Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 2007
Keith Wagstaff started his career in 1953 working in the lab of the family owned business Cineservice. At age 16 he began shooting 16mm documentaries and also the races for his father Vern Wagstaff. Vern’s acquisition of Cambridge films in1963 saw Keith’s career take off shooting big budget 35mm TVCs.
Keith Wagstaff’s career in the film industry spans over 40 years. His experience with the camera, ranges from the extremes of filming documentary footage in war ravaged countries, to high fashion shoots and feature films.
Keith is renowned for his lighting, possessing a keen eye for both the natural and artificial light. The combination of this innate skill with his depth of knowledge of his equipment and film stocks has made him a world class Director of Photography.
An Australian at heart, Keith has nevertheless worked extensively overseas. Innumerable jobs in Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Thailand have given him an invaluable insight into the cultural diversity of Asia. Working in the United States has provided yet another dimension to his understanding of filmmaking. He began shooting features in the 1980s, his first feature film, The Man From Snowy River was a worldwide success and earned him the reputation for being one of the best DOPs for depicting rugged outdoor settings. He then shot The Coolangatta Gold, Wild Horses (USA), and The Man From Snowy River ll. His involvement in full length drama extended to the television mini-series Eureka Stockade, and received the Australian Penguin Award for his work on The Anzacs.
Keith’s attention to detail, his extraordinary use of light and his capacity for hard work has seen his career go from strength to strength. His cinematography on The Man From Snowy River alone is a true testament to this.
But there is so much more to Keith than meets the eye. He’s admired as a teacher, a gifted stills photographer and a raconteur bar none. His dedication to the industry he holds so dear, shows no boundaries, and those who have had the opportunity and the pleasure to stand alongside him have reaped the benefits of his experience and his wisdom, both of which he shares unselfishly. “Waggers” as he is affectionately known has been entertaining us all for many years. Keith Wagstaff has great joy in taking the time to talk and listen to all those who share his passion and show interest in his world. The world of Cinematography.