The Quarterly Journal of the Australian Cinematographers Society
Australian Cinematographer is Asia-Pacific’s leading cinematography magazine.
Australian Cinematographer Magazine blazes a trail into film’s future without neglecting the occasional glance in the rear vision mirror. A publication that ordains cinematography’s heroes in print, brings the industry’s characters to life in colour, and captures the essence of what it means to be a cinematographer in the modern world. Australian Cinematographer Magazine; the most essential thing in your kit.
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From Oscar-nominated Australian writer Tony McNamara (The Favourite) comes the wildly comedic rise of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) and Emperor Peter III (Nicholas Hoult), in a genre-bending, anti-historical ride through eighteenth-century Russia. We learn how Australian cinematographer John Brawley brought the hit Hulu series The Great to our screens.
By John Brawley.
When seriously ill teenager Milla (Eliza Scanlen) falls in love with smalltime drug dealer Moses (Toby Wallace), it’s her parents’ worst nightmare. Already a winner at international film festivals, and co-starring Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn, Babyteeth sees award-winning cinematographer Andrew Commis ACS ;behind the camera.
By James Cunningham.
With cinematographer James L Brown ACS behind the camera, and inspired by the true stories of New Zealand’s gangs over thirty years, feature film Savage follows Danny (Jake Ryan) at defining moments in his life as he grows from a boy into a violent enforcer of a street gang.
By James L Brown ACS.
I AM WOMAN
Academy Award-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe ACS ASC (Memoirs of a Geisha) and director Unjoo Moon tell the incredible story of Australian icon Helen Reddy, and a song that changed
the Women’s Liberation Movement, in I Am Woman.
By Sarah Jo Fraser.
AIYAI: WRATHFUL SOUL
A neighbourhood is plagued by mysterious tragedies when a young man becomes the conduit for an unknown spirit. Aiyai: Wrathful Soul is a pyschological, supernatural mystery thriller shot by Australian cinematographer Damien Beebe, brother of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe ACS ASC.
Interview by Slade Phillips.
From New Zealand director Niki Caro MNZM (Whale Rider), and Australian cinematographer Mandy Walker ACS ASC (Hidden Figures), a young Chinese maiden (Liu Yifei) disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father and fight for her country in Disney’s live-action epic Mulan.
A brave-hearted girl and her charming best friend make a bewitching pair as they embark on a musical mission to take down an oppressive school system. The visuals of Melanie Martinez’ epic K-12 have been expertly crafted by cinematographer Josh Mckie.
DEAD TO ME
The hit Netflix series Dead to Me stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as grieving women who bond during therapy. Season two returns with Australian cinematographer Toby Oliver ACS behind the camera.
The devastation of dementia is translated into a haunted house horror film in Natalie Erika James’ new film Relic, from cinematographer Charlie Sarroff.
9-1-1: LONE STAR
Starring Rob Lowe, 9-1-1: Lone Star follows a New York firefighter who relocates to Austin, Texas. The hit new television series on Fox is shot by Australian cinematographer Andrew Strahorn.
Australian cinematographer Nicola Daley ACS (Pin Cushion) collaborates with Alan Caso ASC on Paradise Lost. The ten-episode series, from Paramount Television Studios, represents a monumental step for both Daley and Caso. The duo interview each other upon the series’ completion about working with each other and about crew diversity.
TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG
An exploration of bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they attempt to evade authorities during the 1870s, filmed by award-winning cinematographer Ari Wegner ACS.
Cinematographer Greig Fraser ACS ASC steps into the unknown on The Mandalorian..
Inspired by true events; a woman escaping a cult, a refugee fleeing with his family, a father trapped in a dead-end job, and a bureacrat on the verge of a national scandal find their lives intertwined, caught up in migrant detention. Stateless, was created and executive produced by Cate Blanchett, and Tony Ayres, directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse, and shot by cinematographer Bonnie Elliott ACS.
THE INVISIBLE MAN
Emmy Award-winner Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) stars in a terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic monster character. Cinematographer Stefan Duscio ACS (Jungle) chats to us about shooting The Invisible Man for Australian director Leigh Whannell (Saw).
NEVER TOO LATE
Cinematographer Peter Falk ACS finds himself breaking out in style on Never Too Late, a riotously funny story of four heroic Vietnam veterans attempting to break out of their retirement home.
Earle Dresner ACS tackles extreme weather, a refugee crisis and pandemics in this human story about a very near future and the challenges it may bring.
