Peter Menzies Snr ACS (d.2014)

Peter Menzies Snr ACS was a highly regarded Sydney based cinematographer whose career spanned many decades.

After leaving school in 1952, Peter’s first job was an entry level position in dispatch at film laboratory Kinelab where he was responsible for deliveries and a variety of office tasks.

Peter advanced to film handling and then gained experience in the darkroom. Utilizing external contacts made at Kinelab, Peter was able to secure his next job; a camera and editing assistant at local company, Kingcroft Productions, where he was introduced to instructional and training films, documentaries and cinema commercials.

During ten years at Kingcroft, Peter was able to climb the proverbial camera department ladder, first gaining experience as a camera assistant, then camera operator and finally as a cinematographer.

This era of film production maintained a “studio system” where technicians were employed full time by a number of independent production companies. However, such was Peter’s reputation, he was often asked for and “loaned” to some of the competing companies.

In 1963, Peter left Kingcroft and became one of the first freelance cinematographers in Australia. He didn’t have to wait long for work as he quickly secured the 2nd unit cinematographer position on the feature film “They’re a Weird Mob”. This was followed by a pilot episode of “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo”, and subsequently seventy episodes plus the feature film – “Skippy & the Intruders”.

Peter then looked to the expanding tv advertising world and formed the Jaffa picture company. The success of this company engaged him for many years and took him to locations all over the globe.

Peter was an admired pioneer of the Australian film industry and the Australian Cinematographers Society is happy to induct him into the ACS Hall of Fame.