Australian Cinematographers Society Accreditation
It's been interesting to note that several former DDQ news cameramen have advanced in their film-making careers to being awarded accreditation status by the Australian Cinematographers Society.
The award is granted for excellence in their work.
While one might expect a number of people from the metro commercial stations and, of course, the ABC would achieve this recognition, particularly for documentary work, it is unlikely that any other provincial TV station could claim as many as DDQ.
The Australian Cinematographers Society was formed in 1958 to provide a forum for cinematographers to further develop their skills through mutual co-operation. There are branches in each state, the ACT and the Northern Territory. News camera people who meet the criteria for membership are welcome to join.
The Society caters for many different levels of industry involvement. Active, Associate, Full and Student are the most common levels of membership.
Accreditation is the highest level the Society can bestow on a member. It is a peer-reviewed assessment of a body of work that covers lighting, composition, operating and camera movement. Consideration is also given to the cinematic approach to the script and subject matter. The submitted work must show more than professional competence; it must clearly demonstrate creativity and aesthetic innovation.
The quality of work is judged against international standards and the assessors look at all technical aspects of the work submitted and, in particular, the ability to light. They look also for what might be described as the `soul', that difficult-to-describe element which distinguishes a top cinematographer's work from just competent run-of-the-mill craftsmanship.
The intention of the Society is that any cinematographer so honoured, and thus entitled to use the letters ACS after his or her name, will be capable of performing work at an international standard.
Next time you are at the movies, look for the credit for Director of Photography to see if he or she holds an accreditation. In Australia it is ACS, US uses ASC, while Britain has BSC.
For more information about the Australian Cinematographers Society, see www.cinematographer.org.au/default.asp