Industry and colleagues gather in Sydney to honour the life and career of the late Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC – by Erika Addis
It was fitting that we gathered in a beautiful cinema to hear stories about Andrew Lesnie and watch behind-the-scenes footage of him at work. Friends, family and colleagues from his forty odd years in the business gathered to express their love for him and share their favourite memories to help process the incomprehensible loss, in the company of their peers.
From Groucho Marx quotes shared on set, to the story of a Junior Colour-Grader on Lord of the Rings who expressed enthusiasm for the actor Liv Tyler. Lesnie arranged for her to visit the grading suite and ask the grader what he could do for her shots, while moving ever closer to him. The stories conveyed his life long passion for film, his generosity and his irrepressible sense of humour.
“The love, respect and sense of profound loss for this humble and extraordinary Cinematographer was palpable.”
In the archival footage from Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth film shoots we saw Lesnie full of energy, explaining, sharing jokes, standing in, demonstrating, setting lamps and cutters, constantly on the move. And the beautiful compilation put together by Kim Batterham ACS and Philippa Harvey amazed many because of the sheer range of films he shot. Few people realised just how much he had done.
The love, respect and sense of profound loss for this humble and extraordinary Cinematographer was palpable. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making the event possible.
Erika Addis specialises in a broad range of documentaries, and films that have resulted in a raft of award wins, including the 1988 ACS Golden Tripod for The Nights Belong to the Novelist.