#1: From interview [2012]

#2: "Puberty Blues" [1981]

 

   


DON McALPINE   ACS/ASC

 

Born: 1934, Quandialla, New South Wales, Australia, as Donald Milton McAlpine.

Career: 'After graduating from high school, McAlpine earned the money to take a four-week boat tour to Europe by working as a sharecropper on a wheat farm. He spent a year exploring the continent while supporting himself by working at odd jobs. After returning home, he enrolled in college as a physical education and science major. Several of his teachers were coaches for Australian teams competing in the 1956 Olympics. He began doing movie camera work for analysis of the Olympic team. He bought an 8mm camera, then upgraded to a 16mm, to film the athletes. He would take footage of all sports including swimming and kayaking using underwater photography and above or under water slow motion. After graduation, he taught at a rural school in Parkes, Australia, where he produced 8mm training films that were used by gym teachers. On a school cultural excursion to Channel Two [Australian Broadcasting Commission Television (ABC)] in the late fifties he discovered the News Office. "There was a door, 'News Supervise Office', and I knocked on that door and said, look, I've got a 16mm camera. If I get the end of the world on film would you guys buy it?" They said, "Are you any good?" to which Don replied, "Who knows?" The News Supervisor gave Don a sheet of paper outlining how to shoot a news story and four one hundred foot loads of Eastman Kodak Plus-X. So, armed with his list and b&w film stock, Don went away. There was a big railroad center in Parkes that was converting from steam to diesel engines. He shot a news story documenting how that transition affected the lives of people who worked for the railroad. In 1962 McAlpine left his position as a schoolteacher and joined ABC-tv as a c.asst. In 1965 he became cameraman. In 1968 he was offered a position at the Federal Government's Commonwealth Film Unit/Film Australia, the lure of working with color called to him. It was at Film Australia that Don started to learn that "there was far more to camera then just reporting. That there was some art in cinematography and some art in filmmaking." In a short time he took the job of Chief Cameraman. A few of his short drama films caught Bruce Beresford's eyes. While still working at Film Australia he ph his first feature film, 'The Adventures of Barry McKenzie' [1971-72], in London. In 1974 he left Film Australia and became freelance doph. His career took another giant step forward in 1981, beginning with a 3 a.m. phone call from Paul Mazursky. During their first conversation, he asked McAlpine to meet him in Greece to scout locations for 'Tempest'. His career shifted into high gear after he collaborated with Mazursky on the making of 'Tempest'.' [From the ACS & ASC websites.]

Was interviewee in an ep of the doc series 'ACS Video Series'. Appeared in the doc's 'Studio Lighting: A Comparative Workshop with Donald McAlpine and Denis Lenoir' [1993, Steve Newman & Jason Wheatley; ph: S. Newman; 63m], 'Art My Arse' [1998; registration of a forum; 90m], "If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of 'Predator'" [2001, ?; 29m] & 'At the Movies: Behind the Camera' [2006, Stewart Burchmore; 25m].

Awards: AFI [Aus] Award [1980] for 'Breaker Morant'; ACS 'Milli' Award 'Australian Cinematographer of the Year' [1981] & AFI [Aus] Award [1981] for 'My Brilliant Career'; ACS 'Award of Distinction' [1997], Golden Satellite Award nom [1997] & BAFTA Film Award nom [1998] for 'Romeo + Juliet'; ACS 'Hall of Fame' Award [1997]; Empire AFI [Aus] Award [2001], 'Oscar' AA nom [2002], Golden Satellite Award nom [2002], BAFTA Film Award nom [2002] & CFCA Award nom [2002] for 'Moulin Rouge'; ASC 'International Achievement Award' [2008].


