ACS holds industry event to celebrate Shadowcatchers book

02 July, 2012 by Brendan Swift

The Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) held an industry event last week to celebrate the launch of its book The Shadowcatchers.

The event, held at Balmain Town Hall, included a discussion featuring Oscar-winning filmmaker and cartoonist Bruce Petty, filmmaker and Shadowcatchers author Martha Ansara, and documentarian Curtis Levy.


Levy said many of Australia's top cinematographers, such as Dean Semler, Don McAlpine and Geoff Burton (who was also in the audience), started their careers in the news department of the ABC. 

"I think that's got something to do with why so many of the top Australian cinematographers are so sought after in Hollywood because they're able to work in available light and work quickly and have a physicality that came from that ability to move the subject and not worry too much about having big crews and lights."

Australia has produced a number of Oscar-winning cinematographers including Semler, John Seale (who is currently shooting Fury Road), Dion Beebe, Andrew Lesnie and Damian Parer.

The Shadowcatchers: A History of Cinematography contains over 380 photographs of working cinematographers from 1901 to the present.

From left to right: Bruce Petty, Martha Ansara and Curtis Levy.