Alan Cole ACS was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Alan Cole is a highly regarded cinematographer and former ACS Victorian President and National Vice President.
Alan’s career started in television in 1969 at ATV-0, which is now known as Channel Ten, out in the Melbourne suburb of Nunawading. But it wasn’t behind the camera that Alan began – it was in studio lighting which ultimately led to Alan working as second electrics on a 16mm drama series in 1970 with the 2nd Unit DP, Guy Furner.
In 1972 Alan started at Crawford Seniors, one of the few Melbourne film companies around at the time. He worked as a driver/grip/electrics or as Alan calls it, a dog’s body. He loved it because they were shooting film. He worked with the likes of Ron Johanson OAM ACS, John Haddy and David Lewis ACS.
By ’74 he was out freelancing in the electrics department. Lighting in those days generally used hard direct light and it wasn’t until he had the chance to work with the masterful cinematographer
Ian Baker and director Fred Schepisi that he saw a major change in style. Ian was the first person Alan had worked with who used the more European method of lighting with bounced and diffused light sources. He claims it was a major influence and inspiration to developing his own style in his career later as a cinematographer.
In 1976 Alan had the chance to shoot single camera colour video at AAV in Melbourne at a time when TV was still broadcast in B&W. Alan jumped at it but a year later was given the opportunity to work as Clapper Loader with Ian Baker on Fred Schepisi’s The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, with Ellery Ryan ACS as focus puller.
The following year Alan went freelance as a camera assistant and by 1980 was shooting. He spent the next decade filming TVC’s where he began to master his craft and develop his skills.
Alan and his wife Susie started up Cole & Co, a TVC production company that was very successful.
Susie was the Executive Producer and Alan acted as Director/DP. He was asked to direct TVC’s in 1990, which resulted in Alan shooting less but working with a wide variety of other DP’s.
All that experience gave Alan the skills to shoot a feature in 2005 that he agreed to do, due to his ongoing passion for narrative film work.
From 2007 Alan became heavily involved in the ACS taking on the Victorian Presidency from 2007 – 2012 and the National Vice Presidency from 2010 – 2013. Alan received his ACS accreditation in 2007.