Richard Michalak was born in Canberra, Australia in 1954. His father, Joseph, was a Polish displaced person who had been a prisoner during WW2 after serving as a medic in the Polish Army. Joseph worked principally in Australia as a hairdresser. His mother, Cathren, was a school teacher and had acted in the theatre scene in Sydney during and after WW2. Making Super 8 films from 1969, and 16mm films from 1971, Richard got a job in 1973 as a Camera Assistant at the ABC-TV studios in Canberra on local and national news. He also worked for 9 months at ABC Sydney in 1973-1974. Working again in Canberra, his news career culminated in covering news of the Whitlam Dismissal drama of 1975. Winning a scholarship to attend The Australian Film Television and Radio School from 1977 to 1980, Richard graduated with an ACS Award for cinematography and an AFI Award and a Sammy Award for directing. Going freelance as a cinematographer in 1980, Richard managed to make a living entirely from cinematography with his career picking up as the 80s went on. He shot his first feature Tale of a Tiger (1984) for AFTRS alumnus Rolf deHeer in 1983 and shot music videos for fellow Canberran Keir McFarlane from 1984. Richard did well in the well paid, government-protected TV commercials market of the 80s and good reviews for shooting Incident at Raven's Gate (1988) for Rolf deHeer in 1987 and tax incentives for feature films resulted in more features and commercials in the 80s. Shooting Fatal Sky (1990) in the former Yugoslavia in 1989 led to shooting Children of the Night (1991) in the US in 1990 and a string of US features after that. From 1991 Richard lived in Los Angeles most of the year for the next 9 years. Having always aspired to shoot Woody Allen style intelligent social comedies, Richard was dissatisfied by the early 90s with the artistic and budget level of the films he was shooting in the US which occasionally even descended into on-screen fart jokes. This was contrasted markedly by the high budget and very high quality and creative commercials he was by then regularly shooting in New Zealand. Deciding to relocate back to Sydney in 1993 he was, in a cruel twist of fate, then offered a Green Card. Not feeling that it was right for someone under 40 (he was 39) to refuse such an offer he remained in LA for another 6 years regularly commuting to New Zealand and Australia, and across the US for work. Finally relocating back to Sydney in late 1999 and finding the now deregulated TV commercials market tough, he worked mostly in the Asian TV commercials market for the next 10 years shooting in Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam and China. Since 2010 Richard has mostly been shooting in Australia with some shoots in Asia. He has also been teaching cinematography at the International Film School Sydney. In 2007 Richard wrote a feature film script which was co-produced and co-directed by Richard and Nicola Furst in 2010. The film was shot mostly against green screen and the backgrounds were created later by Richard using a photo collage process. After a long edit and post production period this film was completed in 2014 and will be heading to festivals in 2015. In 2012 Richard made a cinematography tutorial with Hugh Fenton. As of January 2015, this 40 minute video has been viewed on you tube over 450,000 times. Richard is now writing another feature that will again be shot against green screen with 3d graphic backgrounds added later. This will also be made with Nicola Furst. Richard continues to shoot and, still loving cinematography, has no intentions of ever retiring.