WA eNews ~ MARCH 2018



DROP-IN "CAMERA GEAR - Part 2" Session @ HD Rentals
BEHIND THE LENS with 3rd Night DOP Daniel Holliday


Dear WA branch members,

We are well and truly into the New Year now and although some of you might not be super busy yet we have a had a few gatherings and pleased to say the number of attendees is increasing as is our new WA membership to which I send a very warm welcome to.

The National awards are just around the corner and I would ask not just the “nominees” but also any branch member that might fancy an outing to Queensland to have a look into it. I realise it is a long way to go from WA but it might be time to put good use of those frequent flyer points building up.

The National awards have great side events from our amazing sponsors which are extremely informative and cutting edge with the big names in our industry present that you can easily meet and introduce yourself. Lastly you could take a day or to and explore wonderful Queensland at a perfect time of year.

This month we saw the first of our Drop-In "Camera Gear" Session facilitated at Location Equipment and pleased to say it was a great success. I think we had about 25+ members turn up and see some really fabulous new kit, chat to new and established cinematographers and enjoy some fish and chips washed down with a cold beer as it was a warm night! A big thank you to the branch committee member Ben Berkhout and the crew at Location Equipment for making this event possible.

The aim of these casual Drop-Ins is to meet up every month to talk cinematography, exchange ideas/techniques, chat about gear and what we have been shooting and maybe a bite to eat and a social drink or two. This is all very much in keeping with the “Comradeship” of Cinematography you will have heard much about over the years. Help us create a real sense of community here in WA. I would ask you to keep checking emails from our branch and attend these events whenever possible and No we’re not doing a bowling night again as I don’t want to come last....again!

Well that’s it from me, happy filmmaking! I hope you are all as busy as you want to be and let’s see an even bigger turn out at April's "Camera Gear" Drop-In at HD Rentals.

David Le May ACS
WA Branch President


The 47th ACS National Awards for Cinematography will be held in Brisbane, QLD at Customs House on the 5th May 2018, Major Sponsor Fujinon FujiFilm.

This year's Guest of Honour will be Noni Hazlehurst AM.

We urge any members who wish to attend to contact the branch soon to secure your ticket or see the ACS National website for more details.


Our April Member Drop-In which is actually Part 2 of our "Camera Gear" series will be held @ HD Rentals. Mike's been kitting up their store over the last couple of years with some impressive gear and they are taking the time in their busy schedule to take our members through some state of the art options they can offer to cinematographers.

Boasting a range of cool gear including the Movi XL, Leica Summicron-C Lenses and a Phantom Flex 4K I'm sure members will be interested in having a rare opportunity to take a closer look at these babies working in action. HD have a range of options for any level of cinematographer so don't feel like any of this gear is out of your reach. Take this rare opportunity and establish some new relationships with your local rental house as well as your fellow cinematographers.

HD Rentals
1/567 Newcastle St
West Perth
WA 6005

630pm, 17th April 2018

Don't forget this is a members only event but we welcome all individuals interested in becoming a member, so bring an interested buddy with you if you want. Nibbles and a couple of cold bevies will be supplied on the night.

Look forward to seeing you their!

HD RENTALS weblink »


Filmmaker Jack McCoy, known for his massive discography of surf films and stunning water cinematography will be gracing our shores to share his life's work in a one night only special event at UWA's Octagon Theatre, April 7, 2018 at 8pm. Joining him on this journey along the west coast is none other than Aussie surfer and shaping legend Wayne Lynch.

The ACS WA Branch is in support of McCoy's "Talk Stories" and in return Jack is offering a discount price of $40 to ACS members who'd like to attend. You'll receive a free DVD too which is included in the ticket price.

ACS members can come on the night and buy at the ticket office (bring your ACS card) or go online at www.ticketswa.com.au and use the code JMTSACSAP7.

Award winning director, producer and cinematographer Jack McCoy's career has been at the forefront of innovation as he’s tracked the development of surfing as an art form over more than 40 years, documenting the greatest surfers in history such as Gerry Lopez, Tom Carroll, Andy Irons and Kelly Slater. His story of filming Laird Hamilton’s Millennium Wave, one of the most famous rides in surfing history, is a classic you do not want to miss.

Chatting to Jack recently, he described the event;
"it’s about my journey as a filmmaker, the things that touched, moved and inspired me. And since the ocean is my studio, it’s a story for anyone who respects and loves the ocean".

Warwick Fields ACS; “Jack McCoy is, without doubt, one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve ever encountered. He’s ridden the wave of change from film to digital, remaining relevant and original. If you get the chance, go listen to Jack
McCoy. There’s no one like him.”

He will be bringing along his first ever water housing and his high speed WW2 1942 built Milikin and housing with all his lenses. One of his first underwater cameras was originally designed for filming World War Two aerial bombing raids that he fashioned into a homemade fiberglass waterproof housing and attached to his wrist to tackle Hawaii’s infamous Banzai Pipeline.

So spread the word and let's show our support.

Be great to see you there!


