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ACS South Australian Branch


 February 2020


From the Pres
SA Gold Winners Screening & Q&A's
AFTRS Tuesday Talks
Tim Sanders Q&A
Women of Steel

Profile Sam Steinle
2020 Battery Appro Letter

From the Pres
Welcome to our first newsletter for 2020, rather than call it a bumper issue we might have to call it a bummer issue! What a shocking end to 2019 and rough start to 2020. So many have had a really tough time and our friends and members have certainly be put through the mill. Please have a thought for all those affected including so many of our News people who have seen devastation and loss on a grand scale - it really can be a tough gig!

On a brighter note, I hope many of you enjoyed Christmas and the break. I must say our annual Xmas drinks on Monday Dec 9 @ The Colonist Hotel were a great success and lots of fun. with 41 attending. The generous door prizes went to: James Wire - 1 SA & WA 2020 award entry, Dai Cookes - 1 year SA membership, Dinner ($100) to Richard Back (who walked in the door just in time to be able to claim it!), Mark Evans - ACS merchandise pack, David Woolford - FujiFilm jacket, Graeme Shelton & Kym Rogers a signed Hotel Mumbai BluRay each.

On January 12 this year we held our first SA branch ACS Ladies Chapter lunch @ Sparkke and I hear it went really well, the SA branch put $20 a head into the kitty for our members attending.

The ladies came up with some good ideas for our branch and members which the SA committee will discuss very soon. The next meet is probably late March so keep an eye out for the date in the Upcoming Dates section down the bottom of our Newsletters.

This is where most of the upcoming things that concern our Branch are listed including when our next Awards are, the Awards entry window, the Accreditation window and our committee meetings and of course any upcoming events. Of course a lot of this is also listed on the SA page of the ACS website as well.

On March 3 there is a 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!

SA committee member Rod Bolton has put us onto AFTRS Tuesday Talks. Check them out and if you're interested register via the article below.

We are having a first time Screening and Q&A of some of our SA 2019 Gold winning entries from last years Awards.
More details follow below.

May I take this opportunity at the beginning of another decade to  sincerely invite all of our members to attend any and all of our events, I believe we are truly not elitist in any way. Our aim is to always welcome all our members, no matter what genre they work in, it doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is, the colour of your skin, or what level you work at, what you film on, or whether you are a student, news or current affairs, TVC's, doco or feature film cinematographer. I'd like to say that quite often I have received some wonderful comments about how inclusive, friendly and open our branch and members are. It's one of the reasons I put so much energy into our branch.

Here's to a great 2020 for all. Great shooting!

SA 2019 Gold Winning entries Screening & Q&A

Here's a great idea put up by one of our members who wanted to see a lot more of each winning entry than we we have time to screen on the Awards night. 

Therefore we are organising a screening of quite a few of the SA Gold Winners from 2019 so you can get to see some of the complete works and hear from some of those winning cinematographers about what their process was, why did they choose a certain format, did they use natural light, LED lights, other lights, slow mo, different shutter angles, what lenses they used, did they have a budget, no budget or enough time??? All these questions and probably many more.

What a great chance to see so much great work in one night and hear from SA's best cinematographers. Time permitting you'll be able to ask us to screen specific Category Gold Winners.

To make this work we need lot's of the Winners to attend as well as lot's of interested members attending as well so if you won Gold in SA in 2019 please register your availability and keenness to attend and present a short Q&A on your winning entry
asap via this email. It would help us if you could give me your name, the title, the running time and the category you won in when you register your availability.

We intend to hold this night on Monday night February 17 at a venue to be announced quite soon. Another newsletter will be sent out requesting attendees to RSVP so we can cater for those attending.

Please forward this information to others who may be interested as we wish to invite the wider industry e.g. Producers, Directors, AADC, ADG, SPA, VES, ASE, MRC, SAFC, MAPS, Flinders Uni, TAFE, etc. as this can be a showcase for the Gold Winners, all of our cinematographers and so students can see work they can aspire to.

This event will be free of charge to all to encourage as many to attend as possible whether they are ACS members or not.
Tuesday Talks featuring TV Talks 

TUESDAY TALKS featuring TV Talks is Adelaide’s new screen industry night.

Entering its eighth year in 2020, AFTRS TV Talks is a Sydney industry staple. Bringing this exclusive live stream to Adelaide provides an opportunity for South Australian creatives access to key insights from leading practitioners, producers and broadcasters.

Hear the latest from Australia’s leading TV makers, producers, commissioners and broadcasters via an exclusive live stream, followed by refreshments and informal discussion.

The event includes a livestream of AFTRS TV Talks followed by refreshments and a chance to meet with other screen practitioners in Adelaide.

