Born: Established: 1942 Borneo, Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia, ;
Cinematographer, film and television director/producer, writer, actor.
Michael Edols' career spans more than four decades and has seen him recognised internationally as a cinematographer. His production company, Michael Edols Films Pty Ltd, has similarly earned recognition for innovation and has made a valuable contribution to the Australian film industry.
Edols was born in Northern Borneo, where his father built an open-air cinema on the banks of the Segama River. He lived in the Murut longhouses for seven years, and was taught traditional ways by the Dusan jungle hunters, learning to observe and tell stories as they do. At the age of ten, he was sent to a Melbourne boarding school and later taught himself photography with an old box Brownie camera. In 1965, after having worked for several years as a commercial stills photographer, he accepted a position with ABC Television in Sydney as a cameraman for the news department.
In the early 1970s Edols was offered the position of Director of Photography for the feature film, The Office Picnic (1971) and soon afterwards went on various assignments throughout the Asia pacific region for the Commonwealth Film Unit. A number of his films received awards for cinematography, notably: Sports Medicine, Mr Symbol Man and the series Our Asian Neighbours - India. The short film Out They Go also received an Australian Cinematographer Society (ACS) Award. In the 1970s he collaborated on several project with Esben Storm, including his own two-part series Lalai Dreamtime (q.v., 1972) and Floating This Time (q.v., 1973), and Storms' 27A (1974) and In Search of Anna (1978). With the latter film Edols received an Asian Film Festival Award for 'Best Cinematography' and a Logie for 'Cinematographer of the Year'.
The early 1980s saw him film On the Road with Circus Oz (1982t) and direct The Voyage of Bounty's Child (1983). He worked in Africa for Time-Life (filming the series The Africans), in Canada (Solzhenitsyn's Children.... Are Making a Lot of Noise in Paris) and in Europe (Werner Herzog's Nosferatu). Edols and Herzog came back to Australia together to work on Where the Green Ants Dream. During the mid-to-late 1980s he was involved in three productions with an Aboriginal theme; as cinematographer for Eora Corroboree; as director and cinematographer for When the Snake Bites the Sun; and as cinematographer for Tudwali. Edols also worked as cinematographer on two episodes of the TV series Winners (TEN) and travelled to Greece to film the Paul Cox feature Island (1989). During this same period Edols produced, wrote, directed, filmed and edited his first major TV documentary series, Under Southern Skies for SBS.
In addition to his work on feature films, television series and documentaries, Michael Edols has shot commercials for clients such as Disney, Mojo, MDA, The Campaign Palace, Marmalade Films, Western Images, Quill and Taimac SBS. In the early 1990s he was largely associated with Beyond Communications. In 1996 he returned to the campaign advertising/commercial marketplace for Sprowles Films. Two years later he took up a position as lecturer with the Vancouver Film School. The late 1990s saw him also shoot such films as Ordeals of Love and Stingers (both Indi-Canadian features) along with the TV documentary The Irrepressible Life of Roy Kiyooka. Since 2000 Edols has been credited on such productions as The Finder and Games of the 'I' and Asian Enigma (Hong Kong).
Filmography (as a writer and/or director):