The WA branch is really happy with the feedback we've been getting from our Drop-In Sessions over the last couple of months. Each session seems to be building in numbers it's excellent to see a few regular members and it's fantastic to see some new faces turning up too!

In February we held the "Business of Cinematography" Drop-In Session @ ECU Mt Lawley Campus with a turn out of about 20 people including some keen students from ECU's Screen Academy.

Craig Shand kicked off the night running through everything Insurance. We gained some interesting information particularly Craig confirmed that there is an obligation for companies and sole-traders to have their own public liability. A big question on many sole-trader's mind. Public liability is more and more on demand. To find out more please visit his website. (see below)

Patrick Horneman took us on a fun ride through Media Super and was able to dispel some myths about contractor/sub-contractor super. Yes, contractors are entitled to super. Plain and simple. If you earn over $400 per month from that employer as a contractor you are entitled to super on top of your rate. We urge everyone to start taking their super contributions seriously and start discussing it with your employers. Drama and TV/Doco have been paying super now for a long time. But for TVC and Corporate production companies it was often a discussion or "deal" you risked to make with your employer.

On a positive note it is noticeable that more and more production companies and agencies are falling in line and paying super to contractors for TVC and Corporate work. Which is excellent news. As long as we continue to talk about it and educate companies and agencies the quicker this shift in practice will take effect and our employers can start dealing with the effects this will have on budgets sooner than later.

Thanks again to committee member Mahmudul Raz for organising the venue and speakers.

Photo by Erin Macliver

MEDIA SUPER weblink »

"CAMERA GEAR - Part 1" Drop-In Session Wrap Up

Well what a great night everyone had at our first "Camera Gear" Drop-In Session @ Location Equipment. We are now getting a few regulars coming to these drop-ins and it's awesome to meet some new faces each time too. With a 25+ turn out the diversity of people coming to our events is great and shows our growing and evolving industry, the comradeship of cinematography encompasses people from all walks of life through their mutual love of the moving image.

Mike and Greg pulled out all their new toys that were available and allowed members to have a hands on play with some of the kit including a range of cameras, lenses, gimbals, sliders, jibs and lighting.

Their flagship camera the Arri Alexa-Mini with the beautiful Arri Ultra-Prime 32mm was rigged on their new Ronin 2 with a nifty tripod mount option. Members were able to control the rig through the new joystick (much better than the last series!), focus and settings were run through Arri's WCU-4 Remote focus unit which works seamlessly with the mini and viewed wirelessly on the new SmallHD 13" monitor which is the perfect size for the modern focus. It was definitely a talking point for the night.

The Red Dragon was mounted on a great new slider by Greenbull, very smooth and nice track distance, it's easy and quick to setup too with dual Matthews stands. It's a pretty great combo when paired with Arri Ultra Prime, the lightweight mattebox is an old Canon hood that takes screw-in filters, could be handy when you're maxing out that gimbal and need to shave some weight but still shade the lens.

The Floatcam slider and Sony FS5 combo was also pretty nifty with the Floatcam's ability to do vertical slides up and down using a smart counter-weight system. The Floatcam can pretty much slide in any straight angle you want and would be a great tool for those creative doco scenes or indie short dramas.

Surprisingly the Black Magic Ursa Mini Pro (that's a mouthful) and Canon 50mm "L Series" stills prime combo looked pretty great. For a run and gunner or b-cam gimbal this little setup looked sweet, the side monitor actually looks clear and defined! Possibly one of the better looking onboards out there, but is it practical for all situations? It's heavier than it looks but it feels balanced and seems to work well on newer heavy duty gimbals.

As you can see by all the colourful photos, the Location Equipment crew had their new Arri Sky Panels on display giving the night a party kind of vibe. Their range of Creamsource lights span a wide variety of sizes now which should cover a lot situations the smallest of the three should be a great flight companion when all you want is that Creamsource look. Lastly the Arri LoCaster 2 Plus LED Panels are a great addition to the arsenal with Variable Color Balance: 2800-6500K, Adjustable Full -Green to Full +Green and 0-100% Dimming. It comes with nice soft box and runs for ages off a V-Lock battery.

Over all it was great night for all involved and we look forward to seeing you at the next "Camera Gear" Drop-In.

Photos by Erin Macliver

BEHIND THE LENS with 3rd Night DOP Daniel Holliday

Daniel Holliday has been apart of the ACS WA branch for a number of years now and is currently sitting in the Secretary chair on the WA committee. Dan has made a solid contribution to the film industry in many areas not only in the pro scene but in schools as well, yes Dan's a teacher and cinematographer and while he's shaping and educating young minds at Roleystone Community College, he's lighting or shooting films like "3rd Night".

"3rd Night" is a Horror-Thriller, a couple move to an Australian orchard surrounded by natural bushland to escape the madness of modern life but are terrorised by an unknown Watcher, turning their dream into a living nightmare across three frantic nights. "3rd Night" has been selected for Melbourne Underground Film Festival and two international festivals; Frightfest London and FEARnyc (New York, USA).

