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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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  • 14 Mar 2018 12:54 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Cinematographer and NZCS member Ginny Loane sat on the panel at recent Screen Women's Action Group (SWAG) forums held in Auckland and Wellington. 

    She says the results of the SWAG screen industry survey were disturbing to say the least. The survey revealed 66 per cent have encountered some form of sexual harassment in the workplace.

    "However, I know that there are a heap lovely of men in our industry who don’t want it to be like this and to a certain extent have felt helpless to do anything about it," added Loane.

    She asks that we all take the time to watch these two TED talks to work out how we can intervene and help stop this behaviour on set.

    Bold, blunt TED talk from Jackson Katz.

    Tony Porter makes a TED call to men everywhere: Break free of the man box. 

  • 26 Feb 2018 12:53 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Here is a copy of the Air NZ updated 2018 lithium battery document. This memo now includes a limit of 20 spare batteries.

    Download PDF Memo

    IATA Lithium Battery Guidance 2017

  • 24 Feb 2018 11:05 AM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Prior to their forums in Auckland and Wellington,The Screen Women's Action Group (SWAG) asked guilds for a paragraph on what they have done to date about this issue. Here's what NZCS put forward:

    "NZCS believes that discrimination, bullying, and any form of harassment in the screen industry should be addressed and supports industry-wide initiatives in this area. To date NZCS has put its weight behind the proposed combined guilds code of ethics in the screen industry which we anticipate will cover these topics and the work of ScreenSafe in this area. 

    NZCS recognises that NZ cinematography, like overseas cinematography is currently gender imbalanced and this year is stepping up the Camera Pathways programme to help address this issue by attracting more women into cinematography."

    We are pleased that one of our highly respected cinematographers, Ginny Loane is on the panel at the SWAG forum in Auckland, and at least two of our women committee members have indicated they also will be attending, so NZCS will be well represented.

  • 16 Feb 2018 4:55 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    By Marc Swadel – NZCS Committee member and ACS cinematographer member

    It was midday on a cold February when I arrived at the Battersea Evolution Events Centre, clutching my invitation to the British Society of Cinematographers or BSC Expo opening luncheon. Film industry overload greeted me. The Techno Crane and Panavision Scorpio rig were duelling outside, while in the main hall there was the sheer crush of numbers, created by the intensity and the noise of hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of punters.

    New Camera Unveiled

    At the BSC luncheon, ARRI unveiled their newest camera – the new Alexa LF (large format) camera with 4.5K sensor size midway between the Alexa SXT sensor and the Alexa 65.

    I had a talk with Stephan Shenk, Managing Director of ARRI Cine Technik, about the camera. Stephan called it Netflix ready, thanks to it being a true 4K camera, and told me it has its own new lens mount – the LPL mount which is 62 mm in diameter and 44 mm in flange focal depth.

    ARRI are also releasing their own brand of large format lenses for this mount called the Signature Primes. I had a look at the 24 and 35 mm f1.8 lenses – they were fantastic, and light too.

    The wider, deeper neck of the LPL mount gives the ability to place filters at the rear of the lens, in front of the sensor. ARRI also offers a LPL to PL adapter – so regular PL mount lenses can also be used. The sensor is 36.7 mm x 25.54 mm which is significantly larger than super 35 so to use PL lenses for an UHD shoot you can either crop the frame in post, or use a couple of Signature Primes at the wide end and PL lenses at longer focal lengths where they have the coverage.

    The camera records ProRes, accepts SxS pro cards as well as SXR drives.

    There are only four prototypes of the camera in existence – but ARRI are sure of a March 2018 roll out, and, unlike the rental- only system of the ARRI 65, it will be sold through chosen retailers.


    Wearing my ACS hat, I joined with Nigel Walters BSC to present Peter Hannan ACS BSC with a Lifetime Member Award on behalf of Ron Johanson and the ACS.

    Marc Swadel, Peter Hannan, Nigel Walters

    Peter is a legend – an Academy and BAFTA Award winner, Peter started out working on 2001: A Space Odyssey and has shot features such as Withnail and I, The Meaning of Life, Insignificance, and second unit on Sleepy Hollow, Children of Men and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

    Peter told some great stories of working with Stanley Kubrick, and how he and a load of other camera department guys were not listed in the screen credits as they got bumped for more important American executive producer names in the final reel – which was apparently the catalyst for Kubrick to demand 100 per cent control of his future films.

