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President's Blog - September 2011 - National AGM Report

Before I begin, I would ask that we all stand, observe a minute's silence and remember those we lost this year.
John Bowring ACS, Bill Hunter, Mike Browning, Michelle Fawdon, Paul Lockyer, Gary Ticehurst, John Bean and in recent days, ACT Accredited member, Eric Kenning.

A warm welcome to you all, especially to Andrew Hyde who joins us as the NT Branch President, taking over from Ian Redfearn, who has been instrumental in helping the Branch continue to grow. I thank Ian on behalf of us all for his contribution.

Since our Half Yearly in Adelaide it has continued to be a very fruitful and progressive time for the Society.

We have almost retained the same total National sponsor dollar as last year, even in these still unpredictable and volatile economic times. The ACS brand remains strong, viable and equitable. As additional proof of this the National Film & Sound Archive have signed on as sponsor of the NFSA- John Leake OAM ACS Encouragement Award to an Emerging Cinematographer until 2013.

There are so many of you at this meeting, along with many others not present that have been instrumental in enabling the Society to grow to the level it has. Thank you to each and every one of you for giving your time, dedication and energy so freely to the Society, both at a Branch and National level.

It's imperative that this National Executive continue to be vigilant and be ready and willing to listen to our members and respond accordingly. Build on that and we'll be a stronger, member based Society. I urge you all to take the jobs on yourself, if need be, to gain the maximum benefit and overall awareness.

We've realized that it's important that we, as a Society understand that In these times, that there can be difficulties with consistent employment. For those who find themselves in this position and are finding it hard to make ends meet, but are wishing to maintain their membership, the Society offers options for payment during these times. The Society values all of our members and will do what is reasonable for members to continue their membership of the ACS.

AC Magazine

Our flagship, AC Magazine is a truly world class industry based magazine that continues to elevate the status of the Society with every issue. The team that puts this amazing magazine together is led by its Editor, Butch Calderwood OAM ACS. The AC Mag editorial team: Heidi Tobin and Tony Luu ACS. Regular contributing writers: Nicola Daley, Robert C. Morton, Manny Aston and Andrew Urban and not forgetting Austcine Publishing Chair, Ted Rayment ACS. This team continue to produce a magazine we should all be really proud of. Sadly two of the members have decided it's time to move on. Tony Luu ACS has worked diligently in so many areas of the Society and has come to the conclusion his time at AC Magazine must finish. Thank you from all of us Tony for your insight and your common sense approach to most things. Enjoy the time with Cathy and young Zac and may your career continue to prosper. To you Butch, a very special acknowledgment on the occasion of your retirement from AC Mag as it's Editor. You have raised the bar, been the inspiration and the guiding force behind each issue. AC Magazine will continue it's success because of the legacy you have left us. Thank you from all the members and all the readers.

Accreditations

This year, Accreditation screenings were held, for the first time, here at the ACS HQ. We had 9 applications for Accreditation. There were 4 successful candidates. They were: Aron Leong (QLD), Robert Hill (SA), Dan Freene (NSW) and John Bean (QLD). Our congratulations to these members who have earned the right to use the letters ACS after their name. It will be my great pleasure to present each of them with their Accreditation pin and certificate at their respective Awards presentations in November.

Wall of Can Do

The ACS Patrons Wall of Can Do is almost full and I am buoyed by the success of the initiative to date. There are still spaces available before we need to think about where Wall 2# could be located. Our most recent Patrons have been Kodak along with ACS stalwarts, Bill & John Lambert.

ACS Events

In some ways the biggest event of the year was SMPTE 2011, at which the ACS played a great part in the overall success. In total, we were responsible for 6 specific events:

Shooting DSLR's and beyond - big sensor video
Cinematographer; Pieter de Vries ACS and New York based photographer Simon Harsent

The DOP and the Production Designer
Ben Nott ACS, George Liddle; Production Designer
Moderator: Renee Brack from the Movie Network

MUSIC CLIPS: Director, Grant Marshall & Cinematographer, Jason Hargreaves

3D Panel - The Director/DOP relationship
Director, Alister Grierson, Cinematographer, Jules O'Loughlin ACS Commercial Director/Editor Simon Thomas and Moderator: Tom Gleeson.

Shooting Television Drama
Leading cinematographers; John Stokes ACS (Packed to the Rafters) Allan Collins ACS (3 Acts of Murder, Jandamarra's War), Mark Wareham ACS (Cloudstreet, Underbelly Files: Razor) and Matthew Horrex ACS (All Saints, Home & Away) reflected on their experiences and their respective methodology shooting television drama.

MASTERCLASS: "The WHY and The HOW " with legendary cinematographer Peter James ACS ASC. At times during this session you could have heard a pin drop, such was the interest in what Peter had to say.

All the sessions were extremely well attended, along with the ACS Booth, manned by David Lewis ACS and his band of merry men from the NSW Branch. There were a number of new memberships signed up and a quantity of ACS merchandise is now being worn around the fashionable areas of Sydney. Thanks must also go to Panasonic, Panavision, Sony and Fuji for their valuable assistance.

The ACS HQ continues to draw comment and praise from all those who have had the opportunity to pay a visit and enjoy the hospitality afforded them. We've had a great deal of enquiries from people interested in hiring the various "spaces" within the HQ. Pieter de Vries ACS and Phil Balsdon use the HQ on a regular basis for their various classes and workshops and Ashley Roan remains our full time tenant. The income from all this rental does assist us with some of our out goings, but we should always keep in mind that the HQ does have out goings that do need to be serviced.

