Young Film Maker Following In Parents' Footsteps
Here is an extract from an article by Natasha Johnson from the ABC Backstory Blog.
When the 44th Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) National Awards were held in Hobart in May, three ABC News and Current Affairs camera operators were recognised for their work and, so too, was a talented teenage film maker with some fine ABC pedigree.
13 year old Maxim Hussey, the son of Queensland’s State News Editor Genevieve Hussey and Camera Operator Stephen Cavenagh, won the inaugural CineKids Gold Award for his film ‘Lego Adventure 3: Attack of the Giant Pig!'
“It was lovely to see Maxim get this award,” says Genevieve Hussey. “He works very hard on his films and he loves making something that kids will enjoy watching.”
The film made using Lego figures is about some criminals who steal a “growth ray”, zap a guinea pig (Maxim’s pet pig called Fonzie starred in this role) which grows into a giant creature and starts destroying a town until a hero comes along and saves the day.
“The best part about making films is not the film itself - it’s watching people react to what you have made. To see people laugh at your jokes is a feeling that I really love - that’s what drives me,” says Maxim Hussey.
He made his first film when he was six years old, working with his dad Stephen Cavenagh, a long serving ABC Camera Operator in the Northern Territory who now does some casual shooting for news and current affairs programs in Queensland.
“I think like most kids Maxim’s interests are sparked by what he’s surrounded by at home. I’m a camera operator and his mum’s a Journalist, so he’s around film makers all the time. We made a film together when he was six and it just grew from there. I bought him a little camera and he started making Lego stop motion animation films when he was seven,” says Stephen Cavenagh.
Maxim Hussey heads up ‘Scratch’n Productions’, which has a website showcasing the ten films he has made over the past seven years. Many of the films have won awards and Stephen Cavenagh says Maxim managed to convince the ACS to allow young film makers like him to become members of the society.
“I am a member of the Australian Cinematographers Society and a few years ago Maxim wrote a letter to Ron Johanson ACS, the President of the ACS, asking him if he could join. Up until that time you had to be either a cinematographer or a film student to join. Maxim argued that he was a cinematographer and the ACS gave him a special student membership. He was 11 and at the time he was the youngest member of the ACS. Soon after, the ACS created CineKids and we now have 21 CineKids Australia wide.”
“Travelling to the various film festivals to see Maxim’s films on the big screen and visiting ACS events has become our thing to do together, which is nice. It’s amazing to see this person, who I still see as this little kid sitting in the kitchen with his little Lego figures, shooting without lights or even a tripod, churning out his animations. To see him up there, six foot tall, handsome in his suit, receiving the Gold National ACS CineKids Award, it’s hard to put into words really. I’m just so proud of him and his achievements in film, especially because even though he’s won awards, he never sets out to win anything, he makes the films for fun,” says Stephen Cavenagh.
Peter Curtis, ACS, President of the ACS Tasmanian branch and an ABC Camera Operator for 33 years, was impressed by Maxim Hussey’s work.
“I was really pleased to see someone with ABC pedigree win the inaugural Cinekids Award. My dad was a terrific cameraman at the ABC and inspired me to get in to the industry and my uncle was also a highly regarded photographer, so I guess I have a soft spot when it comes to family connections in the industry. Maxim seems incredibly energetic and enthusiastic about making films and it’s always uplifting to see the next generation pick up the ball and give it a run.”
The ACS was formed in 1958, a couple of years after the start of television in Australia, and Peter Curtis says it offers a great opportunity for up and coming film makers, like Maxim Hussey, to mix with and learn from some of the best in the business.
“The thing that I think is great about the ACS is it’s not elitist. Unlike the American ASC, where people are individually invited to join, the ACS welcomes cinematographers from all parts of the industry with any level of experience. A student studying film and media in Tasmania is just as welcome as a Sydney cameraman shooting Four Corners or an Oscar Award winning cinematographer who’s shot dozens of international feature films. You can be a focus puller on a student film, a specialist shooting animated films, a camera operator on commercials, news, zombie films, an underwater documentary shooter, a Director of Photography on music clips, or movies. The thing that binds us all is a passion for our craft, a simple desire to shoot good pictures, and a willingness to support each other and share the knowledge and the passion for what we do.”
Many thanks Natasha Johnson from ABC Backstory and Peter Curtis ACS TAS for the above piece.
Australian Cinematographers Society Launches ACS CineKids
[Mon 23/06/2014 3:38 PM]
Sydney Australia, 5 June 2014 – At the recent ACS General Meeting held in Brisbane, the ACS National Executive proudly launched its latest initiative - ACS CineKids.
This new membership category has been created to encourage and foster interested kids up to the age of 15 years to participate and take an active hands-on approach to Cinematography. Even more young people will be able to experience the inspirational community of the ACS. While membership to the ACS is actively open to anyone involved in the industry this initiative opens the doors to those that aspire to or are already producing content to join the fostering of cinematography knowledge across all genres and mutual cooperation between all our members.
An ACS CineKids Member is a young person, 15 years or under, who has a passion for cameras and filmmaking. ACS CineKids will receive a Welcome Pack with a membership certificate, membership card, note pad and pen, access to our E news both National & State, and various screenings and workshops, along with mentoring from our ACS cinematographers.
Commenting on the ACS CineKids initiative National President of the Australian Cinematographers Society Ron Johanson OAM ACS said, “The ACS firmly believes it is our responsibility to encourage the future generations of cinematographers in every possible way we can, as the future of cinematography, across all genres depends on it.”
To find out more and how to join ACS CineKids click on the following link:
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