Phil Pike ACS (1928-2001)

Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 1998

Phil born in Uxbridge, England Oct 19, 1928. In 1945 Phil’s father Richard Pike was assigned to travel to Sydney to open an Australian branch of his employer Blue Circle Cement. The Pike family then travelled to Sydney, where Phil now 17 years old, obtained employment as a message boy at Russell Roberts Photography, one of Sydney’s leading stills photographic studios. This studio specialised in glamour and fashion, and it was here that Phil learnt much about photography, the studio then started a film division to produce documentaries with Reg Perier at the helm and Phil assisting. In 1951 Phil resigned and joined Aust. Instructional Films a documentary production company owned by Lex Halliday, and remained there till 1957 when he received an invite to join Visatone Studios at Bondi Jct. Here he got his first taste of shooting TV commercials, operating for Ross Wood ACS and regularly getting the opportunity to shoot as DOP. In 1960 Lex Halliday was appointed as 2nd Unit Director on the US film “The Sundowners” and had Phil appointed as camera operator for 2nd unit DOP Skeets Kelly.

Phil then joined Eric Porter Studios in the early 60s, but left them in 1966 to travel with his wife and 3 young daughters to Canada after being offered the position of DOP at Canawest Studios in Vancouver. Phil remained in Vancouver till 1969 then returned to Sydney and rejoined Porters at their Nth Sydney Studio. After Porter’s folded in the early 1970s, Phil went freelance, then operated on the feature “Girl from Peking” for DOP Mick Von Bornemann ACS, then continued as a freelance cinematographer on TVCs and TV features until his death in 2001.

Films that Phil shot for TV included “Pip” (1972) “Pie ‘N’ Peas” TV Pilot (1976) “Mystery Island” (1980) “Run Rebecca Run” (1981) “Fluteman” (1982) “The Mystery at Castle House” (1982) “Platypus Cove” (1986) “Raising the Roof” (Doco).

In 1972 Phil was awarded an ACS Golden Tripod and Milli Award for his cinematography of the film David & Pyewacket. Phil was awarded ACS accreditation certificate No. 41 in 1963 entitling him to use the letters ACS after his name and inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame in 1998. An avid ACS member, he served on ACS Committees in various roles from 1969 through to 2000. He was Vice President of the NSW Branch 1976 – 1987 and Federal Treasurer 1998 – 2000.

Phil was a very private man, and much respected by all that knew and worked with him. He died in hospital of Leukaemia on April 6, 2001.