When we work it is rare to interact with other Cinematographers, there is usually only one of us on set, and if there is talk of other Cinematographer’s techniques we learn of it through our Focus Pullers or Lighting Gaffers. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be on another set and to see how others work, how they juggle the politics of personalities, and how they get that particular look.
This Society now allows a platform to freely exchange ideas, techniques and aspirations for us all as Cinematographers.
My concern is the present financial climate. With “recession” mentioned on every news bulletin my hope is that what funds are available will still continue. Could this mood of caution fluster our funding bodies into playing it more safe and too cautious both in content and context for their funding? I hope not. New Zealand Film and Television needs to continue to be edgy, and more demanding of its audiences.
With this challenge the NZCS welcomes the new CEO to the NZFC; Graeme Mason. We wish him every success in the fostering of our film-makers’ stories. We must continue to support dreamers, those Writers, Directors, and Editors that inspire us. We must reinforce to them the magic of storytelling constructed through images, where character is imparted by the manner we compose the shot, bet it its static strength, its dynamism, its texture and shadow, and of course the direction from which the light falls.
The NZCS is now an associate member of IMAGO (European Federation of Cinematographers) and with their continuing development, are pushing for Cinematographers to claim their co-authorship with Directors in contractual agreements with Producers. This issue will need to be further scrutinized. Having made personal contact with Nigel Walters (Imago President) and Louis-Philippe Capelle (Imago General Secretary) we will no doubt hear of their developments.
Kevin Riley our Chairman was able to attend the ACS (Australian Cinematography Society) Awards and their 50th year celebrations and to report back on all the contacts made.
I congratulate Kevin and the Auckland Committee members for orchestrating over the last 12 months a spectacular array of functions and events relating to our profession.
I wish to thank all those generous companies that assisted and presented their equipment, events and facilities for us.
• Cinematographer James Bartle “Digital Imaging”
• Metro Film Arri D-21 Andreas Berkle from Arri Munich
• Cinematographer Dean Semler with Apocalyto Panavision Genesis
• Rocket Rentals Red Camera with Mike Seymour
• Cinematographer Louis-Philippe Capelle Digi Post with Sony F23 with David Colthorpe Sony NZ
• Panavision with Martin Stacey’s AR Steadicam Rig
• Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro “The Light and Shade of Carravagio” Park Road Post Productions Kodak Portsmouth Road Hire Digipost
• Colourist Clare Burlinson Quantel Pablo Suite Toybox James Hudson
• Phantom Camera from Panavision NZ with the support of Chris McKenzie of PLS
I want to thank James Bartle for his work in designing the website and getting it up and running. Also thanks to Dale McCready for his design of the NZCS logo.
The peak of the year for me was the trip to Wellington to attend Vittorio Storaro’s lecture on his understanding of light and shade in the paintings of Caravaggio. Richard Bluck our Wellington based Committee member was the organiser of that event. So special thanks to Richard.
It was a fascinating lecture and an inspiration seeing Vittorio so connected to Caravaggio’s art, how as always the past is reflected in the present, and how the control of light and shadow make storytelling more captivating. It was wonderful that Allen Guilford was able to attend this event and to catch up with old friends. The sad news of Allen’s death reminds us of how fragile and precious life is and it was a pity we were not able to arrange an evening of his work or perhaps one of his films while he was still with us.
Our society needs to screen examples of member’s Film and TV programmes that they have contributed to, be it like a BFI screening with Q&As after the showing. This would allow more discourse and understanding of our work to others.
Initially I was sceptical of the concept of establishing a Society such as this. I thought it could become a protectionist club with a dash of snobbery. Dale McCready convinced me otherwise. For him a society like this was needed as a network to feed and nourish up-and-coming Cinematographers, a nest to foster new talent.
This is happening. It has been a great year.