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Who are NZCS?

The New Zealand Cinematographers Society was established in 2008 to foster the profession of cinematography.  Today we have members from all image related fields. 

Join, and you become part of a network of image-makers working in all genres and across all distribution channels -from the web and TV, through to cinema and live shows.


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Upcoming events

Featured Camera Pathways member

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  • 10 Aug 2017 3:36 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Chris MacKenzie of Rosco agent PLS, has just confirmed that Rosco is going to sponsor a SoftDrop again this year and NZCS full member Guy Quartermain has agreed to come up with and image. 

    All the awards presentation photos looked great against last year's SoftDrop shot my Murray Milne NZCS, and guests were treated to the full effect when as clips or entries were projected the backdrop instantly transformed to a subdued night scene thanks to a single fader on the PLS lighting desk. 

    Keen to show what this kind of technology can do, Chris McKenzie has suggested a country scene that fades to moonlight and Guy Quartermain has agreed to the challenge.  

    A great example of what members, supporters, and sponsors are doing behind the scenes to make the 2017 NZCS Awards a success.

  • 10 Aug 2017 3:11 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    After doing such a fabulous and professional job of MC at last year's NZCS Awards, Antonia Prebble has agreed to a repeat performance.  

    In case you've been under a rock - Antonia is known and loved for her characters like Loretta West in Outrageous Fortune, and the young Rita West in Westside.

    But it turns out she is an intelligent and accomplished MC that has the talent of making it so exciting and glamorous that you can't wait to see what comes next.  This is why is great to have her back - she somehow makes it all fun.

  • 01 Aug 2017 12:02 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    NZCS member and friends were given a glimpse of the future at an event hosted by NZCS platinum sponsor A2Z Technologies in July. 





    NZCS member and friends were given a glimpse of the future at an event hosted by NZCS platinum sponsor A2Z Technologies in July. 

    Kellie Hiatt from RAW recording and processing specialists Codex headlined the evening on her way back from SMPTE in Sydney to her home base in Los Angeles.

    A2Z organised a camera scoop with three new cameras on hand to show that RAW capture is now an everyday reality for high-end productions.

    The new Canon C700 and Codex recorder, the Panasonic Varicam Pure, and the latest ARRI Alexa SXTW were kitted out and drew appreciative groups of admirers. 

    And as usual, the technical stuff was book ended by members and friends socialising and catching up with representatives from ARRI, Canon, Pro Video the NZ Panasonic agents. and of course the friendly folks from A2Z Technologies.



  • 01 Aug 2017 11:40 AM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    An event in July, hosted jointly by NZCS platinum sponsors ARRI and Xytech Technologies, featured a master class in ARRI SkyPanel cutting edge LED technology.



    An event in July, hosted jointly by NZCS platinum sponsors ARRI and Xytech Technologies, featured a master class in ARRI SkyPanel cutting edge LED technology.

    US-based ARRI SkyPanel Product Manager Mike Wagner went into the theory and practicalities of how to exploit the new technology for maximum lighting control, and save time.

    Although the SkyPanel is not itself new, Wagner explained that they are essentially computers with LED engines attached, so software updates like the recent firmware V3.0 add significant functionality.  For example, firmware V3.0 introduced convincing effects like lightning, cop cars, and paparazzi effects all of which are easily altered and cued.

    Wagner ran through and demonstrated impressive control and communications built into the fixtures,  saving the best for last. 

    In the source matching demo he took a simple household compact fluorescent lamp - notoriously hard to colour match - pointed a hand held spectrometer at it, loaded two CIE colour space coordinates into the fixture for a perfect match. The whole process took all of 30 seconds. For fun, he repeated the process with a rose coloured gel on the compact fluorescent lamp.

    After Wagner’s demonstrations, Xytech’s Stephen Prior surprised the audience by noting hundreds of SkyPanels within Xytech inventory, a build-up that started with Ghost in the Shell.

    The evening was capped off with leading gaffer Sean O’Neill relating the story of how much his thinking has changed and advanced since his attendance at ARRI’s lighting symposium held earlier this year near Munich.


  • 03 Jul 2017 8:20 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)
    Long known as “The Cameraman’s Director,” the Master of Suspense regards himself as primarily a film technician while explaining his methods of working with cinematographers, production designers and editors. We detail his approach in this Flashback interview here


  • 09 Jun 2017 4:56 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Responding to feedback from users, this NZCS website has begun to display prices GST inclusive.   This means that prices now include 15% GST so you know what your outgoings will be before you begin registering for an event or renewing your membership.

    Many of our members are registered for GST and will be able to claim GST back, and what's more NZCS membership fees are a tax deductible expense, along with most event attendance and the NZCS Awards entry fees.  

    Overseas corporate members should contact NZCS about GST for further advice.

  • 25 May 2017 4:51 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is undertaking a review of the drone rules introduced a couple of years ago. They are asking for input and feedback via an online survey. 