 

 FILMS

1971

The Adventures of Barry McKenzie [Bruce Beresford] c

1972

Gentle Strangers [Cecil Holmes] 16mm/c; short/57m; cph: David Sanderson, Bruce Hillyard, Mick von Bornemann & Kerry Brown

1974

Barry McKenzie Holds His Own [Bruce Beresford] p/c

1975

Let the Balloon Go [Oliver Howes] c; 2uc; ph: Dean Semler

1975

Surrender In Paradise [Peter Cox] 16mm/c; + small part

1976

Don's Party [Bruce Beresford] p/c

1977

The Getting of Wisdom [Bruce Beresford] c

1978

Money Movers [Bruce Beresford] c

1978

Patrick [Richard Franklin] c

1978

The Odd Angry Shot [Tom Jeffrey] c

1978

My Brilliant Career [Gillian Armstrong] c

1979

The Journalist [Michael Thornhill] c

1979

Breaker Morant [Bruce Beresford] c

 

[Left] with actor William Holden - "The Earthling"

 

1979

The Earthling [Peter Collinson] p/c; 2uc: Dean Semler

1980

The Club/Players [Bruce Beresford] p/c

1981

Puberty Blues [Bruce Beresford] p/c

1981

Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder/Vietnam: Hell or Glory [Peter Werner] c

1981

Tempest [Paul Mazursky] c; stand-by ph: Zoli Vidor

 

[Right] with Paul Newman [center] - "Harry & Son"

 

1983

Harry & Son [Paul Newman] c; 2uc: James Pergola

1983

Moscow on the Hudson [Paul Mazursky] c

1983

Blue Skies Again [Richard Michaels] c

1984

King David [Bruce Beresford] p/c; 2uc: Robin Vidgeon

1985

My Man Adam [Roger L. Simon] c

1986

Down and Out in Beverly Hills [Paul Mazursky] c

1986

Predator [John McTiernan] c; Mexico ph: Leon Sanchez; 2uc: Frank E. Johnson; thermal ph: David Eggby

1986

The Fringe Dwellers [Bruce Beresford] c

1987

Orphans [Alan J. Pakula] c

1987

Moon Over Parador [Paul Mazursky] c; 2uc: Lucio Kodato

1988

See You in the Morning [Alan J. Pakula] c

1988

Stanley & Iris [Martin Ritt] p/c

1988

Moving [Alan Metter] c

1989

Parenthood [Ron Howard] c

1990

The Hard Way [John Badham] p/c; replaced R. Primes halfway through filming; cph: Robert Primes; 2uc: Ron Fortunato; addph 2u: Roy H. Wagner; ph cons: Alicia Webber

1991

Medicine Man/The Last Days of Eden [John McTiernan] p/c

1991

Career Opportunities/One Wild Night [Bryan Gordon] p/c; Los Angeles ph: John McPherson

1991

Patriot Games [Phillip Noyce] p/c; cph UK: Stephen Smith & James Devis; 2uc: Michael A. Benson

1992

The Man Without a Face [Mel Gibson] c; uncred addph: Daryn Okada

1993

Mrs. Doubtfire [Chris Columbus] p/c

1993

Clear and Present Danger [Phillip Noyce] p/c; 2uc: Michael A. Benson; matte ph: Craig Barron

1994

Nine Months [Chris Columbus] p/c; remake of 'Neuf mois' (1993, Patrick Braoudé; ph: Jean-Yves Le Mener)

1996

[William Shakespeare's] Romeo + Juliet [Baz Luhrmann] p/c; addph: Kim Marks

1996

The Edge [Lee Tamahori] p/c; 2uc: Roger Vernon

1997

Stepmom [Chris Columbus] p/c

1999

Moulin Rouge! [Baz Luhrmann] p/c; addph: Steven Fierberg & Stephen Dobson

2001

The Time Machine [Simon Wells & (uncred) Gore Verbinski] p/c; 2uc: Hiro Narita; miniature ph: Tony Anderson

2002

Anger Management [Peter Segal] p/c; 2uc (+ 2ud): Hiro Narita

2002

Peter Pan [P.J. Hogan] p/c; 2uc: Martin McGrath; addph: Ian Thorburn; miniature ph: David Hardberger, Carl Miller, Martin Rosenberg & Patrick Sweeney

2004

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe [Andrew Adamson] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 143m & 150m; 2uc: Brad Shield & Dick Pope; addph: Ian Thorburn; aph: Adam Dale

