VALE – Ron Windon ACS

It is with great sadness I advise you of the passing of our beloved Ron Windon ACS after a battle with illness.

Ron was a friend and colleague to all, he was a mentor, advisor and spiritual leader of the ACS, whose contributions and forward thinking enabled the Society to become one of the foremost in the world.

His memory will live on in many ways, including the dynasty of cinematographers carrying the Windon name.

Ron was a fine man, loved and respected by all, and our collective thoughts are with Cathie Windon and the Windon clan at this very sad time.

Ron Johanson OAM ACS
National President

Ron meant so much to so many, particularly within the ACS. His stories and wonderful sense of humour endeared him to all who knew him.

He leaves a lasting physical memory with both his Image Makers book, given to every new member and his development of the ACS Hall of Fame display.

David Wakeley ACS

Ron’s contribution to the ACS has had such a large impact over the years that a previously named award now bears his name – The Award for outstanding service to the Australian Cinematographers Society and the Australian Film Industry.

It was renamed the Ron Windon ACS Contribution Award for outstanding service to the Australian Cinematographers Society and the Australian Film Industry in 2014 to recognise the outstanding contributions from one of the founding fathers of the ACS, the man who is now our Historian, Ron Windon ACS.

In May 2014 at the National Awards for Cinematography there were four worthy recipients and they included the very man the award was named after, Ron Windon ACS.

Ron Windon ACS
Inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame – 2005
Ron’s Father Fred Windon was the well respected Chief Electrician at Cinesound Studios from 1947/48 to 1958. With the advent of television in 1956, Ron joined Cinesound in the Lighting Department under his dad alongside fellow gaffers Sid Mayo, Roy Crellin and Mark Wisken. Ron was always keenly interested in photography, particularly after being presented with a Kodak 620 folding camera on his fifteen birthday by Cinesound Camerman – Ron Horner, Bebe Whiteman and Keith Loone. Then in 1949 whilst working as an assistant projectionist to Stuart Ralston at the Kings Theatre at Bondi Beach they screened the film “The Third Man”, Ron was awestruck by the magnificent cinematography of Australian cinematographer Robert Krasker BSC ASC and from thereon dreamed of getting behind a motion picture camera himself. Krasker went on to win the Academy Award in 1950 and became the first Australian Cinematographer to win the Oscar for cinematography.

Finally, Ron’s dream of being a cinematographer came to fulfillment in 1960 with Bob Feeney ACS departed Movietone News to take up a p[osition with ABC-T. Ron promptly applied for the position vacated by Bob and was constantly on the phone pestering the Chief Cameramann – Syd Wood. Syd was reluctant at first, but finally relented and gae Ron the job. Ron was promoted to Chief Cameraman in late 1963 following Syd’s move to producing and editing the television series “On This Day” and “A Year to Remember. Then in 1968, Eric Porter Productions at North Sydney offered Ron a position as a DOP. In 1971 at the request of Eric Porter, he also began directing, but soon missed being behind the camera lens and working with light, as his first love was cinematography.

In 1973 he resigned and went freelance, which eventually led to him establishing his own production company and successfully produced many television commercials and documentaries both nationally and internationally, often shooting for Ad Agencies in Paris, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Tokyo, Manila & KL. Ron has won many Awards in the US, UK and Australia for his cinematography and directing. In 1973 he directed a TVC for the product Uncle Sam Deoderant title “You need Uncle Sam with a young David Gribble shooting for him. In 1986 it became the first Aussie commercial to be inducted into the Clio International Hall of Fame in the USA.

Ron joined the ACS in 1960, was accredited in 1967 and holds Accreditation Certificate No. 70.

Ron has served on many committees of the ACS, and is a past NSW State and National President. During his term in office as President in 1970 and 1971 he and his fellow committee members conceived the original format of today’s ACS Awards System. Since then, Ron has constantly maintained a strong interest in the Society and was made a Life member in 2010.

Ron Windon ACS, was one of the highest profile director/dp’s from this era.

After the beginnings of his career at Cinesound, Movietone and Eric Porters’, he shot over 2500 television commercials and employed almost everyone that ever existed in the industry for close to 35 years.

Times change, Ron used to wear a suit to set and shot with an ARRI 2C for most of his career.

Ron Windon ACS (top of car far right) in his Movietone days.