In touch with … Cameron Mackness

Having moved overseas after graduation, The Void’s audio/visual technician Cameron Mackness returned to his alma mater Flinders in 2007. We spoke with him to learn about his time in the UK, and what it’s like being part of a leading South Australian creative production initiative.

What is your role and what does your work focus on?

I’m Lead Technician for The Void, as well as being the Audio/Visual Technician for the Drama Centre. I look after day-to-day operation of The Void, including all set-up and use of the space as a Mocap Studio (Motion Capture) and Virtual Production stage. This role includes a research and development component, to look at new ways of integrating emerging technologies with traditional production.

I also support the Drama Centre with such things as filming and creating audio-visual elements for use in teaching and performances.

What journey brought you to this point in your career?

I started out at Flinders as a student studying what was called Screen Studies as part of a BA, before moving overseas, where I studied film, and television production. After that, I landed a job working in TV in the UK as a camera assistant on programs such as The Bill. After 10 years in the UK, I moved back to Adelaide and spent two years as a freelance camera operator, working on everything from sport to ads to programs such as Insight. I then moved to Port Lincoln for two years and worked as the Commercial Director for Southern Cross television.

I made my way back to Flinders in 2007, and took up my current role. The Void was opened just before the pandemic took over the world, in January 2020.

What do you love most about your work?

For the most part, my job is different each day, which presents me with new challenges and opportunities.  I love bridging the gap between science, technology and artists.

What would you like people to know about your role?

A lot of people assume my role would be purely about fixing any technical issues that may happen in The Void or the Drama Centre – and while that is a large part of my role, it’s not all that I do. My time is split equally between addressing technical issues, researching and keeping up-to-date with a rapidly changing technical environment, to better understand the way we can now tell stories.

What is something you are most proud of?

Establishing The Void is a real highlight. Two years ago, we started with some Mocap cameras and not much of a plan. Today, we lead South Australia in the application of Mocap and Virtual Production across games/films and live theatre.

What does a normal day look like for you?

There is no normal for me! It varies from talking to prospective clients about The Void, through to supervising a class of students using the equipment, to hanging lights and building sets.

How do you like to relax or spend your spare time?

I’m a football fanatic (that’s soccer for the less educated). I play and coach a team for Flinders Soccer Club as well as watching and helping my son play for Sturt Lions. I also enjoy trying to keep up with the latest television and film releases, as well as keeping my hand in on the PlayStation.

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