The Image has not to be seen but to be found – John Toon ACS NZCS

The Imago Series of “Inspiration” Master Classes took place from October 18th in Vienna. It is the second European city to host the event following the staging in Copenhagen in earlier years.


Director Christine Jeffs, cinematographer John Toon and moderator Richard Andry AFC

The theme of this intriguing concept in Master Classes is the inspiration of the mind. For the 140 cinematographers representing twenty nationalities present, an additional attraction had been the presence of internationally famous Cinematographers with Directors with whom they had built close working relationships over a period of time.

Leading the line-up from “down-under” was the Oscar winning cinematographer for “Master and Commander”, Russell Boyd, who collaborated with director Peter Weir in 1975 on the iconic Australian film “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, a period of trust and friendship of 35 years. The first session featured ACS member John Toon who on stage appeared with Director Christine Jeffs, a successful husband wife partnership from New Zealand which has made feature films all over the world.

 inspiration3The remaining antipode Michael Seresin BSC was accompanied by the inimitable Sir Alan Parker. Their work together includes Midnight Express, a film Sir Alan stated would not be possible to finance today under a Hollywood system geared mostly to profit by making films for children and teenagers.

The final contributor from Italy was Luca Bigazzi, whose style of lighting reminded of the great Gordon Willis ASC. Unfortunately the director Paolo Sorrentino was not able to be present but this winner of five awards out of 14 nominations David di Donatello for best cinematography, ended a memorable week-end with humour, modesty and admiration which captivated the audience.

In his opening address to the Master Classes , Imago President Nigel Walters BSC thanked the AAC and the DFF for their organisation and support. Particular praise was reserved for Astrid Heubrandtner the President of the AAC and Jan Weincke, President of the DFF and of the Imago Master Class Committee. This had been faced with the monumental challenge of securing the presence not only of a respected cinematographer but his associated director. The value of the contribution of Ron Johanson, President of the ACS and member of the Imago Committee to the ideals of international co-operation from Societies everywhere, could not have been illustrated more profoundly.





 Russell Boyd and Peter Weir 

The moderators were Richard Marks ACS, Andreas Fischer-Hansen DFF, Volker Glaser and Richard Andry AFC

Financing of this Master Class was secured with help from Vienna Film Fund, the Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Film Commission, Sony Europe, Listo Videofilm , Synchro Film, Arri Rental Vienna. ISK Optics, K5600 Lighting and Transvideo. The Danish Collecting Society, Copydan, also helped finance the occasion using money they collect from residuals which are unable to be distributed to the original cinematographers of films shown on television. Each year 1.5 Million Danish kroner are made available to the DFF for educational purposes. It enabled the DFF to fly 27 members of their Federation to Vienna. In total their Collecting Society distributes to Danish Cinematographers the sum of 2 million kroner annually which is distributed to DFF members.

inspiration5 Michael Seresin and Sir Alan Parker

inspiration6 Luca Bigazzi