Notes by the president

President Paul René Roestad reports.

ICS, the International Cinematographer´s Summit 2018

40 Cinematographer´s Societies with close to 100 international cinematographers were present during the 2018 ICS In Los Angeles in June. Arranged biannually by the American Society of Cinematographers, the ICS is a unique opportunity for international Cinematographers to meet and discuss common challenges.



IMAGO´s Tony Costa during an IMAGO presentation at ICS.
(Photo Paul René Roestad)

Of the 40 Societies attending the ICS, 36 were IMAGO members, so the focus on IMAGO and the importance of international collaboration was very strong indeed.

Increased international collaboration is also the intent of the American Society of Cinematographers, and under the good leadership of ASC President Kees van Oostrum and the ASC International liaison Suki Medencevic the international collaboration between ASC and IMAGO has greatly increased. The ICS was again a great success, where technical developments, artistic challenges and also international working conditions for cinematographers and film workers were focused on, concluding that to reach our aims, international collaboration must intensify. The schedule included technical demonstrations at Panavision, demonstration of the revolutionary new LED cinema screens, to artistic debates with director Christopher Nolan and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema ASC FSF NSC on the artistic challenges on the production of “Dunkirk”.


But not least, the ICS gave a great opportunity for international cinematographers to meet, discuss challenges, and to form bonds of solidarity.



068O5237a IMG 4311a A perfect organization by ASC staff Suki Medencevic, Patty Armacost and Delphine Figueras, under the leadership of ASC President Kees van Oostrum. Our warm thanks goes to them all for this great and important event. 

CineGear Expo Los Angeles.

IMAGO at CineGear EXPO. From left Ron Johanson ACS (IMAGO Board member), Paul René Roestad FNF (IMAGO President),
Predrag Bambic SAS (IMAGO Board member), Louis Philippe Capelle (IMAGO General Secretary), Tony Costa (IMAGO
web editor), Nigel Walters BSC (BSC Vice President) and Mike Ely BSC (BSC President). .(Photo: Casper Hoyberg)

IMAGO was strongly represented at CineGear, with our own information stand. It was a great opportunity for IMAGO to spread information about IMAGO and our work, and also for talks with our many close partners in the industry.

IMAGO - what???
Since several existing and not least young cinematographers does not yet know what IMAGO is, continuous information is our aim, and from time to time it is useful to repeat what IMAGO is and what we do.

IMAGO staff and Awards winners at the IMAGO Awards in Helsinki 2017.(Photo Alejandro Lorenzo)

Cinematographers on the international globalized arena.
Cinematographers and film staff work everywhere. BSC members work in South America, Venezuelan cinematographers work in Britain, and Swedes work in Hollywood. Globalization has been part of industry since the start, today more than ever, and that is of course welcomed. Globalization was the reason IMAGO was established in 1992. The idea behind IMAGO is that since the film industry is getting more and more international, we need an international Federation which can help look after cinematographer´s interests internationally, to encourage knowledge and experience to be exchanged over the borders, to promote the importance of cinematography to our many colleagues in the industry and to the general public, and to see cinematographers have a forum to discuss and solve common challenges.
Although started as an European Federation, IMAGO is today truly international, with 53 national Cinematographer´s Societies and more than 4200 professional cinematographers as members, from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea in the east, to Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina in the west.
Our belief is that through international collaboration, our voices will far more easily be heard!

Updating, traning and education
Delegates during the IMAGO/HFF Conference “Training the trainers” in Munich. (Photo: Paul René Roestad)

Because of the ever changing digital situation, with new equipment, software and production methods, training, education and updating is one of IMAGO´s main aims.

One important tool to exchange knowledge is through international master classes, hands-on arrangements, seminars and conferences, and this is among the areas IMAGO works with continuously.
Today´s cinematography students are tomorrows cinematographers. IMAGO´s Education Committee also works with exchanging international experience between the many cinematographers who also works as teachers, so experiences that has given good results for instance in film schools in America, Australia or Japan can be tested out also in Europe, and vice versa.

Guarding the cinematographer´s images.
Globalization influences us all. Equipment manufacturers are international, production companies and studio owners are international, and the digitalization and digital distribution is indeed Global, and too often, out of our hands.
How do we keep control of our images in this Global and digital situation? Also in countries where cinematographer´s authorship rights are well established, we experience continuous attacks on these rights from many establishments. For instance, can cinematographer´s images be changed, cropped or color adjusted without the cinematographer present? The challenges for cinematographers are numerous. We can most effectively solve cinematographers many challenges if we as a Federation operate internationally. IMAGO operates internationally. IMAGO is the international HUB of Cinematographers when it comes to information, support, solidarity and discussing and solving challenges that affects us all.

The necessity of international collaboration.
Although we are a Federation, in IMAGO´s experience it is necessary to collaborate with everyone involved in film and also film politics to reach our aims, whether it should be archivists federations, national Unions, colleague Societies or Federations, or political environments.

The important issue of working conditions
IMAGO is also working to secure safe and acceptable working situations in our many member´s Countries. Still and far too often, accidents happen on film sets, and too often, cinematographers and film workers work so long hours their safety is at risk. IMAGO is planning an International conference on Working conditions in the film industry in Brussels in 2019, in collaboration with director´s federations and EU´s decisionmakers. Also in this area international collaboration is highly necessary, and a large number of Guilds and partner Societies and federations will be invited to join the conference to discuss experiences and ways to succeed. Not least the International Cinematographer´s Guild Local 600 in USA, under leadership of President Steven Poster, has done very important work in this area, and we hope the ICG will be a partner in this coming important conference so we can learn also from their long experience.

Cinematography is an art
IMAGO believes that cinematography is an Art and that cinematographers are artists. We strongly support cinematographers and Societies who believes cinematographers are authors of the image, and that they should be remunerated and treated accordingly.
Without images and cinematographers, visual storytelling is impossible.

Of course, what is mentioned here is just a fraction of the areas IMAGO works with.
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