What a wonderful weekend for ACS Tasmania members at the 50th Annual Vic/Tas ACS Awards in Melbourne. I had the pleasure of being at the Memo Music Hall in St. Kilda on Saturday night to represent our branch on this special occasion. A good number of Tasmanian members and their guests were also there, along with Alex Sangston from Screen Tasmania – Platinum Sponsors of these Awards.
Being the 50th meant the theme was celebration and we certainly had plenty of reasons to do that, as eight Tasmanian members picked up a total of sixteen Awards, spread across a wide range of categories. It was a truly outstanding result and worthy recognition of the skills, diversity and creativity Tasmanian cinematographers hold!
In a year where our island state seems to have featured more than ever on screens small and large it was a fitting way for local cinematographers to be recognised for the excellent work they do each and every year.
Victorian President Warwick Field ACS and his committee did an amazing job of organising the event, which broke away from the traditional sit-down Awards format and encouraged a more relaxed and social occasion with lots of mingling, industry chat, live music and even some dancing! MC Brian Nankervis kept us amused throughout the night and Guest of Honour, David Eggby ACS made a great speech. All in all it was just a fun night.
A good addition to the Awards this year was a free mini ACS Film Festival which ran during the day. There you could watch 150 of the Awards entries in a longer form (around 4 minutes of each.) It was quite inspiring to wander from one screen to another to view the range of entries and also see your own work appear in the mix.
Congratulations to our eight Awards recipients - you did us proud, and thanks to all who entered this year. There was some amazing work on show. The standard of entries was consistently very high so if you didn't win an award please don't give up, it might be your time to shine next time!
Finally I just want to say a huge thanks to the Tasmanian sponsors and supporters, Screen Tasmania, Southern Cross Television, Ignite Digi, Saffire Resort, Henry Jones Hotel and TT Line. What a great bunch and thanks for your ongoing support!
JOSHUA LAMONT was particularly successful winning Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards in the Corporate and Educational Film category, plus a Gold Award in Local Advertising and a Silver Award in National/International Advertising. This is an amazing result, given Joshua’s work was up against a large number of very high-end and big budget productions.
The Gold Award in Corporate was for The Hothouse, a unique social engagement event, that brought together a range of thinkers from around the country, and the state. Joshua was tasked with documenting the build of The Hothouse over 2 weeks, and the 3-day event to present at the final public forum.
In the Local Advertising Category Joshua received Gold for Unica Wealth a beautifully crafted 90 second commercial that aimed to differentiate the Unica brand from the 'big 4' banks.
As the winner of 5 individual Awards Josh certainly had a high profile at the ceremony!
|Link to Unica Wealth »|
|Link to The Hothouse »|
Launceston based ACS member, ANDREW QUAILE, also succeeded in the Local Advertising Category winning Silver and Gold.
Both were visually stunning 90 second Commercials Andrew filmed on Flinders Island.
For anyone who’s visited Flinders Island you will love Flinders Island Wave. It's a great take on the famous friendly wave people give you when driving anywhere on the Island.
Taste of Flinders features the wonderful local produce you can enjoy when visiting - including crayfish. lamb, abalone and honey. Tough gig Andrew!
|Link to Flinders Island Wave »|
|Link to A Taste of Flinders »|
Another Launceston based cinematographer, DAMON HEATHER, won the Gold Award in the Student Film category for Waiting for Angel.
This was a Wide Angle Tas - 'Raw Nerve' short film about a teenage girl being pushed to the brink when assessing if she's still safe living at home.
Most of this film was shot in the old abandoned Devonport Hospital which made for a very gritty urban grunge look.
We think it's the first time an ACS Tasmania member has ever won in the Student Film Category. It was great that Damon could be at the ceremony to receive his award in person.
Waiting for Angel is currently doing the rounds at various film festivals, so isn’t available online yet. When it is we’ll be sure to share it with you.
Well known Tasmanian wilderness and wildlife cinematographer JOE SHEMESH won both Gold and bronze Awards in the Nature and Wildlife cinematography category. Bronze was for Kunanyi, an ongoing project Joe is working on that captures the forces of nature that have shaped the majesty of the Wellington Ranges over millennia.
Joe’s Gold Award was for Sixteen Legs. Four years in the making, this is the recently completed and soon to be released documentary on giant Tasmanian cave spiders. It is an incredible film. You may remember the making of this documentary and some of Joe's stunning images featured in our own AC Magazine last year.
|Link to Kunanyi »|
TOM WAUGH from Ignite Digi won a Silver Award in the Experimental and Specialised Cinematography category for Destination Trail – Tasmania, a film about the brand new mountain bike track near Derby in NE Tasmania. Tom and Chris Fox did all the aerial work on this project and flew a Red Epic on some challenging lines to chase down the mountain bikers.
