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ACS TASMANIA BRANCH - October 20th 2019
2019 Vic / Tas ACS Awards 

Tasmanian ACS Members , Simon Plowright, Nick Hayward, Joe Shemesh, Talon Clemow and Peter Harmsen were all big winners at the ACS Vic / Tas Awards Ceremony , held at the Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne on Saturday night.  These Tasmanian cinematographers dominated the Documentary and Wildlife & Nature categories, scooping up seven Awards between them.
Joe Shemesh won two Awards.  The first was Gold in the Documentary category, for a unique and moving film called 'Of Life, Love and Spirit'. This is a very personal story and would have been extremely sensitive to shoot.  Joe describes it as 'a personal exploration of the fundamental human elements of community, connectedness and impermanence.'  

Joe also won a Silver Award in the Wildlife & Nature category for 'The Fabric of Botany'. Shot largely in and around Recherche Bay in the far South of Tasmania, Joe says this documentary  'explores Deb Wace's botanic art, through her deep connection to place, culture and love of conservation.' Both films were shot on Joe's Red Epic X camera and Canon Lenses.

Talon Clemow was also fortunate enough to pick up two Awards.  The first was Gold in the Documentary category, for surf documentary 'Lost in Fiji'. Talon remebers the main shoot day as 'an exremely long day on the ocean, but one of the best I’ve ever had. Using my Red Dragon with an Angenieux 25-250 T3.5 HR Zoom I was lucky enough to document some of the best waves ever ridden in Fiji'.

Talon with his boat rig heading out to some of the 'best waves ever ridden in Fiji'

'I took a generator with me on the boat, so I could power my laptop and hard drive and dump data as the day went on. I couldn’t think of anything worse than running out of storage in an isolated situation and not being able to shoot monumental action. There were lots of challenges throughout the day, especially positioning the boat at the right angle and being in the prime spot for the best waves / rides. We almost got swamped by a giant wave first thing in the morning. That raised the pulse a bit!'

Talon also won a Bronze Award in the Wildlife & Nature category for a somewhat experimental and quite mesmerising film called 'Voyage under the Golden Sea'.

Talon says - 'I’ve been experimenting with shooting the ocean in an abstract manner for a couple of years now. I love how water and light interact and when you introduce slow motion into the mix the possibilities seem endless. During this shoot I was using an old Canon FD Full Frame lens, (35-105mm) with a mount to suit my Red Dragon. At full zoom, with a shallow depth of field and a short focus, you get these crazy reflections and aberrations of the light spectrum bouncing onto the sensor. I also cranked the colour temperature to give it a nice 'warm' feel and added a grade to further enhance the  look.

Wildlife & Nature specialists Simon Plowright and Nick Hayward embraced the introduction of 'Collaborative' Entries in the Awards this year.  They won Gold for the 'Last Devils' - a 50 minute film, which many members got to enjoy at our recent members-only screening /Q&A at the State Cinema in Hobart.

Simon and Nick Prepare for a shoot.
For the last 30 years Simon has worked to protect, film and photograph the Devils of North West Tasmania.  Since the 1990's he has collaborated with Nick, filming these magnificent iconic Tasmanian critters.
As the facial tumour devastated the Devils both Simon and Nick wanted to capture their behaviour in the wild, before it was too late.  Their initial work together evolved into an international co-production with National Geographic, ARTE & ZDF, leading to the 'Last Devils'

Devils feeding - A scene from the 'Last Devils'
Cinematically they strove to lift the Devils out of the darkness.  Lighting the forests, the beaches, and other wild places where North West Devils live in depth.  All in a cinematic narrative style with rich full colour.  They used remote dimming techniques to habituate the devils to the light and model the lights to the scene as it unfolded.
Where possible Simon and Nick added camera movement, mounting the camera on a home made ‘Jimmy Jib”, built by Simon, or on a remote controlled slider or using a cable cam, again designed and built by Simon.   Two Sony FS7s were critical camera tools, being light-weight and robust, essential for remote wilderness filming and the native 2000 ASA a useful feature for night filming.

It was so good to see an 'ever-young' Tassie cinematographer, Peter Harmsen, receive well-deserved recognition for his fantastic work on 'James Craig - Iron Survivor'. (Silver Award in the Documentary Category).  Here is Peter's description of this terrific film.

 (L-R) Mike Sampy (sound/edit), Peter Harmsen (Cinematographer), Chris Wisbey (Presenter), Ron McCulloch (Producer).

'The James Craig is likely the best example of a fully restored (not replica) tall ship still sailing in the world, with a great history, including going around Cape Horn something like 23 times.
It's also a great Tassie story of survival and rebirth, opening up some creative avenues for shooting recreations, on Sony’s fantastic a7sII.'


Relaxing below decks  - Peter, Mike and Ron.

'This Documentary was mostly shot with my Sony PMW-F5 with prime lenses. Unlike the presenter, the affable and charming Chris Wisbey, I did climb the rigging and the bowsprit, but shot with my osmo, which was a perfect small and stable camera for the job.'

'I enjoyed being given the time to set up, plan and light most scenes, so that they at least looked different from the original archival footage.'

'The final edit has way too much drone footage for my liking, but it is good drone footage and everybody loves that right????'

Cinematography Awards aren't the only recognition Tasmanian ACS Members received this month.  Congratulations to Chris Fox, Tom Waugh and the team at Ignite Digi for winning the Manufacturing and Advanced Material category at the 2019 Tasmanian Export Awards.  Tom also picked up the inaugural Young Exporter Award.  ACS Tasmania members who toured the Ignite Digi factory in Glenorchy earlier this year would know first-hand what a great operation they are.

Tom, Chris and Gerard at the Ignite Digi Booth at IBC

Tom and Chris continue to kick goals and have just returned from a business trip to Europe where they exhibited at the IBC Tradeshow and also visited the EMO Machine Show (the worlds biggest metal cutting machine machine show).  Sales of their expanding range of high-end products for camera rigs and stabilisers continue to grow month-to-month and are now being shipped to every corner of the world. 

Camera set ups at IBC with the signature gold anodised Ignite Digi parts.

Tasmania Supporters
7 Network Tasmania logo        Ignite Digi logo        State Cinema logo        Wide Angle Tasmania logo        Winning Post logo

National Major Sponsor
FujiFilm logo

National Platinum Sponsors
Atomos logo        Black Magic Design logo        Canon logo        LaCie logo        Panasonic logo
Panavision logo        Silver Track Digital logo        Sony logo

National Gold Sponsors
AFTRS logo        Arri Australia logo        C R Kennedy & Company PTY LTD logo        Gear Head logo        Kayell Australia logo
Leitz Cine Wetzlar logo        Lemac logo        Showreel Finder logo        Sun Studios logo        The Post Lounge logo
VA logo        Well Above logo

National ACS CineKids Sponsor
Videocraft logo

National Silver Sponsors
Miller Australia logo        Rosco logo        Rotor Head logo

National Bronze Sponsors
Blonde Robot logo        Camerahire logo        Dragon Image logo        EE Group logo        Kino Flo logo
RED logo        Sura logo        Vimo Cine logo

National Supporters
AACTA logo        Black Bishop logo        MPIBS logo        NFSA logo        Stage & Screen logo
The Production Book logo

Tasmanian Branch
Australian Cinematographers Society
48 Diamond Drive, BLACKMANS BAY TAS 7052

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