 

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine"

 

2008

X-Men Origins: Wolverine [Gavin Hood] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Brad Shield; aph: Hans Bjerno

2009

Main Street [John Doyle] p/c; addph: John W. Rutland

2011

Mental [P.J. Hogan] RED Epic/p-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Ben Nott; uwph: Simon Christidis

2012

Ender's Game [Gavin Hood] RED Epic-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph 2u: John Trapman & Ronald Hersey

2013

September 18 [Jin Ge] prod shut down after the dir left on the first day after 2 hours of filming

2013

Broadway 4D/Broadway Sensation [Bryan Singer & Gary Goddard] HD; 3-D film enhanced show incorporating in-theater special effects at the Times Square Theatre, New York; prod cancelled in 2014 in pre-production due to financial problems

2014

The Dressmaker [Jocelyn Moorhouse] RED Epic (scope)-to-digital/c; 2uc (+ ph opening seq): Ross Giardina

2015

Ali's Wedding [Jeffrey Walker] HD (Panasonic VariCam 35) scope/c

 

 DOCUMENTARIES

1968

In One Lifetime [Lionel Hudson, Arch Nicholson, a.o.] 16mm/c; 27m; cph: Richard Tucker, Michael Edols, a.o.

1968

Papua and New Guinea Development [Douglas White] c; 13m

1968

Ron Shelley, Civil Engineer [Richard Tucker] c; 11m

1969

How to Drive [ep #1 (19m) 'Understanding the Car', #2 (11m) 'Inspecting the Car', #3 (8m) 'Starting Up, Moving Off and Stopping', #4 (12m) 'Steering, Gear Changing and Breaking', #5 (9m) 'Moving Off on Hills, Reversing and Parking', #8 (10m) 'Cornering and Overtaking' & #12 'Remembering It All', all dir by John Edwards] 16mm/c; 14-part doc film series; cph (#1-5 & #8): Reg Pearse

1969

Leonard French's Stained Glass Screens, National Library, Canberra [Michael Thornhill] c; 9m; cph: Reginald Pearse; ep series 'Outlook'

1969

Horizon [Bob Kingsbury] 70mm/c; cph: ?; multi-screen presentation Australia, EXPO '70

1969

South East Australia & Tipperary [Greg Reading & Harry Reynolds] c; 11m; ep #30 of series 'Australian Colour Diary'

1970

No Roses for Michael [Christopher McGill] b&w; dram doc/33m

1970

The Big Island [prod: Frank Bagnall] 16mm-35bu/c; 9m; cph: Keith Gow

1970

The Country Couldn't Do Without You [Don Murray] c; 7m

1970

Faces of the City [Malcolm Smith] c; 21m; ep series 'Australian Geography'

1970

I'm Going to School Today [Henry Lewes] c; 26m

1970

I'm Ready to Learn [Henry Lewes] c; 28m

1970

Or Forever Hold Your Peace [Kit Guyatt, Ian Dunlop, Arch Nicholson, a.o.] b&w; 58m; cph: Michael Edols, David Sanderson, Mick Bornemann, a.o.

1970

A Selection Interview [Cecil Holmes] 16mm/c; training film/17m

1970

Sheltered Workshops [Kit Guyatt] c; 25m

1970

The Athletes [Don Murray] 16mm/c; 28m; cph: Leo Elia & Richard Tucker; ep series 'A Man and His Sport'

1970

Country Jazz [Robert Kingsbury] c; mus doc/10m; ep #37 of series 'Australian Colour Diary'

1971

In the Bush [Keith Gow] c; 7m

1972

Drugs and the Law [Keith Gow] 16mm/c; ?m

1972

The Gathering Flame [Don Murray] c; 22m; cph: Dean Semler, Jack Bellamy, a.o.