I recently caught up with Dan to find out some more about his experiences on the film, the gear he used and a little on his experiences working with great cinematographers and filmmakers.

What gear did you use to shoot the film?

The film was shot on the Sony PXW FS7 (with the additional RAW extension unit), and the Odyssey 7Q+ Monitor/Recorder (with the RAW firmware upgrade). With this setup the camera could output Sony RAW in 4096x2160 (4K) or 2048x1080 (2K), with frame rates in 4K up to 60p and in 2K up to 240p. The 240fps came in handy for a few scenes across the length of the feature.

The FS7’s native ISO of 2000 was also a factor that helped make this the right camera for the shoot. 3/4 of the film was to be shot at night, so a camera that worked well in low lighting situations was a crucial element. We shot a lot of the night scenes at an ISO of 2000, which helped keep the shadows clean and dark, which was something that Adam Graveley (Writer/Director) and I had agreed upon as a look before we started shooting... “Go dark” was the mantra for most of the film.

The lenses that were used on the shoot were predominantly Zeiss CP.2’s (21mm T2.9, 50mm T2.1 and an 85mm T2.1) with a Zeiss 35mm f2 and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 being the only other lenses other than the CP.2’s. We also used a Hollywood Blackmagic 1/4 filter throughout the feature. This filter helped with taking the edge off the sharpness of the digital image, also doing some lovely things with the highlights, without affecting the dark spaces (which we wanted to keep clean).

Lighting wise we used a lot of HMI’s and keno’s for the night scenes (daylight balanced light sources), going for a White Flame Green tinge to the light for the ‘night look’. We also had a 12K running for some of the night chase scenes, which lit up most of Jarrahdale for the evening. The poor wildlife would have thought the sun forgot to set. For the supplementary lighting of background and key elements we also used battery operated LED panels. These were great out in the bush, with no generator needed for those. For the exteriors we bounced around the available light with 6x6, 8x8 and 12x12 frames, just trying to take the edge off the harshness of the sun (peak summer). That and shooting as much as we could in the late afternoon and early morning helped with the exteriors.

Thanks goes to Iain Appleyard for the use of his FS7, with the rest of the gear coming out of the 2D Films van, which is what made the project achievable... access to the right gear.

What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?

Sony RAW is recorded by the Odyssey7Q+ in 12-bit .DNG files, which made for data wrangling on a massive scale, but we felt it was worth the investment and labour intensive post, due to the nature of the look we were after and the grade we wanted to achieve. We wanted our blacks to be black and our low light scenes to not fall apart in the grade. Shooting with this high quality also allowed for frame grabs to be used in post marketing and for reframing of certain shots where needed in the edit. Also during our testing phase we noticed some banding occurring when we shot RAW on the camera at 2K in low light, so 4K was chosen to lessen that aberration as well.
We overcame this challenge with copious amounts of hard drives (over 50TB of data was backed up by the completion of principal photography) and the use of a post house that could handle the footage. Enter Boogie Monster. Steve and Joel at Boogie were sensational, with Joel’s guidance in post grading in particular being a vital component to the film’s success.

What drew you to the film?

An initial discussion about making a feature length film occurred at CineFest Oz (August 2015) between Adam Graveley, Dion Borrett and myself, with the gist of the conversation being the question, Why not? The three of us decided to try and put a project together that we could all invest our time and resources into, creating an opportunity to make something that we had creative control over. Having enough equipment to make a feature film (lighting and camera-wise) puts you in a tempting position to challenge yourself. It may not be wisdom, but the temptation proved an effective catalyst to get the ball rolling on the project. After our initial discussion, Adam was given a tip off about the inspiring events behind the plot of the film (a news report coming out of the US), which served as the inspiration needed for a thriller/horror piece to begin to be formulated. We agreed this genre would be the best one to delve into (financially and logistically speaking) for our first feature. The location was offered to us next (an Orchard located South East of Perth in the township of Jarrahadale), with Adam then having a setting he could write to. The process occurred extremely quickly from here, with the film starting principal photography a month after the script was completed, a whopping 4 months after the initial discussion about making a long form project occurred back at CineFest Oz. The project required both a logistical and creative approach, with the chance to work on a feature length project really being the thing that drew me to the film. This was my film school. Nothing like diving in at the deep end.

Who inspired you to start shooting? Did you have any mentoring by ACS members?

I certainly feel very privileged to be able to call Denson Baker ACS NZCS a friend and mentor. His guidance on set, words of wisdom, demonstration of technique and skill acquisition and general artistic nature and integrity have all served me extremely well through my film journey thus far. He was able to get me on larger film projects, in a lighting capacity, always with the knowledge that this is what will help me achieve greater understanding of how light works with a camera. His patience, generosity and friendship have been a true inspiration to me. He constantly challenges himself to find the truth and beauty of the narrative through emotional and evocative visuals. It is not hard to be inspired by such a mentor, whom I am most appreciative of. Denson, to me, epitomises what the ACS stands for and represents.

Photos by Dion Borrett and Iain Appleyard

Newsletter edited and published by ACS WA Branch committee member Ben Berkhout


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