Syd Wood ACS

Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 1997

Syd Wood joined Movietone News in 1931 and was originally employed in the editing room, advancing to Editor. In 1944 during WW2 Syd volunteered and joined the army and because of his film experience Syd was attached to the Military History Division of the AIF as a cameraman with the rank of Sergeant. Syd was then sent to New Guinea to cover the war against the Japanese invasion.

In 1945 just prior to the end of the war Syd was returned to Australia from New Guinea with the illness Scrub Typhus. He was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant, he then rejoined Movietone in the editing room, but after a short while was assigned to the camera department under Chief Cameraman Eric Bierre.

As a side note, at the Annual Anzac Day March that both Cinesound and Movietone would film, Syd would go to Ron Horner, Cinesound’s Chief Cameraman and ask, “Got a zac for an old Digger?” Ron would graciously hand over sixpence to Syd. This practice continued between these good friends well into decimal currency time.

Syd took over as Chief Cameraman when Eric Bierre resigned in 1950. Syd remained as Chief Cameraman until late 1963 when he returned to the editing room to supervise production of the television series “On This Day” and “A Year to Remember”. Syd was a Newsreel legend, and it was he and his brother Ross’s story that inspired Phil Noyce to make the feature film NEWSFRONT.

In 1958 Syd Wood, Keith Loone, Ron Horner, Bede Whiteman, Ross Wood, Reg Perier, Jack Fletcher, John Leake, Arthur Higgins, Jack Gardiner, Gus Lowry and Bill Trerise were all part of the founding committee of the ACS with Syd being elected as the society’s first President on Dec 8, 1958.

Syd served as ACS President for 5 years – 1958 to 1963.

Syd was a great newsreel cameraman, a much loved and admired character, and a legend in his own lifetime.