Cinematography, the industry’s shining light
[Release from the ACS]
Australian Cinematographers have always had a reputation for their pioneering achievements since the birth of the industry in Australia over 100 years ago. 2008 marked the Australian Cinematographers Society’s 50th Anniversary which was celebrated at ACS50 “Celebration of Cinematography – future of the image” with Australia’s finest DOP’s sharing their experiences with their colleagues from around the country.
The role call at ACS50 included some of Australia’s most successful and talented cinematographers; Dean Semler OAM ACS ASC, Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC, David Gribble ACS, Pieter Di Vries ACS, Geoff Burton ACS, Geoffrey Simpson ACS, Jules O’loughlin ACS, Callan Green, Ben Nott ACS, John Bowring ACS And Roger Lanser ACS.
The Australian Cinematographers Society was also honoured by their US, British and European counterparts attending the event, with the presence of ASC President Daryn Okada ASC, the British Society’s Nigel Walters BSC and IMAGO’s Louis-Phillipe Capelle.
The Anniversary event exposed the importance of the relationship between the Cinematographer and all other on set colleagues. The celebratory event was so well supported by our industry sponsors and other Film and TV colleagues, with luminaries such as Award Winning Director Scott Hicks.
The final session of the week, held at the Dendy Opera Quays cinema, “The Collaborators” left the capacity audience absolutely spellbound. All listened as Peter James ACS ASC, Bruce Beresford, Don McAlpine ACS ASC, Dr. George Miller, Dean Semler OAM ACS ASC and with Peter Thompson as moderator, they gave us a rare insight into their working relationships.
The show for Australian Cinematography was by no means over as the celebration drew to a close with the 50th Anniversary Awards Gala Event, where Ben Nott ACS received his second MILLI AWARD as Australian Cinematographer of the Year for his work on “The Company”.
Many of the Society’s talented cinematographers have been recognised recently for their outstanding work both at home and overseas. Baz Luhrman’s “Australia” was recently released with the beautiful cinematography of Mandy Walker ACS, Mandy was also acknowledged by The Hollywood Press as Cinematographer of the Year.
With 50 feature films completed with the end of production on “Wolverine”, Don McAlpine ACS ASC was recognised by his American peers, with the American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award. Don is such a wonderful ambassador, not only for the Society, but for the Australian industry.
The members of the Australian Cinematographers Society also recognise achievement at an International level with the International Cinematographer of the Year Award. The recipient in 2008 was Roger Deakins BSC ASC for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford”.
Closer to home, Society members picked up several Awards during the year; Jules O’Loughlin ACS was The If Award Winner For “September” and Robert Humphreys ACS won The AFI Award For “Unfinished Sky”.
The ACS also recognised one of the founding fathers of the Society, John Leake ACS along with other major contributing members Bruce Hillyard ACS and Butch Calderwood OAM ACS who were presented with Lifetime Contribution Awards. Ian Baseby was also presented with a Lifetime Contribution Award for his 35 years of continuous service to the Society at both Federal and State levels.
The Society elected a new Federal President in September with the ship now being steered by Ron Johanson ACS. The Society extended its International networks by becoming an Associate member of IMAGO, The European Federation of Cinematographers. 2008 also marked the 10th Anniversary of the Society’s magazine “Australian Cinematographer” which brings stories of our members and technical information to the industry.
The Australian Cinematographers Society has come such a long way since those pioneering cinematographers got together in 1958 to form our Society. Our 2009 National Awards will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland in May and will include a very special guest of honour.
There is so much more to come. Watch this space.
Ron Johanson ACS