Peter won the 2006 Academy Award (Scientific & Engineering) with his company Kaleidoscope (shared with Laurie Frost) for the development of the remote camera head known as the ‘hot-head’. Peter started at ATN 7, in 1958 as a seventeen year old and it took him only ten days as an assistant to get the opportunity to film News as a cameraman. In 1959 he moved to Cinesound to shoot their cinema newsreel and the TCN9 News. Joining Movietone in 1962 and returning to Cinesound in 1963 to film documentaries.
At the end of 1964 Peter travelled to Europe with another former Cinesound cameraman Ross Blake. To gain an ACTT union ticket Peter initially worked for a short time as an assistant Editor for Rank/Gaumont’s Look at Life. He then became a freelance cameraman and worked on Goal! the film of the 1966 World Cup. With an introductory letter from Frank Killian of Movitone Sydney and his newly acquired Union Ticket he met with British legendary News Cameraman and head cameraman of British Movietone News which led to a job as cameraman with them. He focus-pulled on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. While shooting at MGM Studios he met the great Australian Cinematographer Robert Krasker who at the age of 35 had won the Oscar for The Third Man. Peter considered it an honour to meet him, and the pair bonded upon Krasker discovering Peter was an Aussie.
As 1st AC Peter worked on Donald Cammell’s and Nicolas Roeg’s Performance with Mick Jagger, then returned to Australian with Nicolas Roeg and Mike Molloy ACS BSC to work on Walkabout with Jenny Agutter and David Gulpilil. Peter then joined Ted Kotchefs Wake in Fright with Donald Pleasance and Chips Rafferty. He then worked on A Clockwork Orange doing the aerial photography and guested on Barry Lyndon . His first feature as DoP was Flame, followed by Full Circle with Mia Farrow, both directed by Richard Lonzcraine.
Peter returned to Australia for A Dangerous Summer with James Mason. He then photographer Monty Pyton’s The Meaning of Life in 1983, followed by The Razor’s Edge, starring Bill Murray. In 1985 he re-joined Nic Roeg for Insignificance starring Tony Curtis. In 1987 he shot Bruce Robinson’s cult classic Withal and I, which he describes the experience as ‘an absolute pleasure’. In 1988 Peter received a BSC nomination for A handful of Dust with Alec Guinness. Peter is also a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has been DoP on over 50 Cinema and Television films and worked on many commercials, which have been nominated and/or won British and International awards. In 2001, Peter won the BAFTA (British Academy Award) for the movie Longitude shot in 2000 and directed by Charles Sturbridge, then in 2002 won an AFI award for The Gathering Storm with Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave, directed by Richard Lonzcraine. Peter was 2nd Unit Director/DoP on Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men . He also worked on the films Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban and Sleepy Hollow. His most recent films as DoP being Dough and Absolutely Anything.
Peter has certainly had a very successful career since moving to the UK, but has never lost sight of his Aussie roots. He is a dedicated member of the ACS and keeps in regular touch with his cinematographer friends in Australia. Peter was proudly inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame in 2013.