want to work with hard working professionals who are fun and pleasant to be around.

Have you met colourful characters along the way?
Yes, every time I make it to the SA ACS Christmas drinks.

If you could change anything in this industry what would it be?
Working at home during lockdown and seeing my partner switch on to work more for her 8 hours and then living her life after that has made me think about an industry where 11-hour days aren’t the standard.

Now that you have finished Film school what’s your plan for the future?
Shoot shoot shoot, Covid and lockdowns have put a bit of a damper on things this year but there’s a few small productions in the pipeline.

The team on Outback Odyssey in Feb 2020 just before the world broke!

If you started your career over again would you have done anything different?
I wish I had gone for it sooner and just worked towards something I was interested in from the minute I realised that engineering wasn’t for me.

Do you have any advice for other young people who are thinking about attending Film School?
Dive into it and then once there, dive into everything that you can. It doesn’t matter if you know what you’re doing, as long as you work hard and think practically.

Thanks James and we will look forward to seeing your work in the near future, good luck.

Upcoming Dates


March 7 Committee Meeting
April 4 Committee Meeting
April 29 PANAVISION Screening & Q&A of The Dry and ROSCO LEITZ Drinks
April 30 Saturday morning: Meet the Nominees sponsored by ARRI Australia
52nd National ACS Awards for Cinematography Hilton Hotel Victoria Square
May 1 GM in Adelaide
May 2 SA 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 4 Committee Meeting
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

ACS Facebook Group

Current financial ACS members are welcome to 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, follow the link below and request to join, and one of your local committee members can approve your request. If you're not a member please don't apply as we really don't want to have to reject you. Thanks.

South Australia Gold Sponsors
AADC logo        AMPCO Studios logo        Kojo logo        Picture Hire Australia logo        Pro AV Solutions logo

South Australia Silver Sponsors
Anifex logo        Best FX logo        Digital Pigeon logo        Mercury CX logo

South Australia Bronze Sponsor
Sponsor ACS SA logo

National Major Sponsor
Fujifilm Australia logo

National Diamond Sponsor
Creamsource logo

National Platinum Sponsors
Black Magic Design logo        Canon logo        Panasonic logo        Panavision logo        Silver Track Digital logo
Sony logo        The Post Lounge logo

National Gold Sponsors
AFTRS logo        ARRI Australia logo        C R Kennedy logo        Kayell Australia logo        Leitz Cine Wetzlar logo
Lemac logo        Miller Australia logo        Rosco logo        Showreel Finder logo        SUNSTUDIOS logo
VA Hire logo        Well Above logo        XM2 logo

National ACS CineKids Sponsor
Videocraft logo

National Bronze Sponsors
Blonde Robot logo        Camerahire logo        Mark Robinson Motion Control logo        RED logo        Rotor Head logo
Sura logo        TecArt logo        Vimo Cine logo

National Supporters
AACTA logo        Black Bishop logo        MPIBS logo        NFSA logo        Stage & Screen logo

South Australian Branch
Australian Cinematographers Society
C/- PO Box 278, NORMANVILLE, SA 5204

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.