With cinematographer Bryan Mason behind the camera on Sophie Hyde’s Animals, long-time friends and party-lovers Laura and Tyler navigate life and love in Dublin, Ireland.
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S TASMANIA
Ancient forests, pristine rivers and a spectacular coastline. David Attenborough’s Tasmania sees the famed naturalist narrate the story of this vast island wilderness, as we interview photographers Peter Nearhos ACS,Nick Hayward and Simon Plowright.
Inspired by the real-life plight of workers sold into Southeast Asia’s fishing industry and featuring a powerful performance from its first-time star, Buoyancy is a gripping high seas drama shot by Australian cinematographer Michael Latham.
SECRET BRIDESMAIDS’ BUSINESS
Shot by Tristan Milani ACS and the first high-end drama from production company Seven Studios, Secret Bridesmaids’ Business is a suspenseful thriller series that sets a new standard for Australian network television.
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
From one of Australia’s most prolific writers Bevan Lee (Packed to the Rafters, A Place to Call Home, All Saints) comes an intense, high-concept drama series. Between Two Worlds sees two-time AACTA nominee for ‘Best Cinematography in Television’ Henry Pierce ACS (A Place to Call Home) behind the camera.
A love letter to the 1980s classics that captivated a generation, the third season of science fiction-horror series Stranger Things sees cinematographer Lachlan Milne ACS behind the cameras. Come behind-the-scenes on Netflix’s highest-rating show ever and learn how Milne shot four groundbreaking episodes of this blockbuster series.
I AM HUMAN
Feature documentary I Am Human follows a woman with Parkinson’s disease, a paraplegic and a blind man, for whom the restorative potential of implantable brain technology is no science-fiction daydream. With Joel Froome ACS behind the camera, the film chronicles humanity’s quiet march down a new evolutionary path.
SEQUIN IN A BLUE ROOM
High school and hook-up apps go hand-in-hand in provocative queer feature Sequin in a Blue Room, from cinematographer Jay Grant. An adventurous exploration of technology and young sexuality, and winner of the Sydney Film Festival Audience Award.
Directed by Kriv Stenders (Red Dog) and shot by Ben Nott ACS (Predestination), Danger Close is the new Australian war film about the Battle of Long Tan.
In 2018 a widely reported rescue successfully saved twelve members of a junior soccer team and their coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand. Australian cinematographer Wade Muller HKSC joins director Tom Waller to film The Cave, the thrilling true story behind the daring rescue.
LAMBS OF GOD
Lambs of God, the new Australian television drama series coming to Foxtel’s Showcase, was adapted from Marele Day’s novel of the same name about three eccentric nuns living
on a secluded and remote island. Forgotten by time and the Catholic Church they are forced to defend their way of life when a priest, Father Ignatius, unwittingly finds them. An epic gothic drama ensues about love, faith and redemption.
The director behind Lambs of God, Jeffrey Walker, had previously worked with cinematographer Don McAlpine ACS ASC on the film Ali’s Wedding in 2017. McAlpine is a legend in cinematography circles, having been behind such beloved and revered films as My Brilliant Career (1979), Breaker Morant (1980), Predator (1987), Patriot Games (1992), Mrs Doubtfire (1993), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Moulin Rouge! (2001), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Dressmaker (2015) among many others.
Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, is cracking down on rampant crime, but many fear the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ is turning his country into a dangerous police state.
Reporter Sally Sara, along with cameramen Greg Nelson and Matt Davis, travel to Rio de Janeiro for the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent.
STANDING UP FOR SUNNY
Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte stars in a charming Australian romantic comedy about a loner with cerebral palsy roped into helping a friend overcome her shyness.
Premiering at the Sydney Film Festival this month, award-winning cinematographer Mark Bliss ACK is behind the camera on Standing Up for Sunny.GLITCH
With new characters, shocking twists and unexpected turns, season three of the Logie and AACTA winning ABC and Netflix paranormal drama series Glitch will keep viewers on the edge of their seats for one final epic chapter. Cinematographer Aaron McLisky chats to us about his time behind the camera.
REFLECTIONS IN THE DUST
Written and directed by Luke Sullivan and shot by cinematographer Ryan Barry-Cotter, the unique Reflections in the Dust is the chronicle of a relationship between a paranoid schizophrenic clown and his blind daughter.
We speak with both the director and cinematographer of this highly-original,
independent Australian feature film.
