Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Clubhouse

Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Clubhouse

Article excerpt

Seale Joins ASC

The ASC's newest member is Australian-born cinematographer John Seale, also a member of the ACS. After graduating from high school he toiled as a jackaroo (a cowboy in his native lexicon) on his uncle's sheep station outside of the desert in Queensland. Seale was so impressed by the area's amazing vistas that he sought out a career shooting National Geographic-type documentaries. He soon moved to Sydney and became an apprentice to esteemed director of photography Bill Grimmond. The early part of Seale's career took place at ABC-TV (Australian BBC), where he worked his way up to the position of camera operator. For years afterwards, he served as an operator for such Australian-born ASC members as Donald McAlpine and Peter James.

Seale earned his first cinematographic credit on the 1976 film Death Cheaters. He then photographed Fatty Finn, The Survivor and Goodbye Paradise before winning an ACS Best Cinematography Award for his work on Careful, He Might Hear You. Seale was also honored by the ACS in 1982 and 1984 with the Australian Cinematographer of the Year Award. Seale's imagery on Peter Weir's Witness earned him Academy Award and BAFTA nominations. He has also received a BAFTA nomination for Gorillas in the Mist and an Oscar nomination for Rain Man. His other credits include Children of a Lesser God, The Mosquito Coast, Dead Poets Society, Lorenzo's Oil, The Firm, The Paper, Beyond Rangoon, The American President and Ghosts of Mississippi. The cinematographer's work on Anthony Minghella's The English Patient is covered in this issue of AC.

Ballhaus Honored with German Camera Prize

Michael Ballhaus, ASC has received the highest accolade bestowed by the cinematographic profession in his native Germany. On September 19, he was awarded the title of Cameraman of Honor during the presentation of the 1996 German Camera Prize in Cologne. Ballhaus was working stateside on Wolfgang Petersen's Airforce One, so his wife, Helga, collected the award on his behalf. Every two years (within the framework of Photokina, the world fair for imaging), the German Camera Prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding camera and editing work on current feature film and documentary productions.

The cinematographer first gained recognition working with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Between 1970 and 1978, they produced 15 films together, including Satan's Brew, Chinese Roulette, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven, Despair, The Stationmaster's Wife and The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant. The cameraman has also shot such German productions as Volker Schlondorff's Death of Salesman, Hans Werner Geissendorfer's The Magic Mountain and Margarete von Trotta's Sheer Madness. …

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