Outgoing President’s Message – Peter Cavaciuti

Dear Members, 

This will be my last communication to you as the current President of the ACO, since myself and Philip Sindal our wonderful Vice President will step down at the AGM on 2nd April at Panavision. Philip and I will also be taking a break from the Board, this is not I might add due to any lack of enthusiasm for the ACO. A fresh outlook, new perspective and new blood is essential to any forward-looking group, also our two-year tenure is up in our current roles.

The impetus for starting the ACO had its genesis in the realisation that there was a declining appreciation for the role and value of the Camera Operator. I can remember standing by a cold and wind swept unit base, beside a beach in Wales with my operating comrades Paul Edwards, Martin Hume, Chris Plevin and Peter Taylor. The shooting location was more than half a mile along the beach from where we were standing and yet again the Operators had to trudge along the beach on foot to the shooting location whilst everyone and their mums seemed to have a Gator to get to the action, so we wandered down the beach having to explain our inevitable late arrival to set. At the end of the day the same scenario would be repeated on the return journey we would see the rear end of the Gators disappearing down the beach leaving us behind, to be rounded off with a 45-minute bumpy journey in a rusty knackered old minibus, amid stories of ‘Do you remember when the Operators had their own drivers! ‘Set this against a background of the demise of the Operators Award and a distinct lack of Operators at our gala event Operators Night. Clearly something had to be done, the beach group decided to call a few colleagues and an initial meeting was held at the Miller and Carter pub in Harrow 20 October 2009. Myself, Paul Edwards, Rodrigo Gutierrez, Martin Hume, Chris Plevin, Peter Robertson and Peter Taylor attended the meeting and the ACO came into existence, we decided on a plan of action and a role to assume. Rodrigo heroically scribed our rules and regulations; much help was had from Dee at the GBCT and sincere advice from Francis Russell at the BSC. 

Now nearly eight years later we have a wonderful website populated with great articles, wonderful informative videos of our Q&A sessions and many interesting photographs of our members at work. Operator’s night with the help of the BSC, whose night it is we must not forget, and the GBCT is firmly back on track. We have established a great working relationship with BAFTA, we are the sell out act at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, and we are firm partners with the SOC in LA, we have Patron Liaison, Membership, Events, Editorial, Diversity and Awards Committees – wow!

As importantly on a personal and professional level we are talking to each other more than we have ever done, which is imperative for the future celebration and promotion of our craft, we now have an Operators forum.

This could only have happened and will only continue with the communal effort you have all put in and continue to do.

I am excited to announce that the ACO Board with your agreement would like to propose Ben Wilson as our next ACO President, Hamish Doyne-Ditmas as our Vice President and Benjamin Treplin to take over as our Secretary. This would be a great team along with our board, so please lend your support to Ben, Hamish and Benjamin. We would also be happy to hear of any other members you would like to propose for other posts.

David Worley will also be leaving the Board at the AGM, I wish to sincerely thank David for his wise words and support and work – over the years he has put me on a sensible course many times in Board discussions. 

So in parting, I say a huge thank you!