    Back down on the expo floor, after 40 minutes of trying to find him in the mayhem, I met up with NZ born DP Aaron Scott, who left NZ over 25 years ago, going first to Australia, and then to the UK where he became the Head of Camera for Sky Sports before going freelance. His dad is old time DP Don Scott, who started in the 1960s and was a founding member of the NZSC – the forerunner of NZCS.

    We spent the afternoon wandering around, checking stuff out.


    It was intense and international. I heard Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and Italian spoken amongst the throng. My friend Alex Linden FSF was there as part of crew to both film and write about the BSC Expo for the Swedish market, and I would say 30 per cent of attendees were from outside the UK.

    It was also a young crowd with loads of enthusiasm. I talked with Chris Nguyen, an aspiring young DP who moved to London to further his career. Chris wangled himself in as the BSC photographers’ camera assistant and loved every minute he had access, telling me how he was blown away by the amount of talent in the room at the BSC luncheon. I also talked with Joe Armstrong, who, after gaining his MA in English, went back to study film, and was down for the weekend from Leeds, to check gear and make contacts.

    I chatted with Allessandro Olivieri, a young film school grad who had recently moved from Italy to London - who bought his girlfriend along to the BSC Expo on a date, which she was enjoying. (She’s a keeper that one, mate!).

    BSC Expo History

    I also interviewed Audra Marshall, the BSC Company Secretary and got the backstory about the show.

    She said it was a new initiative in 1993, inspired by Joe Dunton. It was the Society’s first Equipment Show, which featured the latest innovations from camera and lighting companies. Initially held at Shepperton, it was to prove so popular that further exhibitions were held in subsequent years at Pinewood, Mister Lighting and Grip House, Dukes Island, and at Elstree Studios for many years.

    The show grew enormously over the years and Rob Saunders of SCS Exhibitions came on board to lend it a more professional look. It is now entitled the BSC Expo and held annually. Historically it was held on Studio Stages, more recently at Pinewood and Leavesden. In 2016 as there was no studio space available and it moved to Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park, which proved such a success for ease of access, that future years are planned there also, allowing the organisers to plan well in advance.

    When I commented that this year appears even more popular than last year she told me there were 5500 visitors up from last year’s 4051 visitors.

    “We have had people from all over the world fly over, including members of Cameraimage, Imago, ASC members and a strong number of European Cinematographers. We are delighted that some of our Patrons such as ARRI and Panavision are choosing to announce their new technology at home here in the UK with their British Society family,” she said.

    Great show

    In conclusion this was a truly great show, and the attendance underlines how popular all things camera have become over the last decade – the HDSLR camera revolution sparked off a lot of interest and enthusiasm for what we do, and the sheer numbers attest to this. I would almost say it was a celebratory atmosphere this year, which is well deserved for such a well thought out and put together show – top marks to the BSC!

    - Marc Swadel

  • 12 Feb 2018 10:41 AM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    This month's IMAGO newsletter has lots of interest stuff from a teaching survey to safety, engagement terms, and international event dates:

  • 07 Feb 2018 2:20 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Nina Wells is using her 2017 AL Guilford Emerging Cinematographer award to boost her cinematography skills. 

    She has told NZCS that she intends to use the $2,000 prize money to help fund attendance at ASC cinematography master classes in LA, and a lighting course in Australia, both of which promise to promote Wells to a new skill level.   

    Wells has also received assistance from the NZ Film Commission and takes with her the encouragement and best wishes of NZCS. 

  • 05 Feb 2018 11:34 AM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Mudbound’s Rachel Morrison has just become the first woman ever nominated for an Oscar for cinematography. The recognition is long overdue says the Guardian... 

    Guardian article

  • 31 Jan 2018 3:48 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    NZCS and ACS are members of IMAGO, the The European Federation of Cinematographers and they've come up with a simple but powerful idea:

    The idea is to find out what cinematographers, camera crews, colorists, and post production supervisors want in equipment and software and then pass that information to manufacturers and software engineers.

    Of course manufacturers and designers do this anyway, but by gathering  information systematically and as widely as possible from around the world, manufacturers and the community itself will get insights that were never before uncovered.

