2019 has been a cracking year for the NZCS, and it’s been very satisfying to see many of our strategic ambitions up and running.
This was the year that the NZCS rebranded, building on the original design by Dale McCready that served us so well for the first 10 years, and with the help of designer Robin Charles from Lotech, designed a fresh look that will lead us into and through the next decade.
This was the year that the NZCS implemented the Cushla Lewis Gender Diversity Program that saw six female placements on significant productions throughout the country, including top end Productions The Luminaries, Sweet Tooth, Black Christmas and the upcoming Power of the Dog. It has been an important step for the NZCS to recognise the need to redress the gender balance within the Camera Department, and I am delighted that the Gender Diversity program has helped towards achieving that goal, resulting incidentally in a more than 200 percent increase in female members of the Society.
This achievement has been tempered by the unexpected loss of committee member and Gender Diversity instigator Cushla Lewis, who sadly passed away earlier in the year.
This was the year that the NZCS Awards shifted up a gear and into its new home at the Cordis Hotel. The standard of NZ Cinematographers keeps growing, and the Awards have grown with them. Big thanks to Amber Wakefield and Kelly Lucas for their sterling organisational work to get the awards up and running again with a minimum of fuss.
This was the year that the NZCS implemented its Professional Development program, after it was agreed that the focus of the NZCS should be firmly on our members and providing value for membership. Donny Duncan won the role of Professional Development Manager, and after some months of research and development, the year finished with our very first NZCS masterclass, a one day HDR workshop led by Ben Allan CSI ACS which proved very popular and most successful. We look forward to bringing you more masterclasses in the new year.
In addition to all those achievements the NZCS also hosted 16 evening events for our members, from underwater drone demonstrations to talks with legendary cinematographers like Russell Carpenter ASC, all with the aim of fostering knowledge and community within the NZ cinematographic scene and the wider industry.
Big thanks from me to our management committee who do a huge amount of voluntary work, our Executive Officer Amber Wakefield, a powerhouse of organisational skills and efficiency, and to our most excellent sponsors, without whose generosity and support we would not be in a position to provide this level of excellence to you.
I wish you all a loving and safe holiday season, and I hope that 2020 bestows us all with creative and financial prosperity.