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ACS South Australian Branch


November 2020

From the Pres - Awards links including
2020 SA & WA Awards for Cinematography Winners
Profile Ben Searcy
From the Pres - Awards wrap up
85 members, sponsors and friends attended our milestone 40th Annual ACS SA & WA Awards for Cinematography on Saturday night November 7.

Due to COVID-19 and the effect it has had on so many of our members ability to earn an income we decided not to hold our usual flash awards dinner and instead have a lower key, less expensive event as we still wanted to honour the work, announce the winning entries and acknowledge the winners.
Our venue was in the Glasshouse and Secret Garden @ The Marion Hotel, Mitchell Park where, after pre dinner drinks and dinner, we screened excerpts of each entry announced the winners and and played longer clips from the winning entries, many thanks to Marty Pepper and Jade Robinson from Kojo, Pete Best from Best FX and Aaron Cartwright for the V/O and live music from Samantha Edge.

If you'd like to to watch the awards compile it is on Vimeo, please click this link.

As our National President Ron Johanson OAM ACS could not fly in for our Awards this year we had a special Surprise Guest of Honour known as RJ and also appearances from our MC from the last couple of years, and as we discovered, master ventriloquist Eddie Bannon.

Vice Pres Mark Evans and Pete Best at the control desk whilst Eddie & RJ do their stuff and Mylene tries to contain herself! That's Mal Ludgate ACS reflection on the left whilst filming it.

If you'd like to see the Eddie & RJ show please click this link.

The RJ sock puppet shoot with RJ, Eddie and Mylene in the Best FX booth.
Special Awards:

The 2020 Milton Ingerson Award for the Best Entry went to Geoffrey Hall ACS for “Escape from Pretoria” now the first, three time winner, of this prestigious award.

The 2020 Cliff Ellis Memorial Award presented to the Camera Crew member showing the most potential went to Emerson Hoskin for “Carbon Dioxide”.

The Mercury CX Student Encouragement Award went to Olivia Tonkin for “I’m an Athlete” The winner receives $1,500 worth of Equipment or Facility Hire from Mercury CX.

If you would like to see who else won awards on the night please click this link to download the Winners List.

As you should already have known plaques were not issued on the night. Winners need to confirm they wish to have a plaque and pay their contribution to the cost of each plaque before they will be ordered so if you won an award click this link to order your plaque but please do it in the next two weeks as our order needs to be at the Award makers by then.

The committee is working on bringing some educational nights to our members now that we can be in the same room. We'll send out another newsletter as soon as we have confirmed details. In the meantime, put Monday, December 14 in your diaries for our Annual Christmas drinks get together @ 6pm at the Colonist Hotel on Norwood Parade, Norwood, a booking link will be in the December Newsletter.

Our congratulations go to past Committee member Kirsty Stark and current Committee member Daniel Charlton on the birth of their first child, Angus Jon Charlton, on Thursday October 22 at 8:40pm, born 3.77kg and 51cm. All are doing very well.

Thanks to all for their kind words and wishes. KS & DC


Profile Ben Searcy

Ben what were you up to before joining the ACS?
 I joined the ACS in 2014, having worked as a freelance photographer for over twenty years. It’s been a bit of a meandering journey! With a musical background I became a Rock and Roll photographer for street press in Adelaide and then ended up freelancing for Rolling Stone, Time out and a bunch of magazines that unfortunately don’t exist anymore.
From there it was on to The Australian, Australian magazine, ACP magazines then Bauer Magazines and The Age and Sydney Morning Herald Magazines (who I still shoot for on occasion). These days I am mostly working for a mix of commercial clients, Government departments and Cultural institutions like Museums and Art Galleries. I always enjoy working with artists of all varieties and make quite a few fairly low budget music videos per year.

