Lemac Profile: Romilly Spiers

Working as part of the Lemac Melbourne Rentals team over the past 18 months, Romilly Spiers has had huge festival success with her short film, Ten Quintillion, and has continued to further her production knowledge and experience through shooting a variety of projects on a broad range of formats, both film and digital.

More from Romilly herself:

Before Lemac I was a film & TV student at Swinburne University. Despite it being quite a general degree, I was always most interested in cinematography and the camera department so, in my final year, I decided to shoot and assist on as many student shorts as possible. By the end of the year I had shot 3 films for fellow students, two on S16mm (using both an Arri SR3 and an Aaton XTR with Zeiss MK3 Superspeeds) and one on Swinburne’s new Arri Alexa.

Ten Quintillion

Ten Quintillion - The Trailer from Romilly Spiers on Vimeo.

In my spare time, and generally whenever the sun was shining, I also worked on my own film, Ten Quintillion. I’ve always had a keen interest in animals so I made a film about the most accessible creatures I could find, the insects living in my front yard. I had no budget for the project so I shot with my Canon 7D, the kit lens (a 28-135mm, f3.5-5.6) and a set of $6 extension tubes from Ebay. I had some doubts about the quality of the image from a 7D and a cheap lens but, in the end, the camera turned out to be the perfect one for the job. Its small size meant I could easily get it into any position I needed within a very confined space and, with budget glass on the front, I certainly wasn’t concerned about shoving it through the undergrowth or allowing a snail to climb over it if it meant getting the right shot. Remarkably and despite my misgivings, everything turned out well and, since then, the film has had success on the festival circuit, screening both nationally and internationally and winning a number of awards.

Thin Air

Thin Air Trailer from Natalie Nalesnyik on Vimeo.

Thin Air, written and directed by Natalie Nalesnyik, was my other graduate film of note. The film centres around two young gymnasts, one observing the unfolding of a questionable relationship between her coach and teammate. At the time Swinburne University had just bought their first Arri Alexa so I leapt at the chance to shoot with such a new and high end format. I had a set of Ultra Primes and, for the most part, shot at 50fps. The film has also been quite successful on the festival circuit most recently winning the SBS2 award at St Kilda Film Festival and being nominated for a further 3 awards, including cinematography.

Since these films I have worked on a number of other small projects including an experimental short about Peacock Spiders for a Sydney artist. Later this year I am heading off to the Galapagos Islands for a couple of months to do some volunteer animal conservation work and to hopefully shoot another wildlife short while I’m there. I’ve also headed back to university this year, combining a Bachelor of Science at Monash (majoring in Zoology) with my work in the Lemac Rentals team.