    As a member of NZCS you can be part of this survey and you should participate if you work with cameras, camera equipment or in the post process.  

    The survey takes around 10 minutes but it is worth taking a look before you start to get a feel for the technical questions.

    When the Survey answers are received, the results will be evaluated, discussed and concluded during meetings at IBC 2018.

    The finished result of the Survey is planned to be presented to the major camera and equipment manufacturers during Camerimage 2018. 

    Preview or take the 10 minute survey

    Deadline for completion 10 May 2018.

  • 31 Jan 2018 10:52 AM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Our NZCS Platinum sponsors ARRI would love to have a strong showing of Aussie and Kiwi content in the next ARRI showreel, due to debut on the big screen at NAB in April, and they are asking for our help. 

    They want beautiful, creative and unique content, preferably in 4K or UHD ProRes and DCPs, but they'll accept 1080p files. You'll need to have permission to share the footage for inclusion in the ARRI Showreel.

    The deadline is the 15th of February but time-conscious submissions will be given priority!

    Upload your footage here
  • 02 Nov 2017 1:08 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    The last weekend in October 2017 saw the advent of the first IMAGO International Cinematography Awards. Marc Swadel who represented NZCS reports.  

    Photo: (L t R) Daniil Fomichev RGC, Joe Dunton BSC, Marc Swadel, Alex Linden FSF, Simon Tansec ZFS, Louis-Philippe Capelle SBS, Phil Greenstreet - Rosco 

    The last weekend in October 2017 saw the advent of the first IMAGO International Cinematography Awards. The seeds for this event were sown a year earlier at the IMAGO meeting in Macedonia, where Ron Johanson ACS took up the challenge to head the Awards committee. The idea was Awards by Cinematographers, for Cinematographers – with each society choosing entries for a feature, TV series or documentary. There were also awards for Extraordinary Technical Achievement, Extraordinary contribution to Cinematography, and Lifetime Achievement.

    It was decided that Helsinki, Finland would be the venue – and it would celebrate not only the first awards – but the 25th Anniversary of IMAGO, the 100th Anniversary of ARRI and the 100th Anniversary of Finland!

    Fast forward to the 27th of October, as I and my wife Mary are hurtling across Normandy to make our night flight from Paris to Helsinki, leaving a 23 degree, sunny autumnal France to land in a snow sprinkled and decidedly less warm Helsinki. Sharing our ride into the hotel/venue was Fabian Wagner BSC and his partner Lauren, (Pictured left with Marc Swadel and Mary Wing To) and we had a hilarious conversation working each other out – they had come from Dublin, he was BSC, but German, but lived in London, and we had come from Paris, I am with NZCS and ACS, but live in London also.

    The morning of the Awards, we were all taken on a trip to central Helsinki, and the fortress Island of Suomenlinna. Helsinki is a good looking city – wide roads, trams, and a lovely mix of Art Nouveau and mid-century style. The fortress Island itself reflects Finland’s history – passing from being Swedish, to Russian, then finally into independent Finnish hands. The island is now a UNESCO heritage site, and has art galleries and a recording studio within its grounds.

    Roll on to the evening – The Awards. They kick off with a black tie drinks and canapes reception, where the cinematographers, sponsors and nominees all catch up, and then we move into the auditorium.

    The IMAGO Lifetime Achievement Award – was presented by ARRI to Luciano Tovoli AIC ASC.  (On right in picture with Daniele Nannuzzi AIC on left ) Luciano is a past president of both IMAGO and the AIC (Autori Italiani della Cinematografia) and some of his best known work is Suspiria with Dario Argento and The Passenger with Michelangelo Antonioni. Luciano has been a massive force for both fighting for authorship rights for DP’s and also for fostering connections between us all – having founded IMAGO in 1992.

    Next up was the ARRI – IMAGO Award for Emerging Cinematographer.

    This Award went to the young Russian DOP Daniil Fomichev for his work on the dark comedy/crime drama How Viktor Garlic Took Alexey the Stud to the Nursing Home about a 27 year old orphan meeting his disabled father, and the insane mayhem that ensues.

    Two more awards came next – both were IMAGO International Awards for Extraordinary Technical Achievement, presented by Angel Film and Dagsljus.

