President’s Blog – January 2011

Greetings ACS colleagues.

2011…Here we go, once more into the breach!! I wish you all a safe, happy and prosperous New Year with plenty of work for us all, and perhaps a change in legislation that will bring more work to our beleaguered industry.

The open letter regarding this change that I sent to the Prime Minister and others, received only one reply on December 10, not directly from the Prime Minister but from Carl Green, who is the Policy Adviser and Speech Writer to the PM. His comment was; “Thanks Ron. We are looking at this very carefully.”

You can read my letter on the ACS web site;, and I welcome your comments. I must say that while we are not a politically motivated Society we must nevertheless be prepared to put our point of view forward to our political leaders, particularly when it involves issues that could affect not only ACS members, but the sustainability of our industry.

The official opening of the new National HQ is only around 10 weeks away, so work has begun in earnest on the renovations. Project Manager, David Lewis ACS, along with Andy Taylor ACS and Tony Moss removed existing glass partitions in preparation for painting and installation of new carpet and IT outlets.

Those involved in the “Renovation Rescue” are working to a set of design plans by Art Director, Dee Molineux. Heidi Tobin’s father, Tony Johnson has inspected the building for our IT requirements and ACS Historian, Ron Windon ACS has decided where the ACS Hall of Fame will be positioned. Peter Coleman ACS and legendary gaffer, Johnny Morton have both assisted us with their time and energy, which is most appreciated. Peter had the opportunity of a trip to the tip…and jumped at it! Johnny Morton went back in time and crawled around ceiling cavities to move and install new power points. Thanks heaps guys!

We need volunteers to help with many jobs, large and small. If you think you can help, even for an hour, contact David Lewis ACS at [email protected] He’ll arm you with a paintbrush, hammer, mop, saw, glue and various sized spanners and screwdrivers. Please use them wisely.

The ACS PATRON WALL OF CAN DO was launched in December and we’ve had a number of positive responses already. If you wish to become an ACS NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS PATRON simply go to the web site or contact me at pres[email protected]. Every little bit will help, I assure you.

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has announced their nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Television for this year’s ASC Awards. Congratulations to our very own, Stephen Windon ACS and David Gribble ACS on both being finalists in the Television Movie/Mini Series category.

Stephen Windon ACS – The Pacific: “Okinawa”

David Gribble ACS – Jesse Stone: No Remorse

Jon Joffin – Alice: Episode 2

“The level of artistry and innovation in television cinematography has never been higher than it is now,” says ASC president Michael Goi. “Narrowing down the field to these nominees was difficult given the general excellence of the submissions.”

The 25th Annual ASC Awards will be held on February 23, 2011 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom. A complete list of nominees can be found at:

Well done Steve and Gribs, we’ll have everything crossed for you! John Seale ACS ASC will receive his ASC Achievement Award on the same evening.

Congratulations also to Cinematographer, Neale Maude who received a prestigious Walkley Award for the Four Corners program, “A CAREFUL WAR.”

This was one of the most demanding stories that Neale Maude had ever shot. For most of his four weeks in Afghanistan, he patrolled on foot with the soldiers day and night, in 48-degree heat, carrying 20-plus kilos of camera equipment, water and body armour.

There was the constant danger of improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire. Two soldiers from his compa ny were killed during his time there. The story that Maude brought back helped make the war in Afghanistan less abstract for viewers, showing the day-to-day lives of the soldiers in the Miribad Valley, the extraordinary landscape and the inherent dangers of modern warfare.

Add to this the fact that Neale was both Producer and Cameraman on the story. He has been a Senior Cinematographer at Four Corners for 15 years and has also worked on drama, documentaries and has been Director of Photography on several award-winning short films. He worked for four yea rs in the ABC`s London bureau, covering major stories including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the revolution in Romania, Afghanistan and the break-up of Yugoslavia. Maude has been nominated twice before in this category: this is his first win.

As you should all be aware, the Society is introducing VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY as an ACS Awards category, on a trial basis for this years State & Territory Awards. I remind you of this at this time as I’ve just seen TRON 3D, shot by Claudio Miranda ASC. This is quite a remarkable film and the use of 3D and CGI is breathtaking. If you have time, take a look at it and also don’t forget THE TOURIST shot by John Seale ACS ASC.

Finally it would be remiss of me not to comment on the most recent issue of AC Magazine. It just seems to get better and better. Great articles, solid technical information and real humanity. Editor, Butch Calderwood OAM ACS and his entire team do a fantastic job and I for one am most grateful. What a great read! Looking forward to the boxed set of the first 50 issues, which should be a real beauty.

Until next time…
Ron Johanson ACS
National President

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