Tom won a second Silver Award in the Wildlife and Nature category for Tarkine , a video made for the Bob Brown Foundation in and around the Tarkine wilderness. This was also shot on Red Epics with MoVI gimbals on ground and in the air.
|Link to Tarkine »|
|Link to Destination Trail - Tasmania »|
Tasmanian Cinematographers currently living and working overseas also featured at the Vic/Tas 50th ACS Awards. Two former Southern Cross Television cameramen shone.
Now based in Thailand, MARK DOBBIN, won two Silver Awards in the Current Affairs category for long-form stories he filmed for Al Jazeera’s ‘101 East’ program. Mark travels throughout Asia and does some amazing feature stories that have picked up numerous ACS Awards in recent years. Here are the links to his winning stories from this year.
|Link to Becoming Pacquaio »|
|Link to Orangutan Whisperer »|
BEAU MOLLOY is also a serial ACS Award winner. Now working freelance from Los Angeles (see article in October edition of Clips), Beau won the Gold Award in the Entertainment and TV Magazine category for a CNN International film he shot in Africa titled On the Road – Ethiopia. The film deals with Ethiopia’s mix of cultures and religions and its desire to become a technological leader in Africa.
|Link to On the Road - Ethiopia »|
Normally Beau is never able to actually attend the Awards but he made up for it this year! Beau was joined by his wife Brooke, his parents and close family friends.
Finally, ACS Tas President, PETER CURTIS ACS, won the Silver Award in the Entertainment and TV category for Saltwater Drovers, an ABC Landline story filmed on Robbins Island near Smithton. The story features a mob of 800 Wagyu Beef cows as they are mustered from the island across wide salt water channels at low tide. This story also features some great drone work from the boys at Ignite Digi, Rian Taylor and Gene Miller.
|Link to Saltwater Drovers »|
I first picked up a DSLR in 2009 while working as a graphic designer for a publishing company in the UK. I disliked my job and I found wildlife photography to be a really great way to focus my creative energies into something that I enjoyed. Eventually I couldn't stand that job any longer so I quit!
When you make a change to your life like that people are often full of advice about what you should do next, and one of the common things that people say to you is "what would you do if money wasn't an issue". I figured that if money wasn't an issue and I could do whatever I wanted to, I'd be working on blue-chip wildlife documentaries, specifically Attenborough docs. That would pretty much be the best job I could possibly imagine.
So with this long-shot in mind, but with no real idea of how to achieve it, I moved back to Tassie with the support of my amazing partner Helen, so that I could study science and journalism at the University of Tasmania.
I didn't really tell many people about what I wanted to do because it seemed like a ridiculous dream, but I figured that anywhere between where I was at and that ultimate goal would be better than going back to a job I didn't find fulfilling.
What seemed like a risky decision at the time was ultimately the best one I ever made. A friend I met through Uni, Andy Terrell and I started a small production company called Crow's Nest at the end of our degrees. The name is a reference to the location of our office and our history of sailing together.
In 2015 we got the opportunity to be involved with the Ammonite Films production "Attenborough's life that glows", filming the Tasmanian sequences of Noctiluca scintillans blooms, cave glow worms and ghost fungi, with photographers Ian Stewart and Jonathan Esling. It was challenging, exciting and the realisation of something that had been put in motion years earlier when I decided to quit my job and leave the UK.
Currently, in addition to commercial jobs, we're working on our first major independent project which has introduced us to the world of vertical caving. So far it's been thrilling and the limitations placed on the gear we can take with us is really forcing us to find creative ways of shooting. I don't know where that project will take us but it's an exciting challenge and I feel incredibly lucky to have a job that allows me access to such incredible experiences.
|Check out Frasers stunning Show Reel here »|
Earlier this month we ran a local event in Hobart with Dan Fletcher who works for equipment distributor, Blonde Robot, based in Melbourne.
Over 30 interested members and guests came along to check out the broad range of Atomos monitors/recorders and in particular, learn about high dynamic range (HDR) and how it is going to affect the industry in the years ahead. Dan’s presentation was very informative and we all went away with a much better understanding of what HDR is and how it can be applied to the work we do now, and into the future. A lot of cameras are currently capturing HDR with Log or RAW but until now it hasn’t been possible to view the large contrast range on traditional monitors.
Everyone enjoyed the hands on with the latest Atomos products like the Shogun Inferno and Flame to see HDR in action. A number of ACS members brought their cameras along to hook them up with these screens and it was wonderful to view the output on these state of the art devices. There was also plenty of time to network after the event.
Dan will most likely be back in 2017 with a wider range of industry products Blonde Robot supply. We will try and tag this event in with a major camera supplier like Panasonic and/or Canon and turn it into a mini equipment expo that we will run in both Hobart and Launceston. We will keep you posted.
A big shout out to ACS Tasmanian Vice President Tom Waugh for organising this really worthwhile event. Thanks also to new ACS member Fraser Johnston for providing the event venue at Crows Nest Studio’s in the old Peter Johnston’s sail loft.
© 2017 Australian Cinematographers Society