Ginny Loane: Cinematographer of the Year

Mahana director Lee Tamahori and Cinematographer of the Year Ginny Loane

Mahana director Lee Tamahori and Cinematographer of the Year Ginny Loane

Ginny Loane was named Cinematographer of the Year at the recent NZCS awards, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd at the event.

Although the NZCS gong certainly isn’t her first award, Loane’s someone you’d probably call a quiet achiever, said the NZCS ED Peter Parnham. “It’s always great to see those people awarded – and it was a real Wow! moment when we counted up the judges’ votes.”

Early in her career as a cinematographer Loane shot two features for Gregory King, Christmas and A Song of Good. For the latter she picked up her first award, the NZ Film & TV Awards gong for Outstanding Technical Contribution (Film under $1 Million).

In 2013 she took the NZ Film Awards Cinematography gong, one of several winners at the awards for Mark Albiston & Louis Sutherland’s Shopping.



A year later she was named Best Cinematographer at Show Me Shorts for Greg Wood’s Helmut Makes a Quilt. At the NZCS Awards, Loane was nominated for Mahana which she shot on an ARRI Alexa or, if you were at the awards, an A, R, R, I.

“The camera budget on Mahana was tiny,” she noted, but she had a bit of good luck. While shooting a commercial in Prague in the lead-up to Mahana she mentioned to someone at Vantage, the rental house supplying the commercial, that she was going on to the feature. They expressed an interest in quoting on the job and ended up supplying the Hawk Anamorphics Loane shot Mahana with.

Loane has her own set of Cooke S4s, but isn’t overly fussed about what kit she’s shooting with – only that it’ll deliver the right results for the story being told.

“I’ve always been fluid with gear,” she said. “When I was a gaffer, I’d see DPs who got so lost in the tech they’d spend so long setting up shots that the director never got any time with the actors.

“I’d far rather watch something that looks terrible but tells a great story, than something that looks great but is empty.”

While you know what she means it’s hard to imagine that many of the shorts she’s shot, including Stephen Kang’s Blue, Leo Woodhead’s Cold Snap, Sam Peacocke’s Manurewa and Katie Wolfe’s This is Her, would have won the awards they did if they’d looked like crap.

While Loane is younger than Campion, she’s enjoying the process and some of the results of ageing. “We become more honest,” she said, “and begin to understand that vulnerability is a strength. It takes quite a while to learn how to get what’s personal into your work.”

Doing most of her work in commercials, and also developing some of her own projects, Loane is particular about what dramas she shoots these days. She expressed a keen interest in NZ stories – particularly those of outsiders, people without much of a voice. The latest drama she’s shot is Lippy Pictures’ currently in-post telefeature Jean, supported by NZ on Air’s Platinum Fund and which screened last weekend.

Ginny Loane shooting a TVC for Samsung

Ginny Loane shooting a TVC for Samsung