New Zealand feature film Blue Moon is a twisty, real-time thriller from writer/director Stefen Harris nimbly staged and shot entirely on iPhone by cinematographer Ryan O’Rourke within and around a Motueka petrol station in the wee small hours of the morning.
A beautiful and contemporary re-telling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian tale, Storm Boy sees award-winning cinematographer Bruce Young ACS, behind the camera.
Greig Fraser ACS ASC brings his eye to the darkly satirical, political biopic Vice, the story of the remarkably powerful and uncharismatic former Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney.
Retired detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) revisits key moments from a haunting murder/kidnapping case from thirty five years earlier. True Detective returns for a third season with Australian cinematographer Germain McMicking ACS.
Starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer Hotel Mumbai is the true story of the 2008 Taj Hotel terrorist attack. Shot by cinematographer Nick Remy Matthews ACS, people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families.
When a Nigerian boy becomes displaced by war he is forced to integrate into Australian society. We sit down for a conversation with cinematographer Calum Stewart about shooting the breathtaking new film Akoni for writer/director Genna Chanelle Hayes.
HBO Asia launches new 1800s set original series Grisse, with Australian cinematographer Wade Muller HKSC behind the camera.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Come along with Australian Cinematographer Magazine as we visit the magical world of Mary Poppins Returns with the film’s Academy Award-winning cinematographer Dione Beebe ACS ASC.
Set within the intensely secretive world of intelligence and top-secret US/Australia joint defence facility in central Australia, ABC/Netflix spy-thriller Pine Gap, from director Mat King and cinematographer Geoffrey Hall ACS, delves into the famously and sometimes contentiously strong alliance between our two countries.
The disappearance of a baby from a small coastal town in Australia is the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young couple. Come behind-the-scenes on the production of BBC One’s outstanding new four-part miniseries The Cry, with cinematographer Sam Chiplin.
Set against the backdrop of Saigon in the 1980s, an unlikely bond forms between an underground debt collector and a Vietnamese opera performer. Los Angeles-based Australian Cinematographer Bob Nguyen brings director Leon Le’s Song Lang brilliantly to life on the silver screen.
IN LIKE FLYNN
Directed by Russell Mulcahy (Razorback, Highlander, The Shadow) and shot by acclaimed cinematographer Peter Holland ACS (Gabriel, Seal Team Six, StartUp) In Like Flynn is the Australian biographical film about the early life of Errol Flynn.
After years in exile, brothers Jamar (Ario Bayu) and Suwo (Yoshi Sudarso), return to Dutch colonial Java to avenge the death of their Sultan father. 19th-century western Buffalo Boys shot by cinematographer John Radel ACS and directed by Mike Wiluan, has been selected as Singapore’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
ESCAPE AND EVASION
After his men are killed in Myanmar, a lone soldier returns home. Filmed in the Queensland Rainforest by Australian Cinematographer Wade Muller HKSC, action-thriller Escape and Evasion sees that soldier hiding a dark secret and, confronted by an unrelenting journalist, is forced to face the ghosts of his past.
WILDLIFE ON THE BIG SCREEN
Australia now produces one third of the world’s IMAX Films. Cinematographers Richard Fitzpatrick ACS, Casper Mazzotti, Nick Robinson and Jon Shaw have been pioneers in this resurgence of wildlife film making.
LADIES IN BLACK
Peter James ACS ASC is known for his work on Meet the Parents, Mao’s Last Dancer, Double Jeopardy, Driving Miss Daisy and Black Robe. James is a proud accredited member of the Australian Cinematographers Society and American Society of Cinematographers, as well as being a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and four-time recipient of the ACS Milli Award for Cinematographer of the Year. The much-anticipated Ladies in Black marks the thirteenth collaboration between the cinematographer and legendary Australian director Bruce Beresford. By Velinda Wardell ACS and Meredith Emmanuel.
Detective Jay Swan is assigned to investigate the mysterious disappearance of two mention a remote Outback cattle station. Come behind-the-scenes on the ABC’s compellingMystery Road series with cinematographer Mark Wareham ACS. By James Cunningham.
ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS
Christmas Island’s migrating crabs and political detainees intersect in cinematic fashion for the
Tribeca Film Festival’s Best Documentary Award-winner Island of the Hungry Ghosts,
shot by acclaimed cinematographer Michael Latham. By James Cunningham.
A mother hopes that a move to a new town will provide a better life for both herself and her
awkward daughter. Nicola Daley ACS is behind the lens on the heart-warming, complex
mother-daughter study Pin Cushion. By Harry Stranger and Meredith Emmanuel.
