Its with sadness we note the passing of NZ television pioneer and cameraman Don Scott on the NSW Central Coast at the age of 90. His son Ashley kindly informed us of his dad’s passing on April 26th. What came as quite a surprise was that Don was a co-founder of the original New Zealand Society of Cinematographers Inc (NZSC) which preceded the current NZCS by many decades but was only active for a short time and included sound operators, directors, and producers as well as camera people. Ashley has supplied us with some great images from his father’s archive.
Don was a freelance (stringer) cameraman and worked at Reynolds Television, as well as the NZBC, TVNZ and later TV3 and will be known by some of our senior industry members.
Some of New Zealand’s most important historic news events, including the Beatles tour of NZ and Australia, numerous Royal Visits, the Air New Zealand Mt Erebus Disaster, and the Rainbow Warrior Bombing, to name a few, were seen through Don’s lens.
Sport, Documentaries, Māori and Pasifika were also a great body of his work, which he loved very much. Don was one of the foundation crew for the Māori News programme Te Karere, and worked hard to establish the show and drive it where it is today. He was a champion of encouraging Māori and Pacific Islander students to get behind the camera and have more key roles behind the scenes at a time when it was very difficult for anyone to get a start in film and television.
Don retired to his native Australia and is survived by his wife Brenda and two sons who also work in television.