1972

Teaching a Language Structure by the Australian Situational Method [Ian Hart] b&w; 2-part (x 15m) doc

1972

Introducing Australian Football [Malcolm Smith] 16mm/c; 23m

1973

The Man Who Can't Stop [Michael Rubbo] c; 58m; cph: Michael Edols

1973

Whatever Happened to Green Valley? [Peter Weir] c; 55m; cph: Nick Ardizzone, Ross King & Guy Furner

1973

Australian Report [Keith Gow, Ian Hart & David Eastman] 16mm/c; 20m; cph: Mick Bornemann & Kerry Brown

1973

Dairying: Space and Systems [Meg Stewart & James Coffey] c; 19m; ep series 'Australian Geography'

1973

Irrigation [: The Ord River Scheme and the M.I.A.] [Meg Stewart & Oliver Howes] c; 17m; ep series 'Australian Geography'

1973

The Fifth Facade [: The Making of the Sydney Opera House] [Donald Crombie] 16mm + 35bu/c; 28m; co-c.op; ph: Bruce Hillyard

1973

Close Your Eyes and Hold Your Stomach [Curtis Levy] c; 38m; cph: Geoff Burton

1973

Muster [Don McAlpine] c; 9m; cph: Geoff Williams; ep #42 of series 'Australian Colour Diary'

1973

A Voice to Be Heard [Greg Reading] c; 51m

1974

Your Voice [Greg Reading] c; ?m; shortened version of 'A Voice to Be Heard' (1973)

1974

Community Health: The Australian Concept [John Sexton] c; 26m; cph: Peter Levy

1975

Health Centres: The Canberra Concept [John Sexton] c; 13m

1974

The Royal Visit: Surf Carnival 1974 [prod: Peter Johnson] 16mm/c; 13m; cph: Frank Hruby

1974

Sacred Heart College for Boys [Chris Noonan] c; 13m; ep series 'A Place Where Books Are Kept'

1975

Penshurst Girls' High School [Chris Noonan] c; 15m; ep series 'A Place Where Books Are Kept'

1975

Sunshine North Technical School [Chris Noonan] c; 21m; ep series 'A Place Where Books Are Kept'

1975

A Balinese Gong Orchestra [Keith Gow] 16mm/c; 17m; ep 10-part series 'Our Asian Neighbours - Indonesia'

1975

Marvel - A Jakarta Boy [Keith Gow] c; 17m; ep 10-part series 'Our Asian Neighbours - Indonesia'

1975

Mastri - A Balinese Woman [Keith Gow] c; 18m; cph: Gajah Soepardi; ep 10-part series 'Our Asian Neighbours - Indonesia'

1975

Pak Menggung - A Javanese Aristocrat [Keith Gow] c; 21m; cph: Gajah Soepardi; ep 10-part series 'Our Asian Neighbours - Indonesia'

1975

Sinaga's Family - A Batak Village [Keith Gow] c; 18m; ep 10-part series 'Our Asian Neighbours - Indonesia'

1975

Penang - Malaysia [John Morris] ?; ?m

1975

Alpha [Theo van Leeuwen] ?; ?m; prod AFTRS

1977

Models and Methods [Donald Ham] 16mm/c; ?m

1977

The Near Edge - Three Families of the Global Village [Donald Ham] 16mm/c; 26m

1980

Jim [Donald Crombie] ?; ?m

2011

[100 Days in the Jungle:] Project Borneo 3D [Cathy Henkel] a teaser film was prod in 2010; scheduled to start shooting in June, but prod was delayed and Ismail Fahmi Lubish was announced as ph

 

 TELEVISION

1975

The Norman Gunston Show [John Eastway] 25-part variety parody series, 1975-76; cph film seg 1st season (May-July); for ABC (Australia)-tv

1980

The Children of An Lac [John L. Moxey] tvm

1982

Now and Forever [Adrian Carr (replaced Richard Cassidy)] tvm

1986

Bob Dylan in Concert/Hard to Handle: Bob Dylan with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers [Gillian Armstrong] mus special/56m; filmed in Sydney, Australia; for HBO-tv

 

 FILMS AS DIRECTOR

1973

Muster [doc] see Documentaries

1976

The Crew [: On the Set of Storm Boy] [dir] 16mm/c; making-of doc/21m; ph: Mick Clark; on the making of 'Storm Boy'