John Seale ASC, ACS Honored at 2016 ACS National Awards

John Seale, ASC, ACS on location shooting Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

John Seale, ASC, ACS on location shooting Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

Cameraman earns Gold Milli Award for Cinematographer of the Year at 2016 ACS National Awards.

At this year’s Fujinon Fujifilm Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) National Awards, held on May 17, John Seale ASC, ACS was honored with the coveted Gold Milli Award for Australian Cinematographer of the Year. Seale also won the Gold Tripod Award for Features in Cinema for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), which previously earned him Oscar and ASC Award nominations.

An Oscar and ASC Award winner for The English Patient (1996), Seale is no stranger to success at award ceremonies, but to win the Gold Milli for the third time — the first was for Goodbye Paradise in 1983, the second for Witness in 1985 — was particularly special. As he explained, “It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by your peers in this way. To say I’m proud and delighted would be an understatement. I would like to thank director George Miller for his spirit of collaboration, the wonderful crew, the VFX team and the incredible David Burr, ACS, who was responsible for so many of the amazing action scenes on Mad Max: Fury Road.”

John Seale, ASC, ACS inspects a Canon crash cam while filming Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

John Seale, ASC, ACS inspects a Canon crash cam while filming Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

This year’s awards were particularly special as they were held for the first time in South Australia’s Adelaide Convention Centre and marked a year of the passing of one of the ACS’ most beloved and talented members Andrew Lesnie ASC, ACS — known for his work on many groundbreaking and iconic films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy and its prequel The Hobbit trilogy.

Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS

Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS

Noted National President Australian Cinematographers Society Ron Johanson, ACS, “I would like to congratulate all the winners at the 2016 ACS National Awards and in particular John Seale, who is not only a great friend of mine and the society’s but an excellent example of what talent and vision a truly great cinematographer can bring to any production.”

Seale was in good company on the night as his fellow Gold Tripod award winners included Germain McMicking for Drama or Comedy Series & Telefeatures and Torstein Dyrting, ACS, who earned both Documentaries and Dramatised Documentaries awards.

Other notable events on the night included Louis Irving, ACS and Ellery Ryan, ACS inducted into the ACS the Hall of Fame, Seale and Ted Rayment, ACS receiving Ron Windon ACS Contribution Awards and ACS sponsors Panavision and Lemac being recognized with special awards for the support they have given the ACS and the movie making industry as a whole over many decades.

Johanson concluded, “Clearly what John Seale and his fellow experienced DoPs have achieved and continue to achieve in the world of cinematography is an inspiration to us all. That said, the reaction of young and upcoming cinematographers who win a Gold Tripod including this year’s enthusiastic CineKids Gold Plaque winner Catriona Warren, a delightful young lady, makes everything we do so worthwhile.”

Master of Ceremonies and well-known Australian TV celebrity Ray Martin concluded what proved to be a highly emotional and quite wonderful night of awards celebrating the very best in Australian cinematography that was graced with many special guests, including past president of IMAGO Nigel Walters, BSC as Guest of Honor. Walters also received Honorary Membership to the ACS.

The 2016 ACS National Awards judges were renowned cinematographers: Laszlo Baranyai, HSC, ACS; Richard Chataway, ACS; Peter Curtis, ACS; Garry Phillips, ACS and Chair of Judges Ernie Clark, ACS.

You’ll find a complete list of 2016 Australian Cinematographers Society National Awards winners here.

You’ll find American Cinematographer‘s coverage on Mad Max: Fury Road in the June, 2015 issue.

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