Laurence McManus ACS is an accomplished Cinematographer, teacher and inspirational mentor. At the age of nineteen he started working as a stills photographer and freelance film camera assistant in Canberra.
In the early 1970s Laurence embarked on his cinematography career with the ABC in Sydney as a cinecamera assistant on an initial three month contract. He advanced within the ABC and became a full-time cinecamera assistant. He was promoted to Cinematographer in July 1974 and in December of that year The ABC News Department chose Laurence to travel to Darwin to cover ‘The Cyclone Tracy Story’.
After returning to Sydney, Laurence was immediately moved into the TV Features
Department where he pioneered the innovative cinematography style needed for the highly successful motoring shows of ‘Torque’ and ‘Marque’ hosted by Peter Wherret and shot around Australia and internationally.
Encouraged to join the ACS by his ABC peers Bob Feeney ACS and Richard Bailie-Mace ACS, Laurence was soon collecting Gold and Silver awards both at the State and National level.
Between 1991 and 2001 Laurence received over eleven awards including in 1998 the prestigious Walkley Award for best Cinematography – ‘A Cold Wind in August’ (Australian Story). In 1993 Laurence received a special mention for Excellence in Photography at the Prix Leonard International Pama-World festival for ‘ET Please Phone Earth’. In 1995 Laurence won a Gold Medal for Best Cinematography at The New York Festival for ‘Electric Skies’ produced by the Discovery Channel. Laurence has served as ACS NSW and National Vice President and on multiple ACS committees. Laurence’s ACS accreditation was received in 1991, the same year as his first National Gold Tripod for his work on ABC TV’s ‘Bush Tuckerman – Wildman’.
His credits include, Australian Story, A Big Country, Four Corners, Peaches Holiday, Peaches Australian Cites, The Bush Tuckerman, The Antarctic, News and Current Affairs and In 1996 he was the Director of Photography on ‘Fallen Angels’ and ‘Monologues’ for the ABC TV Drama Department.
Laurence has never sought out recognition, has never wanted to be in the lime light, he just believed in doing good work and displays great humility to this day.
Laurence McManus ACS is certainly deserving of a place in the ACS Hall of Fame.