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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

  • We have some fantastic events coming up, but no confirmed dates yet - watch this space.
  • 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

  • 11 Sep 2017 2:02 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    Detailing the photochemical workflow that combined cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, ASC, NSC, FSF’s 15-perf and 5-perf 65mm film footage into a unified big-screen vision for director Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic.
    Read more on the American Cinematographer site.

  • 11 Sep 2017 1:50 PM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)

    AC magazine contributor Benjamin B explains how to understand the attributes of spherical and anamorphic lenses with this new entry in his ongoing series of posts. Read more on the American Cinematographer site.

  • 05 Sep 2017 10:12 AM | Peter Parnham (Administrator)
    The August 2017 NZCS annual general meeting (AGM) ushered in three new committee members who significantly increase the breadth of experience on the committee and oh, they happen to be women.


    The new NZCS committee meets for the first time. (LtR) Mark Lapwood, Nina Wells, Murray  Milne, Aaron Morton, David Paul, Cushla Lewis, Chloe Smith, Donny Duncan, Donny Duncan.

    The August 2017 NZCS annual general meeting (AGM) ushered in three new committee members who significantly increase the breadth of experience on the committee and oh, they happen to be women.

    As one of the country's most experienced news and current affairs cinematographers, Cushla Lewis brings a welcome new perspective to the committee, while Chloe Smith, admired for her support of New Zealand crews on overseas productions, brings a wealth of production experience and business expertise.

    The third new face is Nina Wells whose CV reveals a thoroughly 21st century approach to forging a career as a cinematographer.

    The August AGM voted in the new NZCS committee along with re-electing President Richard Bluck NZCS and Treasurer/secretary Murray Milne NZCS. Incumbent Vice President Dave Cameron NZCS stood down from the position, and Paul Richards was elected to the position.

    The full AGM election results are listed below. 



    Richard Bluck NZCS

    Vice President:

    Paul Richards


    Murray  Milne NZCS

    Committee members:

    Dave Cameron NZCS ACS*
    Donny Duncan
    Mark Lapwood ACS
    Cushla Lewis
    Aaron Morton NZCS**
    David Paul NZCS
    Guy Quartermain
    Yves Simard
    Chloe Smith
    Marc Swadel
    Nina Wells

    * Dave Cameron is chair of the NZCS Awards committee

    ** Aaron Morton is chair of the accreditation committee

  • 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 an image. 

    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 an 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.

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