Edwin Scragg ACS (1940-1997)

Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 1998

Edwin Scragg born in South London Oct 31, 1940 and died March 1, 1997 in the garden of his Brisbane home, doing the impossible as usual. In this case he was pruning a high tree branch and was electrocuted. It was instantaneous. As a friend said, ‘he died like he lived … fast!’

Edwin showed signs of being a rebel while at school, deciding to leave at 16 and study Fine Art, against his father’s wishes. While studying photography, Edwin made a potting shed his home until he found a houseboat on a canal and lived in that until one day a short mooring rope and high tide sank the boat. In the early 1960’s he established a photography department for Line Bros, toymakers to the world (Triang, Cyclops, Pedigree) in London. In 1963 he came to Australia (as a ten pound Pom) where he joined Film Australia for two years. Bruce Hillyard recalls the time that he and Edwin were on a shoot in the middle of Australia and 5BX fitness was all the go. Edwin would be on the motel floor doing the exercises while Bruce read the instructions to him, while enjoying a cigarette.

In 1966 Edwin joined ATN7 as an editor on the current affairs program ‘Seven Days’ but later that year returned to England and freelanced, editing for the BBC. In late 1967 Edwin got the travel bug and ran a fully booked bus tour from London to Calcutta. He sold the bus in Kathmandu and flew to Perth where he established Film Centre with David Moore. They produced films of all kinds during the mineral boom. In 1969 Edwin received an AFI Silver Award for ‘The Capricorn Contract’ and the Kodak Trophy for Cinematography for the same film, he also won the US Industrial Film Festival award for the documentary ‘Mt Newman’.

In 1970 he moved to Sydney and established Scope Films, producing films for a wide range of clients. In 1971 he won an ACS Golden Tripod Award for the film “Men of Tomorrow”, in 1972 he won a 2nd ACS Golden Tripod plus an AFI Silver Award for the film ‘An Element of Change’ then in 1983 a 3rd ACS Golden Tripod Award plus several other awards from Tehran and Venice Film Festivals. Edwin also received his ACS Accreditation No. 91 from the Society around this time. During this period Edwin married Jane and the partnership was on the move again, this time to Adelaide.

Edwin moved to Brisbane in 1984 and became a very active member of the ACS Queensland Branch and served as Queensland State President 1986-1987, then as Federal President 1989-1991.