Dr Jim Frazier OAM ACS

Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 1998

Jim Frazier OAM ACS is a highly regarded pioneer of wildlife cinematography.

Jim’s life reads like the ultimate Australian success story. A heart-warming story of how a quiet country boy from Armidale with a love of beasts and bugs grew up to be a highly respected artist, naturalist, maker of wildlife documentaries and go-it-alone inventor, takes Hollywood by storm and wins an Oscar.

As early as the 1970s, Frazier, who with business partner Densey Clyne and renowned for his work on David Attenborough documentaries, dreamed of devising a “clever” optical system that effectively held everything in the lens’s view in complete focus: from the lens surface to the horizon.

One of Australia’s most decorated cinematographers, Jim Frazier (Life on Earth, Cane Toads – an Unnatural History), and winner of a Technical Oscar in 1997 for his invention of the Frazier Lens System, which has revolutionised the international film industry. It bedazzled Hollywood, where leading filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, have queued to use it. In October 1998 Jim was presented with the John Grierson International Gold Medal for pioneering work in micro/macro cinematography of invertebrate animals leading to the design of the Panavision/Frazier Lens System.

Jim’s career as a wildlife cinematographer has been spread over more than 40 years, with many Australian and International Awards for his work, an Emmy, 3 Golden tripods, a US industrial Film & Video Gold Camera Award, an Hon. Doctorate and has won over 40 national and international awards for his work. He is that very rare thing: An artist, scientist and inventor. Jim invented the Panavision-Frazier lens that revolutionised the film industry, and has now designed a new lens that promises to have a similar impact, being simpler, needs much less light and importantly – much cheaper! He has also recently designed and tested 3D capture using a single lens.

Jim was accredited by the Society on July 1, 1989 and holds Accreditation Certificate No. 181. He was made a Life Member in 1998.