So, why the move to moving image?
It’s not a 100% move, I am still doing more stills work than moving image work. I’ve always had a passion for cinematography, stills paid the bills! The reality is the working environment is changing. Clients are increasingly requesting short duration clips to promote their businesses and services online. Moving image now gives them more value than traditional editorial or advertising in print or magazines. Hybrid tech makes this a little easier, but fundamentally the dollars are going into the internet and social media and that has changed the landscape.
Do you provide simultaneous hybrid services to clients?
I generally try to avoid wearing both hats at the same time, though there is a lot of pressure to do so! Editorially you miss the decisive moment for stills, and you miss part of the story for moving image. When working on directed advertising or promotional material, it is possible to deliver two campaigns at the same time but is never ideal.
What is the main difference in shooting stills to moving image?
Obviously more people and more planning are involved with moving image production. Sound is a vital consideration, the budgets are bigger and so are the expenses. I find each art form informs and improves the other. When I return to a stills project from a moving image project, I’m refreshed and really appreciate the freedom of moving swiftly, observing people, talking to people and catching something unusual. Honing these skills is like training for film. How people move, observing trajectory, where you should be are all similar.

Twenty years of documenting people’s lives has been a great privilege; people give you incredible access to their personal stories, hardships and triumphs. The power in moving image is that it gives people their own words, and their own sounds, so it is more empowering to the individual, and more informative to the viewers. 20 years photographing musicians around the world and I missed the most important aspect…the music!
Was winning the Moran photographic Art Prize with “Waiting for News on David” a career highlight?
 The biggest thing the Moran did for me was help fund my documentary “Unsigned in America” for the “Head on” Festival in Sydney. That involved travelling the States from “Open Mic to Open Mic” for six months, I performed at each one so I guess I was chasing a couple of dreams at the same time! The work was a multimedia installation with a 30 minute film and exhibition at Gallery Lane Cove.  This was the first serious video project that I had embarked upon.
I was quite proud of the Moran shot under the circumstances; Terry Hicks was someone that I got to know over a five year period working for The Australian. The image was really about the rights of Australian citizens, their right to a hearing and proper judicial process. The “normal” of the image had many layers or turmoil under the surface. The only time I’ve ever received hate mail, so it must have made a point!
Any work with a social justice component is the work I get the biggest kick from. I’ve had quite a bit of success with stills in awards, and a few short films and videos in festivals. It's not why you do things though, it just helps you market your services.

Any special mentors along the way?
I caught up with Cole Larson at a party in 2014, having originally met him at the North Adelaide School of Art in the previous century. With RPL, two weeks later I was writing /directing “Threshold” for the honours screen and media degree at Flinders. He was a great encouraging influence, particularly for writing and is sadly missed by many.
Ph: 0412 221 057

Thanks Ben, there are so many different paths our members take to film motion pictures and yours has been a very interesting journey.

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

November 7 40th Annual SA & WA ACS Awards for Cinematography in The Secret Garden @ Marion Hotel, Mitchell Park
December 7 Committee Meeting
December 14 Christmas Drinks - 6pm @ The Colonist Hotel

February 1 Committee Meeting
March 1 Committee Meeting
April 5 Committee Meeting
May 3 Committee Meeting
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.

South Australia Major Sponsor
South Australian Film Corporation logo

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

South Australia Silver Sponsors
Anifex logo        Digital Pigeon logo        Media Resource Centre logo        Picture Hire Australia logo

South Australia Bronze Sponsors
Best FX logo        Websters logo

National Major Sponsor
FUJIFILM Australia 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        Kayell Australia logo        Leitz Cine Wetzlar logo        Lemac logo
Lighthouse Rentals logo        Miller Australia logo        Showreel Finder logo        SUNSTUDIOS logo        VA Hire logo
Well Above logo

National ACS CineKids Sponsor
Videocraft logo

National Bronze Sponsors
Blonde Robot logo        Camerahire logo        Dragon Image logo        RED logo        Rosco logo
Rotor Head logo        Sura logo        Vimo Cine logo

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

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

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