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NZCS appoints Professional Development Manager

10 Jun 2019 12:15 PM | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

The NZCS has recently created a part-time position of Professional Development Manager and appointed long standing committee member Donny Duncan NZCS, to helm this role.

Its long been a goal of the NZCS to host a series of Professional Development Master Classes in Cinematography and one of the PDM’s mission will be to facilitate 2 or 3 master classes this year and establish a blueprint for running an annual series of workshops – aimed at different levels, to cater for the established cinematographer, the emerging cinematographer and the camera assistant.  

The other key responsibility of this position, is to continue the very successful placements under the Gender Diversity initiative, where emerging female cinematographers are placed on shoots to observe and work with mentors through all stages of production, or trainees are appointed to learn on the job under camera crew tutelage.

I’m excited to take on this part-time role in addition to my other cinematography projects. While lecturing in cinematography at Unitec several years ago, I saw the great value from bringing in guest DP’s from the industry to run practical workshops and pass on knowledge from years of experience. There has long been feedback from our members at all levels, that they would be keen to support local workshops, in preference to travelling to the USA or Australia to gain such knowledge. I will shortly post a survey to members to gather information on what content would be most sought after. 

We are in the process of planning an intermediate-level Master Class for emerging cinematographers, keen to learn more about lighting for drama, insights into working with production designers and directors and a practical component recreating classic lighting scenes. 

Later in the year we also hope to bring in an internationally acclaimed DP to run a high end two-day Master Class to attract cinematographers at any level.

I’m also very passionate about carrying on the great work on the Gender Diversity Initiative that was launched from a workshop led by Nina Wells and others. We have currently had placements on three films, and have just appointed our first trainee placement on a film in Dunedin. 

I’ve always been a strong advocate for female crewing around camera, lighting and grip, where possible. When producer Chloe Smith and myself were crewing up the” Xena:Warrior Princess” series over 20 years ago, we made a conscious choice to bring in as many women as possible on a shoot with predominantly female lead characters. We wanted to create an atmosphere of calm and trust and balance and didn’t want it getting too exclusively “blokey” around the camera. To this end, over many seasons, we collaborated with Sharon Hawke (1stAC), Bindy Crayford (Gaffer) Ginny Loane (Best Person/ 2U Gaffer) Gaysorn Thavatt (2ndAC) Terese Mangos (Lighting Assistant) Frith Locke-Bonney (1stAC) Inga Fillary (2ndAC) Kirsten Green (2U 1stC) and others. Many of these women are now very firmly established in their chosen career paths.”

We are currently looking for opportunities to support short or longer-term placements on films before the end of the year. Please contact Donny Duncan if you are a Producer who would like to discuss more detail on how this works.


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