Since the opening of the HQ, we've had Panavision use the space, a photographic exhibition by ACS member, Raeburn Trindall ACS, NSW Branch evening with Stephen Windon ACS, a Steadicam course with Phil Balsdon, regular meetings of the AMMPT and currently a photographic exhibition by Peter James ACS ASC. The NSW Branch use the premises on a regular basis for screenings, workshops and their own Branch meetings. In the near future John Ogden ACS will have an exhibition of his superb photography. Add to all this the support of Stephen Hider and Apple who have generously positioned a Final Cut Pro editing system in the Robert Feeney Archive area for the use of our members. I should make mention that the long awaited Final Cut Pro workshop will take place in October.

ACS HQ

My thanks, on behalf of us all go to our HQ Manager, the industrious Davis Lewis ACS, who has made the HQ his second home. Spider, thanks for your dedication and all your hard work. Thanks also to Ted Rayment ACS, David Burr ACS, David Wakeley ACS and all those NSW members who take it upon themselves to look after all our interests and help maintain the HQ. The results, as you can see, speak for themselves.

The thing I want to reinforce is that this National HQ, this Clubhouse belongs to us all. Every Branch and every member has a stake in it. We have these premises because as one, we believed it was time we did and that must never be forgotten.

What's Ahead for ACS

Because of what the ACS now represents, I believe we must always remain positive and to that end there are some projects approved and others for consideration over the next 12 months. They include:

ANNUAL STATE & TERRITORY AWARDS INCLUDING FOR THE FIRST TIME AWARDS BEING HELD IN WA.

ATTENDANCE AT CAMERIMAGE 2011, IN POLAND WHERE JOHN SEALE ACS ASC WILL BE PRESENTED WITH A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.

NATIONAL AWARDS, SYDNEY 2012 & CANBERRA 2013

IMAGO ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2012 IN FRANCE

INCREASED NATIONAL & INTERNATIOINAL AWARENESS OF AC MAGAZINE.

SUPPORT OF AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTION DESIGNERS GUILD INAUGARAL AWARDS

SUPPORT OF VARIOUS SMALL FESTIVALS AND COMPETITIONS.

SUPPORT OF AACTA, FORMERLY THE AFI, IN AN ADVISORY CAPACITY. BOTH MYSELF AND PETER JAMES ACS ASC ARE HONORARY COUNCILLORS OF THIS NEW ENTITY.

SUPPORT OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION HELD IN QUEENSLAND AND TO BE SEEN IN CANBERRA AND AT THE ACS HQ. DIRECTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHY: PERSONAL WORKS.

SUPPORT OF THE JOHN SEALE ACS ASC RETROSPECTIVE BY ANDREW URBAN TO BE HELD AT AFTRS ON NOVEMBER 6.

These are all very exciting initiatives, but it must be said there has to be an end benefit to the Society, our sponsors and our members.

Finances

In the past, our Federal/National finances have at times, been somewhat tenuous. We do show small profits, but the balance between progress and stagnation has been a delicate one. As I've indicated, there is much we still need to do, in order to ensure our absolute financial security, which in turn enables us to take advantage of every opportunity presented to us.

The generosity of the Branches must be acknowledged, particularly to those who have been in the position to contribute to the Wall of Can Do. Thank you for showing the confidence to reinvest your hard earned funds in the future of the National HQ.

Intellectual Property, Moral and Authorship Rights

I have over the past 12 months had a number of meetings both in person and over the phone with our legal advisor, Raena Lea Shannon from Frankel Lawyers regarding Intellectual Property, Moral and Authorship rights for cinematographers. I have stated in the past how complex the whole issue is, particularly for cinematographers here in Australia. This subject may never close, it may always be a work in progress simply because of the complexities of the law and the resources we do not have, to apply to the subject. I have contacted the World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, based in Switzerland, for their help and assistance and await a reply. The WIPO website makes for interesting reading http://www.wipo.int
It's also been suggested to contact Screen Rights Australia, for their advice, which I will do. The one real bonus is that we are Associate members of IMAGO and they are constantly lobbying and reviewing the issue as it is in Europe. There is no definitive solution at this stage except for hard work, lobbying and homework. My thanks to Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC and Dan Freene for their support.

with thanks...

In closing I would like to remind you all that we continue to be in a state of growth and change within the Society. This change will continue as we come to terms with ever changing technologies and the requirements of our members and indeed, the perception of who a cinematographer is and what is his job description. We need to remain diligent in order for us continue to give the members, sponsors and supporters a strong and cohesive ACS. We will need to be smarter in our thinking and we need to consolidate even further to ensure we remain financially secure for the future
My thanks to Ernie Clark ACS, David Wakeley ACS, Alan Cole ACS, Mylene Ludgate, Heidi Tobin, Ron Windon ACS, Simon Russell and all the Branch President's, Treasurers, Secretaries and Committees who all give so freely of their time and their expertise to make the Society what is today.
I thank you all once again for the honour you have afforded me, by allowing me to be your National President over the past twelve months. It's been a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience and I am very proud of the ACS itself, it's role within our industry, the generosity of it's members and the optimism we all have for the future.

Ron Johanson ACS
National President

 
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