Vale – Richard Bailie-Mace ACS

June 3 1937 – November 22 2022
ACS Accredited #108 (March 1978)
ACS Life Member (2013)
ACS Hall of Fame (2014)

Written by Richard Wilmot: friend and former colleague at ABC TV 
Richard Bailie-Mace ACS worked in the film and television industry for over 53 years (September 14th 1953, to December 30th 2006).

On September 14th 1953, he started at the Commonwealth Film Unit in Burwood, where he worked as a Librarian and Neg Cutter alongside Les Wasley ACS and Bruce Hillyard ACS.

In 1954 he followed The Queen of England around Australia, which gave him his first location experience as a cinecamera assistant.

In 1955 he was a production assistant working with John Leake ACS OAM on a production called ‘The Coalminer’.

Between 1956 and 1964, he worked as a Cameraman for the Commonwealth Film Unit, now re-named Screen Australia.

In 1958/1959, he attended the first meetings of the ACS at The Film Club on George Street Sydney, with other members such as John Leake ACS OAM, Bill Terise and Ron Windon ACS.

In 1963 he officially joined the ACS as a provisional member.

In 1964 RBM (as he is known to his many colleagues) left Film Australia to join the ABC as a cine cameraman. He worked at the ABC in Sydney from 1964 to 1986.

Shooting news, current affairs and documentaries were his main focus. During that time, RBM would share much of his knowledge and experience with many junior staff. He was an amazing teacher and mentor to many camera assistants such as Don McAlpine ACS, John Seale ACS ASC, Geoff Burton ACS, Dean Semler ACS ASC, Steve Windon ACS ASC and Richard Wilmot. All have gone on to have successful and high-profile careers in the industry.

Richard Bailie-Mace has received 5 Golden Tripods and 5 Merit Awards from the ACS between 1977 and 1984. He volunteered his time to be Assistant Secretary for President Ron Windon ACS within the NSW Branch. Additionally, he volunteered as a judge and sat on numerous accreditation and awards panels during this time.

He was accredited with his ACS letters in March 1978 – Accreditation #108.

In 1986 Richard left the ABC to become a freelance cameraman, shooting for Towards 2000. Moving to Grafton, he continued to shoot local news for NBN and NRTV while also shooting documentaries for international producers from Canada and Austria in places such as New Guinea, Indonesia and South America.

On December 30th 2006, RBM shot his last news story for NBN Newcastle at 68, ending his 53-year cinematography career.

Many of his former assistants have gone on to have successful and perhaps higher-profile careers working in Features in Hollywood. Still, RBM remained a dedicated news, current affairs and documentary cinematographer for 53 years.

Richard was an extremely worthy recipient of ACS Accreditation, Life Membership and the ACS Hall of Fame for his contributions to the ACS and the Australian Film and Television Industry as a whole.

He truly embodies the spirit and identity of what it means to be a member of the ACS.

Richard leaves a legacy of image makers who continue to use the knowledge, skill and wisdom he generously shared with all. His love for the craft of cinematography, his passion for the art of filmmaking and his amazing people skills made him a very special person. He will be greatly missed.


Interview recorded at ACS Headquarters on April 5th 2018

Memorial service: 
Tuesday, December 6th 2022, at 2pm
St Nicholas Anglican Church
Corner of Lake and Bent Street
Tuncurry NSW 2428