President’s Blog – February 2011

Greetings ACS colleagues.

I want to begin by passing on our collective thoughts to all those who have been victims of the terrible floods in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. The tragic stories, along with the stories that make us all swell with pride are being delivered into our homes on a daily basis by many of our own members, some of who are also doing it tough and have experienced personal loss and the devastation that comes with that loss. Our thoughts are with you all at this time. All these natural disasters remind us constantly that we certainly do live in a country of extremes. But these extremes are tempered with the knowledge that the fighting spirit and the bond between all Australians will always help us to pull through.

The National HQ renovations are almost complete in readiness for the official opening on March 3. David Lewis and Dee Molineaux and the team of willing workers have done a fantastic job and the transformation is nothing short of startling. As I write this, the flash new carpet is going in, the painting is complete, the Archive is just about complete and haven’t Ted Rayment, David Wakeley and company done a great job with that. The Library is done apart from the window shutters, as is the Boardroom. Just waiting on the coffee machine and I have no doubt that Spider will step up and be our very own Barista! I encourage you all to drop in and take a look. It is well worth the visit. There are a number of events already planned for the HQ, so as they say… watch this space!

The 2011 ACS National Awards for Cinematography will be taking place in Adelaide on Saturday, April 30. All the information you require to book tickets will be on the web site shortly. Please support the Awards and make the trip to Adelaide. You won’t be sorry as I know the SA branch have some special events planned.

If you haven’t seen Black Swan, I think you should. It’s a great script, beautifully crafted with superb performances, and it was shot on 16mm by Matthew Libatique ASC. It looks fantastic.

Congratulations to the wonderful Jill Robb, who in the recent Australia Day Honours was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the Australian film and television industries as a Producer, through executive roles with industry organizations, and as a mentor to emerging filmmakers.

The ASC Awards are being held on February 13 in Los Angeles and I want to wish David Gribble ACS (JesseStone: No Remorse) and Steve Windon ACS (The Pacific) the very best of luck on behalf of us all. At the same presentation John Seale ACS ASC, Michael D. O’Shea ASC and Douglas Kirkland will also be honoured by their peers. It promises to be a great night.

Congratulations to the Oscar nominees for Cinematography; Danny Cohen BSC (The Kings Speech) Jeff Cronenweth ASC (The Social Network) Roger Deakins ASC BSC (True Grit) Matt Libatique ASC (Black Swan) and Wally Pfister ASC (Inception).

American Cinematographer magazine editors Stephen Pizzello and Jon Witmer are currently scouting movies at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Their favourite entries so far include “In a Better World,” “Circumstance” and “Mad Bastards,” shot by Allan Collins ACS. Mad Bastards was a Gold winner and received the Milton Ingerson Award at the SA/WA Awards for Cinematography and is in contention for a Golden Tripod at the National Awards.

“When we wake up in the morning, we have two simple choices: Go back to sleep and dream, or wake up and chase those dreams. The choice is yours…”

Until next time…
Ron Johanson ACS
National President

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