Here is our interview with cinematographer Peter James! James talks to us about lighting, lawsuits and the challenge of reading scripts when you've got dyslexia.
Peter James - Cinematographer
Peter James ACS,ASC started working in the Christmas holidays at a Supreme Sound Studios, at the age of 15. This was the beginning of a life long ‘love affair’ with Cinematographer. He started assisting on TV Commercials ,in black and white 35mm, moved into Focus puller on TV series, then on to Documentaries to learn about ‘cutting in the camera’. He finally got a break shooting a student film that won him the Australian Cinematographers Society’s Milli Award,1970 at the age of 23, this changed his life. Peter went on to win the Milli four moor time. It wasn’t long before he was shooting his first feature film. That was when the Australian Film Industry was starting to take off.
Peter spent several summers shooting Commercials in Toronto. In winter returning to Sydney to put that knowledge to work on Commercials and Features. Then LA called, and he was off to do Commercials there. At that time Bruce Beresford asked Peter to shoot ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. The film went on to win the OSCAR 1989 for best picture and opened the US doors for him. He was made a member of The Academy (OSCAR), Directors guild of America, and American Society of Cinematographers and joined the IATSE Union. It was also the start of a long friendship with Bruce, collaborating on a dozen films together all over the world. When not shooting with Bruce ,Peter was working with many directors on a variety of film styles including 3D. He has been Director of Photography on over 30 Feature Films. Peter loves still photography. He has publishes two books and has had several exhibitions in Sydney Toronto and LA.
He has been awarded The Australian Film Institute award four time, The Canadian GENIE, Nominated for an EMMY. In 1999 Peter was inducted into the ACS HALL OF FAME and in 2008 was made a LIFE MEMBER of the Society.
Peter is passionate about Cinematography and passing it on his knowledge to his colleagues.