WEST OF SUNSHINE
A father has less than one day to pay back a debt to a violent loan shark, while looking after his young son. We speak to cinematographer Thom Neal about shooting the moving new Australian drama West of Sunshine .By Vanessa Abbott.
Wagga Wagga is an iconic Australian country town that loves its sport, but finds itself divided over its loyalty for rival codes AFL and NRL. With only three weeks pre-production prior to a four-week shoot, Adam Howden ACS skillfully lenses the new Australian feature film Chasing Comets starring Dan Ewing and Isabel Lucas. By Slade Phillips and James Cunningham.
Set in 1970s coastal Australia, two teenage boys hungry for discovery form an unlikely friendship with an older, enigmatic surfer who pushes them to take risks that have lasting and profound impacts on their lives. Based on Tim Winton’s international bestselling novel, Breath is lensed by award-winning Cinematographer Marden Dean and was directed by Simon Baker. By James Cunningham.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Looking bloodier and more harrowing than ever, The Handmaid’s Tale is back for a second season. Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, the series is set in a totalitarian society ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as a property of the state. Faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate, the award-winning series returns with Australian cinematographer Zoë White behind the camera. Interview by Dash Wilson.
With two-time Milli Award-winning Cinematographer Martin McGrath ACS (Muriel’s Wedding) behind the camera, ABC telemovie Riot shines a spotlight on key events in Australia’s gay and lesbian civil rights movement of the 1970s. By James Cunningham.
One Less God
The Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 shocked a nation, and the world. Inspired by these events, and shot by award-winning cinematographer Ashley Barron, One Less God tackles the tragedy head-on, picking up multiple awards along the way. Interview by Heidi Tobin.
A gripping dark comedy surrounds the unravelling of two brothers’ plans to commit a murder. From Director Clayton Jacobson and Cinematographer Peter Falk ACS, Brothers’ Nest is featured at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. By Peter Falk ACS. by James Cunningham.
Blue World Order
Filmed in the nation’s capital Blue World Order sees a post-apocalyptic world where a man is desperate to protect his daughter, the last remaining child on the planet. Cinematographer Robb Shaw-Velzen ACS takes us behind-the-scenes on his first feature. By Robb Shaw-Velzen ACS.
Warwick Thornton and Dylan River chat to Australian Cinematographer Magazine about taking audiences to Alice Springs for their new film Sweet Country. By Meredith Emmanuel and David Heuring.
Ensconced in her sprawling California mansion, firearms fortune heiress Sarah Winchester (Academy Award-winner, Dame Helen Mirren) is visited by the souls of those killed by her late husband’s rifle. Directed by the Spierig Brothers, and shot by Ben Nott ACS, Winchester invites us inside the most haunted house in the world. By James Cunningham.
Friday On My Mind
This landmark two-part miniseries tells the story of five young newly-arrived immigrants who met in a Sydney hostel in the Sixties and formed a band that would take Australian rock ‘n’ roll to the world. Lensed by Simon Chapman ACS, Friday On My Mind is the story of The Easybeats. By James Cunningham.
Television series No Activity takes cinematographer Judd Overton (That Sugar Film) from a
dark basement in Sydney to the bright lights of Hollywood. By Harry Stranger and Judd Overton.
When a doctor looking for her missing child awakens to find herself in an abandoned school, she must face her own demons if she is to discover the truth about where her son is.Shot by cinematographer Aaron McLisky, supernatural-thriller The School is a claustrophobic and haunting film. By James Cunningham.
Wide Open Spaces
Cinematographer Mandy Walker ACS ASC infuses intimacy and scale for Director Hany Abu-Assad’s survival story The Mountain Between Us. by Meredith Emmanuel.
Picking up twenty-five years after Geoffrey Wright’s 1992 film, new Stan television series Romper Stomper, shot by Bonnie Elliott ACS follows a new generation of Australian far right activists. by Bonnie Elliott ACS.
Baby On Board
Judd Overton chats to Australian Cinematographer about shooting the new ABC series The Letdown. by Meredith Emmanuel.
Set within the primal underworld of Australia’s outlaw motorcycle gangs, Stephen McCallum’s debut feature 1%, shot by Shelley Farthing-Dawe (Pawno), recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. interview by James Cunningham.
After a series of murders bearing all the markings of a familiar killer, detectives find themselves chasing the ghost of a man who has been dead for over a decade. With Ben Nott ACS behind the lens on Jigsaw, they become embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun. by James Cunningham.
