Butch Calderwood OAM ACS – 8th May 2021

Butch Calderwood OAM ACS

With enormous sadness the ACS reports the death of one of our greats, Butch Calderwood OAM ACS aged 91. Butch was the longest serving editor of Australian Cinematographer Magazine along with decades of service to both the NSW and National levels of the ACS including many years as National Treasurer. Butch left for the UK when he was 19 and became the BBC’s First Film Trainee. His career allowed him to see first hand the historical events that shaped the world in the second half of the 20th Century.

While the bulk of his career was spent with the BBC where he shot Current Affairs, Documentary and Drama. He kept returning to Australia with stints at the ABC, Channel 9 and Channel 7 Network where his final full time role was Head of the Camera Department.
While he was comfortable mixing with kings, presidents and Hollywood royalty he was always happiest with his fellow cinematographers and crew. To the many who were lucky enough to be mentored by him, not only did he shape their careers, but he also helped shape their palate and sense of humour.

Butch’s life took him to every single country on earth and as he now sets sail on the final journey to the undiscovered country we know he will be quickly finding the best restaurant, gathering some friends and telling great stories with a twinkle in his eye.

On behalf of all ACS members;
Thank you so much for so many things, vast and varied. You always carried yourself with so much dignity and our collective respect for you will always remain immense. You will be missed by so many and the ACS will be much poorer without you.
RIP Butch.


“O Death! the poor man’s dearest friend,
The kindest and the best!
Welcome the hour my aged limbs
Are laid with thee at rest!
The great, the wealthy fear thy blow
From pomp and pleasure torn;
But, oh! a blest relief for those
That weary-laden mourn!”

Poet : Robert Burns


Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President
Australian Cinematographers Society