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President's Blog - June 2011

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Greetings ACS colleagues,
It's certainly been a very busy time for the Society since our last E NEWS, with the promise of an even busier time approaching.

The 2011 State and Territory Awards entry forms will be available very soon. Now is the time to give consideration to what you think you will be entering this year, for the all important judging by your peers. There is a brand new category; VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY and the re introduction of an old favourite; MULTI CAMERA NEWS. The Awards Categories Committee has responded to the members and brought back the Multi Camera News category, so we're expecting to see many more entries from those of you involved in this genre. As for Virtual Cinematography, this is a category we believe deserves recognition for the dedicated individuals who work in this specialised genre. For more information go to the website and follow the links to Awards.

Accreditation Applications

ACS ACCREDITATION applications will be assessed in September, so please
if you wish to apply for Accreditation contact your Branch President or myself for an Application form. These are not available on line, only from the aforementioned people. However, there is plenty of information available on line to assist you with your application, or as mentioned previously, you can speak directly with your Branch President or myself.

John Bowring ACS

The JOHN BOWRING MEMORIAL service, held in Melbourne was attended by around 1500 people. This was a true testament indeed to the man many knew as Brolga, JB or simply John. JB was already an industry icon, he is now a legend.

The ACS held an informal gathering at the ACS HQ in Sydney on May 19 to celebrate JB's life with some of those unable to attend the Melbourne Memorial.

Sue Greenshields attended and was greeted with great love and warmth by all those who were there. John made such an impact on so many of us and his legacy will continue for many generations to come. The ACS has decided to name the TV STATION BREAKS & PROMOS awards category in John's honour, in perpetuity. We have also set up a fund in John's name to preserve the history of film, a subject close to his heart.

Should you wish to donate, please send to ACS National Treasurer;
Mylene Ludgate at 3 Heron Way, Hallett Cove S.A. 5158.

The Shadowcatchers

The production of the ACS photographic book, The Shadowcatchers, is moving along at a great pace. We are now at the stage of sourcing high resolution copies of the 350 photographs for inclusion, which have been selected out of the more than 4000 that were submitted to us. We have chosen images covering the period from 1901 to the present, not so much on the basis of the importance of any one individual (although there are 25 individual biographies in the book) but primarily because of what they reveal about the work of cinematographers over all these years and also because of photographic merit.

We are grateful that so many ACS members, and others took the time to send us their images. Some of you will no doubt be disappointed, as we cannot fit every photograph sent to us in the final edition of the book. I do hope you all understand that this is not intended as a sleight to anyone, nor is inclusion a value judgment the other way - it is simply a matter of what will tell the story. Photographic prints and slides will be returned you in good order and in a timely fashion. And, of course, the ACS now has a valuable digital archive of hundreds of Australian cinematographers, past and present.

I do thank you, in advance for your understanding. I can tell you that the date for advance orders of the Standard Edition and the signed & numbered Limited Edition of The Shadowcatchers will be announced soon. I can hear author, Martha Ansara breathing a huge sigh of relief.

SMPTE 2011

SMPTE 2011 will take place in Sydney at Darling Harbour from July 19 - 22. Once again the ACS will take part, delivering at this point in time, 6 specialised events, that will appeal to not only our ACS members but a broad cross section of the industry.

Those events include; 3D Panel - Director/DOP - A select panel of Directors
and cinematographers discuss the pros and cons of shooting in 3D. The restrictions and the benefits. Is it worth it and how does it affect the Director-DOP relationship?

Shooting Television Drama - A panel of Cinematographers talk about the time constraints, show examples of various set ups and explain solving the problem of how best to balance the visual storytelling with the budget. How much do you compromise and when do you say no?

Further information about the other ACS events at SMPTE is available on the ACS web site or the SMPTE web site.

International Cinematography Summit Conference (ICSC)

Over the period May 2 - 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, a small piece of history took place. It was at that time at the ASC Clubhouse that 57 delegates from 22 countries assembled for the first International Cinematography Summit Conference (ICSC). I was fortunate in being able to attend, along with Peter James ACS ASC representing the ACS.

This first Summit took place because of the changing face of cinematography in a landscape of technological change. We all needed to know and understand the role of the cinematographer and how we are perceived in this constantly changing environment in which we work.

The original agenda had been improved with the addition of delegate involvement by Chair, Michael Goi ASC and was a perfect balance between issues of technology and creativity. Some specific sessions were chaired by:
Fred Goodich ASC, Vilmos Zsigmond ASC, Denis Lenoir AFC ACS, Caroline
Champetier, the President of the French society and myself.

The fundamental question which seemed to dominate this memorable first summit for most of the four days was, directly or indirectly, how can the Societies increase communication between one another on a regular basis. Add to that, the desire and willingness to communicate to others within the industry and to those outside the industry as well.

Please go to the ACS web site to read my more detailed report of the ICSC Summit and feel free to contact me to discuss any aspect of it.

More fun in LA

I also had the opportunity to attend the LA screening of the historical drama IRONCLAD, which is the latest film shot by cinematographer David Eggby ACS. This is an amazing piece of work by David and looked fantastic on the big screen. Look out for it when it's released here.

I've never knocked back a feed. So, when a casual Saturday morning breakfast in LA was suggested by Brad Shield ACS, I jumped at it. A group of us; Dean Semler, David Eggby, Peter Moss, Brad Shield, Peter James, Mark Gollnicht and David & Margaret Lewis descended on the unsuspecting staff at The Griddle up on Sunset. How exotic! We tucked into pancakes, eggs in all forms and coffee. PJ held out for a cup of tea. I'm not convinced our American friends really know how to make a good cuppa, but Peter seemed happy enough. During and after breakfast we yapped on and on until we were asked to leave and then continued the conversation at the back of the restaurant, in the car park. It was a great morning and even greater to have us all together, even if it was for only a few hours.

The friendships you make in our industry, particularly between those who work in the camera department are what it's all about. That simple breakfast really brought it home to me.

Until next time…
Ron Johanson ACS
National President


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