Andrew Conder ACS SOC catches his breath after wrapping a whirlwind first season of the new Australian fantasy series The Bureau of Magical Things.
by Sam Cleveland
Daniel Radcliffe joins Wolf Creek Director Greg McLean in the Bolivian rainforest for the tense survival thriller Jungle, shot by award-winning cinematographer Stefan Duscio. Interview by Hemma Kearney.
We talk to Peter Menzies Jr. ACS about filming the much-anticipated All Eyez on Me, the true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur. By James Cunningham.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Shot across Europe by Sydney-based Cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin ACS ASC, the world’s top bodyguard (Ryan Reynold) gets a new client, a hit man (Samuel L. Jackson) who, against great odds, must testify at the International Court of Justice in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Interview by Dan Freene ACS.
The Light Fantastic
Milli Award-winning Abraham Joffe follows the world’s best photographers, around the world in Tales by Light, as they push the limits of their craft. By Corey Hague.
When the dead body of a girl washes up on Bondi Beach, there appears little hope of finding the killer. Jane Campion returns with a second season of her acclaimed Top of the Lake miniseries, with Cinematographer Germain McMicking behind the camera on Top of the Lake: China Girl. By James Cunningham.
Award-winning James L Brown ACS travels to the urban jungles of Colombia to help bring a deeply personal story, Killing Jesús, to the screen. Story and interview by James Cunningham.
Shot by Toby Oliver ACS and premiering at the Sundance Film Festival early this year, Get Out, an interracial horror film, has received universal acclaim from critics and has become the highest-grossing debut film based on an original screenplay in Hollywood history. By Hawkins DuBois.
When a celebrated artist begins an affair with a nightclub owner’s wife, her husband’s suspicions soon explode… before he ends up at the bottom of a lake. Indigo Lake is the third feature film from cinematographer Rodrigo Vidal Dawson (Observance, Skin Deep). By Rodrigo Vidal Dawson.
Live To Tell
Mark Wareham ACS films the true story of a landmark legal case against the Anglican Church and the sexual abuse survivor in Queensland, who found the courage to speak out. Featuring Jack Thompson and Rachel Griffiths, the award-winning Don’t Tell hits cinemas this month. Interview by James Cunningham.
Four years after the last season of Emmy-nominated ABC television series Dance Academy, cast and crew alike reunite for a drama-filled feature film shot by Martin McGrath ACS. Interview by Jenna McMahon.
Man O’ War
It’s all hands on deck as blockbuster cinematographer Paul Cameron ASC takes the helm for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on the Gold Coast for the fifth chapter in the mammoth Disney series. By David Alexander Willis.
One Take Wonder
In Australia’s first single-take feature film, Watch the Sunset, a man comes to grips with the power of his past when his estranged family becomes entangled in its web. The film’s Cinematographer and Co-Producer, Damien Lipp, discusses the film with Australian Cinematographer. Interview by James Cunningham.
From shooting Stickmen in New Zealand in 2000, winning the AFI Award for Best Cinematography for Home Song Stories in 2007, and lensing the second season of HBO’s True Detective in 2015, Nigel Bluck talks to Australian Cinematographer about his body of work. Interview by Lindsay Coleman.
Born on Thursday Island and raised in the Torres Strait, Murray Lui is recognised as the first professional Torres Strait Islander cinematographer. He has worked with the ABC and SBS on programs including The Family Law, Rosehaven and Jacob, which won him an ACS Gold Tripod in 2009. Australian Cinematographer sits down to talk with Lui in Townsville. Interview by Corey Hague.
A Touch of Immortality
The award-winning Kieran Fowler takes us behind the scenes on his latest feature film, Skinford, a story about a British con-artist who uncovers the opportunity of a lifetime whilst digging his own grave. By Kieran Fowle
In the summer of 1987, Vicki Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings) is abducted by serial killer couple John and Evelyn White (Stephen Curry and Emma Booth). With escape seeming impossible, she attempts to drive a wedge between them in an effort to survive. Cinematographer Michael McDermott lenses Hounds of Love in Western Australia. By Michael McDermott.
With over seventy-five feature films to his name, countless awards from both the ACS (including Induction into our Hall of Fame) and the ASC (including their Lifetime Achievement Award) and an Oscar… we speak with the Academy Award-winning Dean Semler AM ACS ASC to learn about what inspires him and how he taps into his abundant creativity. Interview by Elizabeth Bonney.
And much more…