4 February TV Talks - Via Exclusive Live Stream

Since its foundation three years ago, Eureka, a young powerhouse of creativity, has become a force to be reckoned in Australian and International television production.

Less than a year after launching, the company produced over 70 hours of programming and in 2018, had eight series go to air. In the last six months alone, The Real Dirty Dancing, Drunk History, their version of The Amazing Race and so much more, have made it to our small screens.

In the US, they co-created Holey Moley for ABC and Dating Around for Netflix.

TV Talks host, Andrew Garrick, with founders and principals of Eureka, Chris Culvenor and Paul Franklin, will discuss how they’ve built this extraordinary company, what’s next, and how they see the world of television changing in the years to come.

For more information about Tuesday Talks, listen to this Radio Adelaide interview with AWGSA Chair Sally Hardy.

Tuesday Talks is an initiative of the Australian Writers Guild SA, supported by the South Australian Film Corporation, with content partners AFTRS TV Talks and event partner Media Resource Centre. Our streaming partner is


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
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 FalloutThe 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.

Women of Steel

Dear women cinematographers,

I am looking for a great photo of a woman cinematographer for the documentary WOMEN OF STEEL. It tells the remarkable story of the 1980-1994 Wollongong Jobs for Women Campaign which was a landmark in the achievement of equality in employment for women. (click on the flyer below for more info) Director Robynne Murphy (a career steelworker who drives the big truck in the Nelligan RFS) is now creating a credit sequence which will have photographs of women today in non-traditional occupations. Do you have one you could kindly donate for consideration?
Here is what we are looking for:
 • clearly a women in recent times operating a large enough camera for viewers to understand what’s going on
• artistically well lit, beautifully composed and a great photo in itself
• at least 1920x1080 in size — preferably double that.
Please take a moment to look; you might appear in a film that you’d be very proud of supporting. Thanks for any help you can give, Martha Ansara
Oh, and this film is funded entirely by donations — here’s our (lo res) trailer:
If you want to make a tax-deductible contribution of any amount through the Documentary Australia Foundation, we need your support — Robynne has spent nearly two traumatic months fighting the fires on the NSW south coast when she was scheduled to be raising money. 

Profile Sam Steinle

Gidday Sam, how did it come about that you decided to work in the film-making industry?
When I was a young teenager I wanted to be an author. We had to do a quiz in high school that would tell us our most suited career path and I actually swayed mine towards writing. However, one day while watching the many hours of Behind the Scenes footage from the Lord of the Rings franchise, it clicked – I realised my true calling was to work in movies.

Sam working with the legendary Justine Kerrigan and Tony Bosch on a location 16mm exercise.

What was it that attracted you to the ACS?
The ACS has always been affiliated with quality. I’ve always looked up to the members of the ACS as being the best at what they do, and it’s long been a dream of mine to earn myself a place in that community. All the members are exceptionally lovely people as well which makes it a very inclusive and a warm society to be involved in.

Who had an influence on your career?
Vittorio Storaro ASC AIC is a perpetual influence on my work and ideas. His thoughts and writings about Cinematography always fascinate and inspire me to explore new areas visual storytelling.

When did you first become attracted to working in our profession and what was your first job?
I am a visual learner and a visual thinker - when I was studying my undergrad I wanted to write and direct as I didn’t fully understand the nature of the relationship between a Director and Cinematographer. After gaining more practical film experience and knowledge about the roles I realised I had completely gravitated towards Cinematography due to the nature of my visual learning, and how I respond emotionally towards images.

What did you do when you decide to further your career?
I was working on a documentary for an Adelaide band at the time and we had interviewed Nick Matthews ACS who had shot some of their music videos. I reached out to him after the doco and he was exceptionally kind and helpful in setting me up with the right people to get my early beginnings as an AC. He helped me develop myself as an AC while also shooting and building my craft as a DP. If it weren’t for him, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now!

Where do you think your future lies or is it camera work, directing or something else?
I am still obsessed with Cinematography, so will continue to pursue that for the foreseeable future. I am constantly inspired by visual narrative whether still or moving images and that feeling is what drives me to capture stories with other creatively minded people. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Nick Matthews gave me a pearler: “at the same time, you have to be sh*t of the kings and king of the sh*ts.” Honestly, I’ve received heaps of great advice from many people but what I’ve learnt most of all is to listen to those around you and work collaboratively. After all film-making is a team game.

Who do you look up to in the industry, did you have any mentors?
Jules Wurm has been a truly wonderful mentor and a massive help to me getting started in my career. Her patience, kindness and humour has got us both through some long days together! Thanks Jules!

