Peter Morse wins Peter Rasmussen Award

15 June, 2010 by IF

Press release from the Lantern Group:

The Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award, now in its second year, was awarded to Peter Morse and announced tonight at the closing night of the Sydney Film Festival.


Established by a board of trustees made up of friends and collaborators of the innovative Australian filmmaker Peter Rasmussen who have committed to raise the funds in perpetuity for the purpose of awarding a $5,000 cash prize, the Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award, is given each year at Sydney Film Festival to an Australian whose work in film, machinima or new media embodies a visionary spirit and a relentless determination in the face of obstacles – financial or otherwise – to create high quality works for the screen.The recipient’s work may be described as fringe, maverick, innovative. It may be pushing boundaries in form or mode of production, and may sit outside the usual categories of films shown at the festival.

Peter Morse has over 20 years experience in sophisticated visualisation techniques and content creation.He has in-depth technical skills and production experience in diverse fields such as 3D data visualisation, volumetric rendering, stereoscopic immersive virtual and augmented reality systems and computer programming – as well as video, photographic and film production, audio design and music. He has a wide-ranging creative practice and has exhibited digital media works around Australia and internationally in the USA, Germany, Britain, France, Finland and Holland

On behalf of The Peter Rasmussen Trustees, Rosemary Blight said “Peter Morse’s work demonstrates an incredibly high level of technical innovation and practice, including leading work in 3D data visualisation. Peter’s works across both sciences and arts opens up ways for compelling narratives to play on all types of screens and in a huge variety of ways. Peter is an exciting artist to be awarded the Peter Rasmussen Fellowship.”

Peter Rassmussen Innovation Award Trustees:
Jackie Turnure, Mark Abicht, Rosemary Blight, David Caesar, Robert Connolly, James Bogle, Chris Hilton, Martin Brown, Liz Doran, Greg Woodland, Marty Murphy, Mark Ward, Daniel Nettheim, Phillip Johnston, Shilo McClean, Peter Giles, Mary O'Malley, George Mannix, Leon Marvell, Lech Mackiewicz, Susan Gibbeson, Ben Grant, Victor Gentile, Lucas Bone, Linda Tizard

Who was Peter Rasmussen?
Danish-born Australian filmmaker Peter Rasmussen was best known in the Australian Film Industry as the co-writer of the feature film ‘In the Winter Dark’. Yet Peter’s work sat largely outside the commercial mainstream. From writing Australia’s first no-budget feature, ‘Mad Bomber in Love’, to writing and directing innovative award-winning short films ‘The Picture Woman’ and the machinima short ‘Killer Robots’, to co-creating the world’s first full-length machinima feature, ‘Stolen Life’, Peter’s works were always independently generated, passionate endeavours, made on ‘the smell of an oily rag’. In a business where the word artist is scorned, Peter worked as one – though he would have been mortified to hear himself described as such. His films were made because he felt they had to be made, by any means necessary. The lack of money never deterred him from his drive to create. When his chosen medium of film became too costly for him to pursue, Peter took a detour into the new medium of machinima, in which he is now known as a world pioneer.

It’s ironic to hear him described as “visionary” because Peter was legally blind. The macular degenerative eye disease that left him with only peripheral vision, had forced his career move twenty years ago from cinematographer to screenwriter. In order to write, he invented and adapted various optical apparatus to enable him to see the computer screen. Weary of being ‘the blind filmmaker’, Peter took his life in March, 2008. Some months earlier, Peter Rasmussen’s and Jackie Turnure’s machinima feature ‘Stolen Life’ had won the major award at the New York Machinima Filmfest 2007. The New York Festival has named an annual honorary award in recognition of Peter’s enormous contribution to pioneering this new medium.

Award supporter
This year’s award has been supported by Screen NSW and not only shows the agency’s understanding of the contribution Peter Rasmussen made to our creative industry but also of the importance of innovation in all screen forms.