Anthony Dod Mantle, the Oscar winning DOP on Slumdog Millionaire, was recently invited to tour Australia and speak at various screenings of the film by the ACS and Fujifilm. In what turned out to be a very successful, eventful and fun filled trip ADM, as he is known to his friends, was accompanied by ACS President Ron Johanson.
Johanson said, “It was my great pleasure to guide Anthony Dod Mantle BSC DFF, aka, ADM on his recent ACS/Fujifilm tour of Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. It was a fantastic experience and one I won’t forget for many years to come. I’m certain ADM felt the same way, given the new friends he made here in the Colonies. This was his first trip to Australia and we certainly turned it on for him. Prior to the tour he’d attended the National Awards on the Gold Coast and spent a day at Currumbin Sanctuary, with Queensland member Gamal El Boushi, cuddling and patting kangaroos, koala bears, snakes and wombats. One koala in particular captivated his Northern Hemisphere heart. But there was work to be done.”
ADM’s first port of call was Brisbane where the day started with a leisurely lunch, the first of many, with some of Queensland’s finest cinematographers. The assembled included Queensland ACS President, Nino Martinetti ACS, Phil Cross ACS, John Stokes ACS, Andrew Conder ACS, Tim McGahan ACS, Gamal El Boushi, Mic Collis and Ali Peck from Fujifilm Motion Picture Film distributor Awesome Support to name a few.
Johanson continued, “The screening, that evening, was held at the Palace Centro, New Farm. There were about 80 people in attendance and after ADM checked the projector it was all systems go. A really clean print, supplied by Icon, was much appreciated by all who attended. I’m not certain how many times ADM has seen the film, but he sat through the whole film and then answered another hour of questions from the audience.”
Day two took ADM and co to Melbourne where, after an early flight from Brisbane the team were met by Jaems Grant ACS. A very pleasant lunch was had at top St. Kilda restaurant, DiStasio’s, hosted by Victorian ACS President, Alan Cole ACS and the Victorian ACS Committee. Ali Peck and Simon Murphy from Fujifilm were also in attendance.
Johanson added, “We then headed off to the Classic Cinema to inspect the projection facilities. The projectionist at the Classic was extremely helpful and ADM was left rejoicing. He decided to sit through the first reel and then if all was OK, we’d go for a walk. You need to know that ADM had had only around 12 hours sleep since arriving, which was 4 days earlier. He wouldn’t admit it, but he was exhausted. So off we go for a walk…..we started in Elsternwick and finished up in Caulfield! It felt like a good 6kms one way to me. We then turned around and went back to the cinema, arriving just near the end of the film. Another superb print from Icon, but the best was yet to come. ADM was besieged with questions which he answered in his now famous, customary fashion. You ask a question of the man and you get an answer. Trust me! The crowd in the foyer was still wanting more and eventually the crowd dispersed after several warnings from the cinema owners and more enthusiastic answers from ADM to the enthusiastic Victorian members. This was a great screening indeed.”
Day three meant Adelaide and flying over the Adelaide Oval much to the delight of ADM who loves his cricket and mentioned that his great grandfather actually played on the hallowed turf. ADM and his entourage were met by SA ACS President, Ernie Clark ACS along with Simon Murphy from Fujifilm. After a lightning tour of Adelaide city, the party headed off for Yum Cha at one of Adelaide’s best Asian Restaurants, CITI ZEN.
Greeting ADM were some of the SA ACS Branch Committee, including, Jo Rossiter ACS, Joanne Bouziannis-Sellick along with Simon Murphy, Richard Back, Mark Evans and Ernie and Julienne Clark. Also ACS contributors Richard Chataway ACS and Roger Dowling ACS. Then it was off to the Palace Cinema Complex.