    First up was Jannicke Mikkelson FNF, who is a 31-year-old Scots/Norwegian 3d/VR expert/DOP/Software Programmer who counts making a VR concert movie with Queen and work with NASA and Sir David Attenborough as among her recent gigs.

    The other recipient was Joe Dunton M.B.E BSC. Joe is a colossus in camera innovation – he was Stanley Kubrick’s Camera expert, invented super 35mm, the heated eyepiece, the ladderpod, and a forerunner of the Alexa (an ARRI SR with a digital back, in 2002). Joe also lensed Dance Craze the cult 1981 Steadicam/70mm Ska concert film. And he owns Mitchell.

    Joe says that he sees where the industry is at the moment is exciting, as it is evolving at a fast rate. His current focus is on inventing a 4 colour system – RGBY – as he says that nothing yet can show the true colour of gold.

    Next up was the IMAGO Extraordinary Contribution to Cinematography Award, presented by CW Sonderoptic to Marek Zydowicz. Marek is the founder of the Camerimage Festival in Poland, which is the biggest cinematography festival in the world, attracting 70,000 people each year. The very first Camerimage Golden Frog  Award for best cinematography was given to Stuart Dryburgh for The Piano in 1996.

    After a short musical break provided by artist Kimmo Pohjonen, who’s ‘Marilyn Manson vs the Accordion’ punk style ensured everyone was awake for the final three awards:


    Best Cinematography in TV Documentary (presented by Canon)

    Paolo Ventura Vanishing Man - Erik van Empel NSC Holland
    SARAJ'VO - Mustafa Mustafić, Almir Đikoli, Faris Dobrača ASBH - Bosnia and Herzegovina Icon (Ikona) - Łukasz Żal - PSC - Poland

    Best Cinematography in TV Drama (presented by Zeiss and Drylab)

    Gomorra - Paolo Carnera AIC – Italy
    Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter - Fabian Wagner BSC - United Kingdom
    Midnattssol/Midnight sun - Erik Sohlström FSF - Sweden

    Best Cinematography in Feature Films (presented by Panasonic)

    La la Land -Linus Sandgren FSF – Sweden
    Maudie - Guy Godfree CSC – Canada
    Nocturnal Animals - Seamus McGarvey BSC - United Kingdom


    Best Cinematography in TV Documentary

    Icon (Ikona) - Łukasz Żal - PSC – Poland

    Łukasz Żal is the Oscar nominated DOP for the film Ida (2013). Ikona is a documentary shot within Siberia’s biggest mental institutions, delving into the lives of its inmates. Łukasz relayed the film was shot under limitations – and all he had was a 7D and 24 and 50mm lenses.

    Best Cinematography in TV Drama

    Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter - Fabian Wagner BSC - United Kingdom

    Fabian is a Munich native, who started his journey at ARRI when he was 16. As well as lensing Game of Thrones, Fabian has shot on over 20 episodic series, as well as features such as Victor Frankenstein and the upcoming Justice League. He is just about to start the 8th series of Game of Thrones.

    Best Cinematography in Feature Films

    Nocturnal Animals - Seamus McGarvey BSC ASC - United Kingdom

    Seamus is a multi-Oscar nominated Northern Irish born DOP whose credits include The War Zone, Fifty Shades of Grey, Godzilla, and Anna Karenina. Nocturnal Animals is a stylish dark drama from designer turned director Tom Ford, mainly shot at night on Kodak stock.

    Winners and sponsors on stage

    And there we had it – the inaugural IMAGO International Cinematography Awards were awarded, but the night was not over – all retired to the dining room where a fantastic Finnish dinner was provided, followed by very good wine, beer and conversations that lasted well into the next morning (they did for me!) On another good note – a gent came up and asked if I was from the NZCS – it was Phil Greenstreet, from Rosco soft drops – who said he enjoyed his time in NZ a few weeks before. It is definitely a small world!

    In conclusion – a great event. Paul Rene Roestad the IMAGO President can stand proud – Tahvo Hirvonen and the Finnish Society did a wonderful hosting job, and Ron Johanson and the Awards committee, and also the judges should take a bow. As should we all – this was an awards from us to us – 53 societies, 100+ entries and 4000 Cinematographers made this event truly mean something.

    Paul-Rene Roestad FNF IMAGO President and Tahvo Hirvonen FSC President.


    Link to view ceremony

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