Australian Cinematographers Society offers free membership

Recognising that many DOPs are in dire straits financially, the Australian Cinematographers Society is giving one year’s free membership to its 1,600 members.

ACS national president Ron Johanson tells IF many members were struggling before the Federal Government decided to deny the $1,500 a fortnight JobKeeper wage subsidy to casual workers.

“Our members were devastated by that decision; they have fallen through the cracks,” he said. “All the state presidents agreed to make membership free for the greater good.”

The initiative kicks in for the financial year starting on July 1. The annual fees range from $160-$250.

That follows the Australian Directors’ Guild decision to give its members a 50 per cent discount.

The 2020 National ACS Awards for Cinematography, which were due to be presented at the National Gallery in Canberra on May 16, will now be held online.

Aiming to keep its members connected, the society conducted its first virtual ACS drop-in event with DOP Zoƫ White on Thursday night.

The LA-based White, who is back in Australia, discussed shooting Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Staged by the NSW branch and moderated by Tom Gleeson, the session was open to non-members around the world as well as members and according to Ben Allan was a huge success.

More virtual events are planned, including sessions with female DOPs and with Greig Fraser, the latter in collaboration with AFTRS.