Ron Johanson said, “The screening was to be held in what was the IMAX theatre. The print was a brand new one, once again from our good friends at Icon. There were around 170 in attendance and once ADM had done his customary inspection, to check the projection lamp, it was all systems go. This was a cracker of a print and we watched the first couple of reels before heading out for a walk and a drink. There was a bit of a chill in the air and the Three Musketeers, ADM, Simon Murphy and myself were settling in nicely. ADM was experiencing that rare Australian delicacy, pizza with pineapple, until we realized the film was nearly over. Back we rushed to the cinema and watched the last moments before the Q&A began. This one went on for a little over an hour and continued, as was the case in Brisbane and Melbourne, in the foyer. ADM answered many questions and was very gracious in the way he listened and spoke to people. We had a late dinner at an Italian restaurant with Ernie Clark, his wife Julienne and S.A Writer/Director, Steve Callen and then it was home for some sleep.”
The final stop on ADM’s tour was Sydney – one he was very much looking forward to. Having said a thank you farewell to Simon Murphy for all his efforts the travelers turned to Ali Peck for guidance. Peck and ADM, it turns out, are old school friends having gone to college in the UK together.
Peck said, “When I first saw ADM after 27 years it was like yesterday and he didn’t look a day older. He is and always has been a great raconteur and a genuinely interesting and interested person. This I think also shows in his work, his ability to tell the story with the camera and each project has a subtlety and a style that compliments the adventure before us. He is very modest about the technical side of cinematography but every question asked was answered in full and with detail that I think everyone present was able to take something fascinating away with them. He really loved being here and was really impressed with the ACS and especially Ron as the whole trip was wonderfully organised and ran like clockwork.”
The day began for ADM with a phone interview for an Adelaide radio station and then NSW President David Wakeley ACS, very kindly took him on a tour of the Opera House.
Later that evening everyone gathered for an evening repast, hosted by Marc Van Agten and Fujifilm at “WAQU” a Japanese restaurant in Crows Nest. Fujifilm and the ACS NSW Branch made ADM feel really at home. The evening consisted of lengthy and fun conversations with David Lewis ACS, Peter James ACS ASC, Cal Gardiner ACS, Velinda Wardell ACS, Heidi Tobin, Ali Peck and of course David Wakeley ACS along with host Marc Van Agten.
The next day started by meeting Jan Kenny ACS and Erica Addis at the AFTRS where ADM had an informal round table ‘conversation” with a group of the Cinematography students. He loved the environment and he loved the students engaging with them all and being very forthcoming with advice and answers to many of their questions. After lunch with David Wakeley ADM met up with the Movie Network’s, Renee Brack for a one on one interview. As always he was extremely charming and very forthcoming.
The evening saw ADM attending the final screening of “Slumdog Millionaire” at the Roxy Cinema. This was hosted by David Wakeley and the NSW ACS Committee.
Ron Johanson added, “Once again a really good print and a very receptive Q&A from those that attended. The Roxy is a really Cinematographer friendly cinema and it’s always a great pleasure to watch material on this fantastic screen.”
The following day was ADM’s last in Sydney and he chose to go out in style by going sailing on Sydney Harbour with John Seale ACS ASC, his wife Louise, Martin Cayzer and Paul Jackson from Panavision and Ali Peck. Ali was hard at work simply containing ADM’s abundant enthusiasm. Togged out in his new deck shoes and spray jacket he certainly looked the part.
Ron Johanson concluded, “I said farewell to my new best friend and headed back to Brisbane. Anthony is truly a joy to be with and I look forward to our paths crossing again very soon. I would like to personally thank all the ACS branches who participated and especially Nino Martinetti ACS, Alan Cole ACS, Jaems Grant ACS, Ernie Clark ACS and David Wakeley ACS. Extra special thanks must go Marc Van Agten and his team at Fujifilm. What can one say except thanks and thanks again to Marc, Ali and Simon for your endless support.”
Fujifilm Australia’s General Manager Recording Media/Motion Picture Film Marc Van Agten said, “It was a real pleasure having Anthony Dod Mantle in Australia. I am delighted that Fujifilm were able to help in bringing him over to support the ACS and our local film industry. The success of Slumdog Millionaire (shot on Fujicolor Motion Picture Film Eterna 500 8573 and Reala 500D 8592 and also Fujicolor F-64D 8522, Eterna 250D 8563 and Eterna Vivid 160 8543) is well deserved. ADM is not only one of the most talented but also one of the nicest DOPs in the industry.”
For more press information contact Salvatore Di Muccio at Well Above on +61 412 64 99 64 or at firstname.lastname@example.org