President’s Blog – October 2010

We’ve certainly come a long way since this time last year. I’m certain we are all well aware of our achievements but we should make certain we don’t rest on our laurels, as there is so much more to be done. In many ways we’re still in our infancy, or at the very least we’ve become young adults.

I think it can be useful to remind people, in a subtle way, of those achievements. However, in many ways it’s more about what more we can do. The Society has limited resources and thanks to our National & State and Territory sponsors, who support us at every turn.

There are so many of you that have been directly instrumental in enabling the Society to grow to the levels it has. Thank you to each and every one of you for giving your time and energy so freely to the Society, both at Branch and National level.

We are a credible, International society that because of the way we have been so proactive, have gained the respect of all other Guilds and Societies worldwide. We must continue this growth for the sake of our members. A membership, albeit strong with a good foundation, that has experienced the effects of the downturn like most other countries. Compounded, with some short-sighted decisions by funding bodies and Government alike have not helped. I used to naively believe we, as an industry, were all in this together. Now I’m not so sure.

I spoke briefly about growth. With active committees at all levels of the Society, we can expect to continue, but only if the members are comfortable with us doing so. It’s up to us, as an Executive to foster this growth by putting in place those initiatives the members and others expect from us.

At this meeting last year our two main projects were the Web site and the National HQ. The web site went pear shaped due to no fault of our own and because of that, is 12 months behind schedule. I can assure you the Web committee have literally worked themselves into the ground, to bring this to fruition, but were cut off at the knees by an unethical supplier. That has now thankfully been resolved and we will commission a new supplier in the coming weeks. The delay has allowed us time to re think our web priorities and along with that, we have a more competitive bid from the new tenderers. My thanks to the web committee, Web Consultant; Craig Pickersgill, Co Chair; Heidi Tobin and Simon Russell, Kirsty Stark, Tony Luu ACS, Shane Mengaziol, Gary Scott and David Williams, for all their hard work, dedication and persistence. Thanks to FujiFilm, Panasonic and Panavision for their financial support of the website project. Along with all the members, their patience, understanding and commitment is most appreciated.

Apropos that commitment, I’m pleased to confirm that our Major National Sponsor, FUJIFILM have agreed to sponsor the upcoming Andrew Commis ACS Tour with screenings of “Beautiful Kate” in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra and Perth. Thanks must go to Marc Van Agten for his enthusiastic and generous support of the Society.

The National HQ is done and dusted. Our finance is in place and I would hope that we can all enjoy the benefits our National HQ will offer. In the coming months the interior of the building will begin to take shape, with construction of a screening room, meeting room, entrance and installation of the new Hall of Fame honour board, among other cosmetic changes. I do know the NSW branch would welcome any help from ACS members to help with painting, stripping etc. We have received a number of congratulatory messages from our fellow cinematographers, worldwide. Reason to smile I say!

We’ve realised that it’s important we understand that In these volatile times, that there can be difficulties being employed sufficiently enough from year to year. For those who find themselves in this position and are finding it hard to make ends meet, and are wishing to maintain their membership, the Society offers options for payment during these times. The Society values all of our members and will do what is reasonable for members to continue their membership of the ACS.

AC Magazine is truly world class industry based magazine that continues to elevate the status of the Society with every issue. The team that puts this world class magazine together is led by its Editor, Butch Calderwood OAM ACS, along with Business Manager, Craig Pickersgill. The AC Mag editorial team: Heidi Tobin and Tony Luu ACS. Regular contributing writers: Nicola Daley, Jan Reichle, Robert C. Morton, Manny Aston and Andrew Urban and not forgetting Austcine Publishing Chair, Ted Rayment ACS. This team continue to produce a magazine we should all be really proud of. Congratulations to you all and a very special acknowledgment to you Butch, for being the inspiration behind the front cover.

On a related matter, I want to congratulate our ENEWS Editor, Kirsty Stark for her outstanding work with the ACS E NEWS. This monthly publication and associated ENEWS BULLETINS has enabled the Society to reach not only a broad market, but a targeted demographic as well. Credit must also be given to Craig Pickersgill who set up the original E NEWS and the human dynamo herself, Heidi Tobin.

I would also like to pay tribute to our ACS Historian, Ron Windon ACS for the tireless work he does not only as our Historian, but with the Hall of Fame. He has redesigned the Hall of Fame honour board single handedly, incorporating bios and photo material of each recipient. The new honour board will take pride of place in the new National Headquarters for all to see and experience.

Finally, I thank you all for the honour you have afforded me, by allowing me to be your National President over the past twelve months. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience, but we still have much more to do and achieve together.

Ron Johanson ACS
Federal President

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