President’s Blog – August 2011

Greetings ACS colleagues

SMPTE 2011 Wrap Up

SMPTE 2011 is now behind us and it was a very successful event, not only for the tireless work of all the SMPTE team, but the ACS as well. We hosted six specific “special” sessions and they were all very well attended and received positive and generous feedback.

It was certainly very generous of the speakers; Pieter de Vries ACS, Simon Harsent, Tom Gleeson, Jules O’Loughlin ACS, Alister Grierson, Simon Thomas, Jason Hargreaves, Grant Marshall, Ben Nott ACS, George Liddle, John Stokes ACS, Mark Wareham ACS, Matthew Horrex ACS, Allan Collins ACS, Renee Brack and Peter James ACS ASC who gave so freely of their time. The ACS booth, situated next to WIFT, was manned by members of the NSW Branch under the leadership of David Lewis ACS.

I had the opportunity between the ACS Sessions to help out on the booth, and it was great to be in a position to assist and answer questions about the Society, for a number of people who had not heard of us. I assure you that now, thanks to David Lewis ACS, Franc Biffone, Louis Puli, Calvin Gardiner ACS, Tony Gardiner, David Burr ACS, David Wakeley ACS, Tom Gleeson and many others, they are not only well informed, but have some of our merchandise to remind them just who we are and what we represent.

Our National Sponsors were also very supportive, Panasonic supplied 3D monitors and glasses for the 3D Session and Panavision & Sony provided us with display equipment for the booth.

Fujifilm kindly supplied the coffee and tasty little tarts. Someone told me they were tasty! It was a great pleasure to be a part of SMPTE 2011 and thanks must go to the SMPTE Board for their invitation to the Society to take part once again.

ACS Web Site

The ACS WEB SITE development continues, with the capacity as mentioned in a previous E News to renew memberships on line. It’s really easy, simply log on with your Username & Password. Please check your details are correct and update if necessary. Further information regarding renewals is available on line as well.

The Society counts on your renewals in order to continue the work at all Branch levels for the benefit of all members. The web site is a marvellous resource and I encourage each and every one of you to visit and utilise those resources. If there’s anything of an editorial nature you’d like to see on the web site please let me know.

Peter James ACS ASC Exhibition

ACS HQ in the very near future will feature a photographic exhibition by our very own Peter James ACS ASC. This will be an event not to be missed, as it will highlight Peter’s amazing collection of stills he has taken over the years. We’ll keep you advised as to the actual dates, when they are confirmed.

Apple Mac at the HQ

Now there is yet another reason to drop into the HQ. Members can now make use of a brilliant new Apple Mac edit suite. The system has been generously provided to the ACS by Apple Computer Australia exclusively for the use of members and tops off the collection of supporting facilities already in place in the HQ.

This Mac is about as good as it gets: A 12-Core Mac Pro with a Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch) topped up with 24Gb of RAM and the snappiest graphics card currently available. It has three of its drive bays holding 1Tb hard drives. Final Cut Studio2 and FCPX are installed.

So here’s the deal. Members will be able to use the system to edit their own reels, speccies, short films etc. but not anything of a commercial nature.

Members can preview and compile awards entries.

On clubhouse drop-in nights, members can share new tech related internet sites with each other and build a comprehensive collection of cinematography related bookmarks.

Members will be encouraged to load their production stills into the iPhoto library to run as a screensaver slideshow.

There are many applications for this new asset, and any suggestions would be appreciated. Our ACS – Apple system admin guy Pieter de Vries ACN (Acting Computer Nerd) and Apple’s Steven Hider (also an ACS member), will be ensuring that the computer is kept up to date with new system software.

So, if you’d like to book some time on the new system, contact our HQ Manager, David Lewis ACS and he’ll organize a time to suit.

2011 Accreditation Applications close September 9

Contact your Branch President, or the National President for an application form and initial advice. It’s important to remember that completed applications with entry material must be submitted to your State President by close of business Friday September 9, therefore please discuss your intention to apply with them by August 17, as it can be a time consuming process.

ACS Accreditation, or the right to use the letters “ACS” after your name is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a member of the Society. The Accreditation screenings will take place this September at the ACS HQ. This will be the first time the screenings will take place there and it certainly is a welcome milestone for the Society. Applying for Accreditation can in some ways be a daunting process, and to that end the Society can put you in touch with an Accredited member to give you advice and to take a look at your submission.

Or contact your branch President

2011 Awards Entries Open Soon

The 2011 Awards Entries will be open soon. The entries will be a traditional paper entry this year as this section of the web site is still under construction. Both entries and payment will be secure as they were last year. So, put your thinking caps on and submit your work for judging. Remember there is also a new category, for VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY, available for the first time this year. If this is your field of expertise, or you know of someone who works in the field, this is the category you should enter. The judging panel for this category will include members from the Visual Effects Society and Accredited ACS members, proficient in the genre.

  • State & Territory Awards »– The Australian Cinematographers Society Awards for Cinematography are one of the core functions of the ACS and a highlight on the ACS’ calendar. The ACS awards system is a national system, with awards representing members from all states and territories. They are held annually in November and December and are divided into four regions:

Kodak- ACS Masterclass

The second KODAK – ACS MASTERCLASS is taking place in Melbourne, under the watchful eyes of Victorian Accredited members, Ellery Ryan ACS, Brendan Lavelle ACS and Alex McPhee ACS. There are thirty-four enthusiastic applicants who are listening and learning from these gifted and inspiring cinematographers.

I would like to thank Kodak General Manager, Darren Swenson and the Kodak team comprising industry stalwart Leigh Christensen, Ingrid Goodyear, Lawrence Horsbrough and Deb Keating for their overwhelming support of this initiative. Thanks also to Alan Cole ACS, Jaems Grant ACS, John Wheeler ACS, Louis Puli and the Victorian Branch, along with all those Sponsors and crew members who are supporting the Masterclass being held at Swinburne School of Film and Television so generously. Without their commitment and support, it may not have eventuated at the level it has. Next stop, Queensland.

NFSA supports John Leake OAM ACS Award

The NATIONAL FILM & SOUND ARCHIVE are a strong and valued supporter of the Society and the industry overall. Acting CEO, Ms Ann Landrigan has advised me the NFSA will continue to support the John Leake OAM ACS Award to an Emerging Cinematographer, through to the year 2013. This is a significant commitment by the NFSA, one for which we are most grateful. The ACS looks forward to working with the NFSA on other projects, now and in the future.


CONGRATULATIONS to former head of the FFC, Brian Rosen on his election as President of the Screen Producers Association of Australia and also to Ms Sue Taylor on becoming Vice President. The ACS welcomes them both and trusts the opportunity exists for us to take part in fruitful dialogue with SPAA, in relation to Authorship & Moral Rights for cinematographers, which does not, at this point in time exist in Australia

ACS Womens Film Festival Initiative

An ACS WOMENS FILM FESTIVAL is something I’d like to see us put in place. This is an opportunity for us to recognise the great work done by our female members from all Branches and all genres. If there’s someone out there who’d like to assist me in getting this off the ground please email me. I’d love to hear from you.

On behalf of the National Executive and the members, I’d like to pass on our thoughts and prayers to Marianne & David Wakeley, Marianne’s mother and their families, on the recent loss of Marianne’s father.

Finally, special thanks to Simon Russell, Kirsty Stark, and Heidi Tobin for the new E News design, and to David Burr ACS & Tony Luu ACS for their tireless work correcting my mistakes on the National Sponsors logos layout.

If you would like anything specific covered in the E News or have any editorial suggestions, please let me know, as your feedback is important.

Until next time
Ron Johanson ACS
National President

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