Cinema master shares secrets
AUSTRALIAN cinematographer Don McAlpine’s visit to WA Screen Academy last week was as much about inspiring hope in students as it was to impart advice.
“I think the main thing is to let them know that someone who has had some success is potentially no different to them and success can be theirs,” McAlpine said.
“They have to have a lot of knowledge, a certain natural aptitude, they have to be lucky and then the rest is easy.”
McAlpine’s modesty is endearing considering his body of work that began in the early 1970s with Don’s Party and My Brilliant Career before Hollywood called with films such as Predator, Romeo and Juliet and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Given permission to namedrop, McAlpine said he loved watching the late Robin Williams work on four of his movies, including Mrs Doubtfire , and was amazed by Robert De Niro.
“But my favourite would have to be Anthony Hopkins (in The Edge),” he said.
“He’s probably the most wonderful actor I’ve worked with in the sense that he was absolutely brilliant, but it wasn’t hard work because it was totally natural.
“He made no fuss about it, just got out there and did it and he was wonderfully approachable to everyone on the crew.”
His visit to Edith Cowan University’s Mt Lawley campus was thanks to a longstanding friendship with WA Screen Academy director Cathy Henkel, who directed Show Me the Magic , a documentary about McAlpine.
The documentary was screened before a public talk about McAlpine’s life and career, wrapping up two days of student and local cinematographer workshops.
Australian cinematographer Don McAlpine visited Perth students last week.