A month ago, I was honoured to represent the NZCS at the two-yearly International Cinematography Summit held in Los Angeles, and hosted by the ASC at the legendary clubhouse in Hollywood.
Around 40 cinematography society delegates from 28 countries attended the 5 day conference, which featured in-house presentations and site visits to various studios and facilities in the LA region.
The sessions began with a personal introduction to our societies and their objectives, and the presentation of a 3 min showreel of our outstanding cinematographer’s work. The NZ reel was chosen from 'NZCS Awards 2021' winner's clips.
Some of the highlights of the week’s activities were the following:
• DP Karl Walter Lindelaub ASC, BVK talks about his work on tv series HALO
• Screening of blind test of 32 prime lenses shot by Denis Lenoir AFC, ASC, ASK in a beautifully designed real world comparative test. We each made quick notes on our impressions of each lenses, and then all brands were revealed at the end, with some real surprises.
• Visit to XR studios virtual reality studio, where current technology allows multiple cameras to shoot different angles with overlapping frustums as each camera is operating at a different frequency. Very impressive, but an expensive set-up at around $US70-100,000 per day hire rate.
• Tour of the Netflix Innovation Center where we met the team who test and decide which cameras are eligible to get the Netflix seal of approval (original Arri Alexa 2K not included!)
• A virtual production masterclass at Sony with Sam Nicholson ASC who demonstrated a very hi-res 1.2 pixel pitch CLED wall and showed images of his Vis FX supervision work on Our Flag Means Death- S1.
• Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC and his colourist Peter Doyle discussing their recent work with Joel Coen on The Tragedy of Macbeth in glorious monochrome.
• Armando Salas ASC, presenting his on-set HDR workflow for streaming series like Ozark and Griselda and demystifying the process to put control firmly in the cinematographers hands.
• Virtual conversation with DP Drew Daniels discussing his stellar work on current tv series Outer Range.
The technical sessions were of great value, but my real take-away from the week was meeting the delegates from all the different countries and discussing how our societies operated, and what our priorities were and making some true friends. There was much interest in our Gender Diversity program in NZ, as only the USA and Australia seem to be active in promoting inclusion to this degree. Another highlight of my week was chatting with various ASC members who dropped by during the week for different sessions and were keen to hear more about our NZ situation.
All in all, I’d highly recommend that the NZCS continues to attend the ICS in future years as its great to keep our profile up in this international sphere, as well as our IMAGO involvement in Europe.
~ Donny Duncan NZCS