What’s the best thing about working in our business?
 I often have moments on set where I pause, take a breath, look around and remember that we get the chance to create interesting and meaningful stories as a job! We are afforded a career in which we can travel the world, meet fascinating and inspiring people and create artful stories that have power to influence change. Even when the pressure is on, there’s no better way to earn a living than that.

Pic: Sam shooting at dawn in Gulgong NSW.

How do you approach shooting a new project?
The first conversation I like to have with a director is a casual chat over coffee about their ideas for a project. I try to get to the core of the mood, tone and emotional narrative pretty quickly and start to understand how they visualise that narrative being told. After that I like to start looking at some influences and resonances for the look of the project and pick apart which elements we like and don’t like, then from that begin to set out our rules for the style and look of the work. I try and avoid talking specific shots at first because I find that if you are too locked into an idea for one specific thing too early, it may end up not working inherently within the context of the project. That said, it is important to pre-visualise the project and storyboard the action so your rules can apply.

What specific skills do you need to do your job?
Patience and good communication skills. I am constantly learning how to better communicate with people from Directors to Assistant Directors, Actors, AC’s, Grips, Gaffers and Producers. That said, I was recently on a project and the Director and I had developed a great communication so that when it came time to shoot we really didn’t need to say much to each other to get what we wanted.

What is a common blunder that film creators make?
When you’re starting out sometimes you fall into the trap of letting shots control the narrative rather than the narrative control the shots. I try to always remind myself to think about the story before the shot and let go of ideas if they’re not working for the story.

Pic: Sam shooting on location in SA with Director Benno Thiel and 1st AD Nicole Miller.

What’s your favourite film or TV show?
I recently binged Chernobyl and Mindhunter S2 and goodness me are they phenomenal TV! My favourite film is a toss-up between Drive, Inside Llewyn Davis and Apocalypse Now (or virtually anything shot by Storaro!).

What piece of equipment or thing could you not do without on-set?
I’m constantly referring to my light meter. Even with digital cinematography, I find it so much easier to create and control my ratios with a meter in my hand. Also, it seems silly to say this but: my water bottle. The brain like any other muscle needs hydration and if I don’t have water nearby, I struggle to think clearly and quickly.

Have you met any colourful characters along the way?
During shooting “Cargo” in 2015, some of the Camera team and I visited a local legend around Lyndhurst called Talc Alf who sculpts artwork out of talc. I remember his hands were extraordinarily smooth from handling talc so much. He was a fascinating character who had extensive theories on the origins and nature of the English language and where each of our names were derived from. I took his photo and it remains one of my favourites to this day!

What’s your next project?
At the moment I have a few fun projects lined up for early 2020 - a doco and some dramas - which I’m very excited about. I can’t wait to begin camera and lens testing as they are stylistically really different but all stories that I’m eager to explore!

What would you be doing if you weren’t shooting?
I would probably stay in the arts or go into something more humanitarian related. I can’t help myself but to shoot stills photography in my spare time anyway so I can’t imagine ever not shooting completely!

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
I couldn’t fully grow a beard until well into my 20’s.

Now that's what I call a beard! One happy Sam enjoying the best light of the day.

What do you do to relax?
I walk and take photos with my old film cameras. Whenever I travel I like to wander without any real objective or direction and let the location draw me in and I just take photos of whatever I come across. I also really enjoy watching theatre with my partner as I find it easy to get drawn into the performances and script and not get distracted by constantly analysing cinematography!

Do you have any advice for other young people getting started in this job?
Be a collaborator. You can’t do everything on your own and if you could, it wouldn’t be as fun.

If you could change anything in this industry what would it be?
I’m really stoked to see a lot of productions employ more environmentally friendly processes. I’d love to see zero waste productions one day!
Thanks Sam, really interesting to hear about your journey.

Battery Approval Letter

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.

Upcoming Dates

February 3 Committee Meeting
February 17 SA 2019 Gold Winning Screening & Q&A - Venue TBC
February 21, 22 & 23 National ACS Awards judging @ ACS HQ
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
May 4 Committee Meeting
May 15 National AGM in Canberra
May 16 Prestigious National Awards for Cinematography in Canberra plus Meet the Nominees
May 17 Post Awards Brunch
May 31 Invoice membership renewals & Approach 2020 / 2021 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  AGM @ HQ
October 31 40th Annual SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography @ Adelaide Museum “Pacific Cultures Gallery Room”

November 2 Committee Meeting
December 7 Committee Meeting
December 14 Christmas Drinks - Venue TBC

South Australia Major Sponsor
South Australian Film Corporation logo

South Australia Gold Sponsors
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South Australia Silver Sponsors
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South Australia Bronze Sponsors
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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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National ACS CineKids Sponsor
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National Silver Sponsors
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National Bronze Sponsors
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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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