2011 ACS Accreditation Screenings

Ten ACS Accreditation applications for 2011 were assessed recently on Friday and Saturday, September 23 & 24. This was the first Accreditation judging to be held in our National Headquarters and I must say this certainly was a much more personal and better environment to judge the work; particularly as the projection standard was excellent using, the high resolution, sponsor provided, Sony HD SXRD digital projector.

Future applicants should be aware that judging work with quality projection can highlight any defects in dubs or with poor compression. Therefore it should be reiterated, entrants should always enter the highest quality dubs of their work – some of the quality of dubs submitted this year could only be considered sub-standard even if played on a 40″ monitor.

The Judging Panel includes only ACS Accredited cinematographers and the panel this year were David Burr ACS, Richard Malins ACS, Peter James ACS ASC, Tim McGahan ACS, Alan Cole ACS, Ted Rayment ACS, David Wakeley ACS, Pieter de Vries ACS, Peter Curtis ACS, Kim Batterham ACS and Ernie Clark ACS all under the watchful eye of Chair of Judges, Ron Johanson ACS.

Achieving Accreditation is not easy with 80% of the judges having to vote affirmatively for a submission, a high standard indeed, but Accreditation and the honour of using the ACS letters after one’s name is a standard that needs to be maintained.

There are strict guidelines for the sessions and no discussion is allowed at Accreditation assessments until after the secret ballot votes are tallied and announced. If there is line ball vote, i.e. seven out of ten, then the panel may reconsider that submission and a re vote will be held, sometimes getting an entry to the required minimum level of 8/10.

This year our ten applicants were from four different States and included many genres and styles of cinematography and four were granted Accreditation. Those honoured and now able use the letters ACS after their names are Aron Leong ACS from Queensland, Robert Hill ACS from South Australia, Dan Freene ACS from NSW and the first, posthumous ACS Accreditation to John Bean ACS.

Once the assessments have finished it’s amazing the amount of dialogue that occurs between the judging panel about how to continually improve the Accreditation process, how to communicate best to our members about how their submissions are supplied and how important it is for applicants to ask for advice about what to enter and for applicants to be brutal to themselves when assessing their work before they include it in their submissions.

As always, only put YOUR BEST WORK IN…….LESS MAY BE MORE……… and please make sure that YOUR DUBS ARE THE HIGHEST QUALITY as ten cinematographers cannot be expected to asses the quality of your work from a poor dub. That is not going to do your hard work any justice.

If you have applied for Accreditation in the past and it hasn’t be granted please do not be discouraged. Lot’s of cinematographers have not achieved Accreditation on their first, even second attempt. The standard is unashamedly high, something worth aspiring to.

If you have supplied or are thinking of applying next year, look at your work very critically and carefully consider, is it work that’s truly inspired, does it tell the story exceptionally well, is your work empathetic to the story, well lit, well lensed, well operated, overall is the cinematography exceptional? All these questions are in context of the genre and style of each entrant’s particular specialisations.

Finally talk to other already Accredited ACS members and to your State President about your work and about applying before submitting your application. The next opportunity to apply for Accreditation will not be till around the middle of 2012 so keep an eye out for info regarding this in your newsletters and on our website.

Ernie Clark ACS

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