    The official name of the review is the post-implementation review of New Zealand’s rules for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) / Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS):

    • Part 101 - Gyrogliders and Parasails, Unmanned Aircraft (including Balloons), Kites; and Rockets - Operating Rules; and
    • Part 102 - Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certification.

    Phase one of this review is a short survey developed in consultation with the Aviation Community Advisory Group.

    You can complete the survey here.

    The survey is open until 5 pm 23 Jun 2017. It has been structured to gather feedback on:

    • current and emerging risks;
    • the effectiveness of the current rule framework; and
    • suggested changes to the rule framework.

    Your feedback will provide valuable insight into New Zealand’s RPAS sector, help the CAA determine whether these rules remain fit for purpose, and will inform further policy analysis and next steps.

    This survey and review isn’t limited to RPAS/UAV users and operators - we want to hear from as many people as possible. You can help the CAA by sharing the survey with anyone who has an interest.

    Once the survey results have been compiled and assessed, a summary will be added to this web page, along with other updates. If you’re interested in being kept informed of progress on this review, please email us.

    You can also subscribe to the CAA’s Part 101, Part 102, and RPAS Email Notifications.

    The information on this post is sourced from CAA website: Post-implementation review of New Zealand’s rules for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) / Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

  • 18 May 2017 2:36 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    The NZCS Camera Pathways programme is entering a new phase which will make it much easier for the camera community to use. The expanded and relaunched program will be partnering with invited film schools and sponsors.

    Camera Pathways has been set up to provide the answer to the question asked by so many film school graduates - 'how do I get started in the freelance industry?'

    The need for Camera Pathways arose because despite the ease with which somebody can get a camera and begin to shoot, it has never been harder to get a foothold in the camera department in the professional screen industry, particularly for women and minorities.

    Camera Pathways is a way of finding camera department trainees from a pool of new entrants who are committed to a career in camera.

    The program helps launch the careers of the best new camera talent, whatever their gender or ethnic background.  

    Camera Pathways participants are recommended by film schools or apply to join the programme, and as they gain experience, they build a list of referees.

    If you are a camera assistant, director of photography, production manager, or anyone else looking for camera crew volunteers, trainees, or entry-level crew, you no longer have to wade through half remembered, unsolicited CVs, or wonder how to find someone to help.

    Now you can search the Camera Pathways directory for suitable talent in your area and quickly and easily give the most likely candidate a call, and call their referees.

    If you do engage a volunteer to help with your project in return you can agree to act as a referee for them – so long as you are comfortable.  If asked about the trainee by a potential employer you are free to give an honest opinion. 

    Search the Camera Pathways Directory

    How to get started

    Camera Pathways FAQ

    Things you should know


  • 16 May 2017 2:21 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)


    The difference in the way that 35 mm lenses and 65 mm lenses look was highlighted at an NZCS lens event hosted by NZCS silver sponsors Imagezone in early May.

    A good number of NZCS members and friends watched footage from the new Leica Thalia lenses which cover the large image circle of the Alexa 65, leaving a generous margin to cover the new Red Vista Vision size sensors.

    Rainer Hercher from Germany and Osamu Tsukada from Japan represented CW Sonderoptics, the makers of Leica cine lenses. They arrived in New Zealand after attending NAB 2017.

    Side by side comparison of 35 mm and 65 mm footage with a similar field of view highlighted the difference in look between the formats, in particular the more noticeable focus drop off on the larger sensor footage, thanks to the longer focal lengths required for the equivalent field of view. 

    Hercher says the new range of Thalia lenses share the same skin texture as the Summilux series of  lenses and hark back to vintage designs with a slight focus plane curve which makes the image pop because it is more consistent with the way the humans vision works. 

    A dramatic defining characteristic is the circular iris of the Thalia lenses, which throws circular flares and bokeh, quite different effect from other lenses.   

    The lenses are compact for 65 mm lenses, which in this case represents a trade off against high speed.  This is practical thanks to the speed of modern sensors, says the company.   

    The highlight of the presentation was a painterly camera test shot by Darius Konji on an Alexa 65 mm that showed off the capabilities of the new lenses.   

    The event rounded off with socialising, discussion, and an opportunity to look at new equipment at Imagezone, including newly acquired lens calibration equipment.




  • 21 Apr 2017 3:40 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    From 1 April 2017, the way contractors pay their taxes changed, giving greater choice and making it easier to get tax right.

    This is an expansion of existing on schedular payments which is the name the tax department uses for payment to contractors like crew that will be subject to withholding tax.

    Contractors already under schedular payment rules must complete the new tax rate notification form (IR330C) when you start any new job on or after 1 April 2017.

    Tax rate notification for contractors form (IR330C) (external link) — Inland Revenue

    On this form, you pick the rate you would like tax to be deducted at. New Zealand tax residents can pick any rate from 10% up to 100%. If you want to change your current tax rate, complete this form and give it to your payer so they can make the changes.

    Tax rate estimation tool for contractors — Inland Revenue 

    This information has been sourced from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

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