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President's Blog - August 2013

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Greetings ACS members and colleagues;

SMPTE 2013 was a fantastic event, one that the Society is very proud to have been a part of. There were many highlights including of course the great Panel sessions hosted by the Society. Starting with “What Rules – Creativity or Technology” to “The Future Vision”, followed by Kim Batterham’s DSLR Masterclass, the screening of “Show me the Magic” and then the popular “Discussions from the Ladies Lounge”, all provoked great interest and there was good positive feedback and discussion emanating from all the sessions. The “Fury Road – The Dust Clears” session was an informative insight into the machinations of life when shooting such a large budget film. My thanks to Renee Brack, Calvin Gardiner ACS, Erika Addis, Cathy Henkel, and all the speakers who took part and contributed to the enormous success of this series of collaborative panels.

One must not forget the incredible work done by the SMPTE members and those from Expertise Events who coordinated the exhibition itself, particularly David Wheeler from SMPTE and Lee Jackett from Expertise Events. To the Exhibitors, many of whom are our sponsors, it was great to see so many of you there, and the size of the various stands, along with the equipment and information available was very impressive, and confirmed that anyone attending was certainly spoilt for choice. The Fujinon stand was, as always well populated, nothing at all to do with the coffee and cake readily available! Our own ACS stand, manned by members of the NSW Branch under the leadership of David Lewis ACS was a great success, with many new members signing up and our ACS merchandise proving very popular. It is these events that continue to raise the profile of the Society and increase awareness no end. Thanks to all the NSW members who gave of their time so freely on every day of SMPTE 2013.

A real highlight for me was seeing Phil Balsdon at SMPTE. Phil was totally absorbed in all that was going on…it was a delight to have a few words with him.

Long may SMPTE continue as it is really looked forward to, and supported by so many industry practitioners.

On a more serious note an issue has been brought to my attention that I feel should be discussed and that is:

Bullying: noun - The use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others.

I raise this topic, as I now believe the practice happens not only in the wider community but unfortunately also within the film production industry.

Personally I find this intolerable, given the film and television industry has always been a close-knit community, and in this day and age I thought this abhorrent behaviour had disappeared.

Sadly the fact of the matter is that it does still exist, and the ACS, as an equal opportunity organisation does not condone nor will it tolerate this practice.

I would ask anyone whom suspects that bullying is taking place, whether to themselves or a colleague, to report it to someone in authority, maybe the Producer and/or Department Head and request they investigate the matter.

Other options available could be:
-Seek advice from outside the workplace.
-Speak to the person about how you are feeling and request that they stop.
-Seek a meeting with the person and ask another person to be present.
-Keep a journal of the bullying incidents.

We can no longer stand idly by and let this practice continue, as saying nothing will not fix the problem. It must be brought to the attention of others so it can be dealt with.

It is only fair and reasonable that all of us should feel safe in our workplaces. Below are a few websites that may prove helpful:

Until next time.
Ron Johanson ACS


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