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ASC President Pens Sarah Jones Letter: Industry Afflicted By “Spiritual Sickness”

Sarah Jones death Midnight RiderFollowing the February 20 death of Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones on set in rural Georgia, American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) President Richard Crudo has placed blame for the tragedy on what he calls an industry-wide “spiritual sickness.” “The public outpouring of grief by individuals and groups connected to the camera department was remarkable, but the fact that it came almost exclusively from us uncovered a dark secret most of us have known for quite some time: This industry is in trouble, and I don’t mean economically, but spiritually,” he wrote in an open letter posted on the org’s website and published in the May issue of ASC’s American Cinematographer. The American Pie and Justified DP also calls on his fellow directors of photography to effect change on their sets post-Sarah Jones to ensure the safety of their crew:

Related: Gregg Allman Files Lawsuit To Stop ‘Midnight Rider’ Film

asc logoDetails surrounding the February death of second camera assistant Sarah Jones in Georgia have been well documented, but something important has been lost in the reportage. The facts, as they’ve been related, describe a horrible and preventable tragedy. The public outpouring of grief by individuals and groups connected to the camera department was remarkable, but the fact that it came almost exclusively from us uncovered a dark secret most of us have known for quite some time: This industry is in trouble, and I don’t mean economically, but spiritually.

From time to time, the late ASC legend William A. Fraker liked to hold court in the Clubhouse bar and expound upon the early days of his career. “Those were the good days,” he was fond of saying. “You could feel the romance when you went to work.” His emotion was palpable, and those of us lucky enough to be there believed his every word. But look a little deeper, and his sentiment becomes more than a nostalgic reference to the era of highballs and unfiltered cigarettes. He was really talking about the feeling of family and community that infused the movie business of his day.

Related: The Death Of Sarah Jones: Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew’s Previous Film In Georgia

According to Fraker, filmmaking collaborators showed a genuine caring for one another that extended well beyond the workplace. Though a similar ethic may exist in isolated pockets today, it bears no relation to its predecessor. There is no question that in the 1940s and ’50s, and even up to the ’70s, society had a sharper understanding of what was really lasting and meaningful in life. On the soundstages of 2014, it’s likely those notions of warmth and common decency will prevail only as long as they can generate cold, hard cash.

I am by no means suggesting the past was rampant with peace, love and understanding. There were plenty of things wrong with our culture then, and there was no way for Fraker to know it was already beginning to unravel. But if we’re honest, his gauzy recollections force us to confront uncomfortable truths about how we think of and treat one another, even in the smallest of ways.

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28th Annual ASC Awards: ‘Gravity’s Emmanuel Lubezki Wins Feature Film Honor; TV Winners Include ‘Killing Lincoln’, ‘Game Of Thrones’, ‘Drunk History’

UPDATED WITH FULL LIST OF WINNERS: Gravity director of photography Emmanuel Lubezkilubezki won the Feature Film honor tonight at the 28th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards. “The movie could not be shot in space, so big parts were shot in the computer and were part of creating these images and that’s something I’ve never done before,” he told Deadline. “I think it’s something we’re going to see more of.” asclogo__140108163440 Lubezki previously won ASC Awards for The Tree Of Life (2012) and Children Of Men (2007), and was also nominated in 2000 for Sleepy Hollow. Lubezki was one of five ASC nominees who also received Oscar nods this year and the win certainly gives him a boost.

Related: OSCARS: Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention For ‘Gravity’ Cinematographer

But before next month’s Oscars, Lubezki will dive into his next project – in fact, he’s starting in a matter of hours. “I’m doing almost the opposite [of Gravity],” he told me minutes after his ASC win. “At 4 AM I have to drive to the desert because I start a movie with my friend Rodrigo Garcia with Ewan McGregor. It’s a tiny little beautiful, extraordinary script that Rodrigo wrote that we’re going to shoot for five weeks.” Lubezki told me he likes shooting both film and digital but will be using the Arri Alexa on the Garcia picture. “I wish I could do the movie in 65mm, but we cannot afford it!”

The touchy subject of the industry’s transition from film to digital emerged a few times during tonight’s awards dinner at the Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood. First, the night’s opening montage reel pointedly began with a clip from Boogie Nights in which Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) passionately declares his loyalty to celluloid (“I’m a filmmaker, which is why I will never make a movie on tape”). Later, presenter John Carpenter made a sly dig at the digital future. (More from Carpenter below.)

2014-02-01_18-35-51_144On the TV side, Jeremy Benning, CSC, took the TV Movie/Miniseries win for National Geographic Channel’s Killing Lincoln; the One-Hour Episodic Television Series nod went to Jonathan Freeman, ASC for HBO’s Game of Thrones (“Valar Dohaeris”) and Half-Hour Episodic Series went to Blake McClure for Comedy Central’s Drunk History (“Detroit”). This was McClure and Benning’s first ASC nomination and Freeman’s fourth ASC Award. Freeman’s other wins were for Boardwalk Empire (2012, 2011) and Homeland Security in (2005). He has also earned ASC noms for Taken (2003), Strange Justice (2000) and Prince Street (1998).

HBO, Starz Lead ASC TV Nominees
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John Wells To Receive Cinematographers’ Board Of Governors Award

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 10:01am PST

johnwells1Award-winning writer-director-producer John Wells will receive the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) 2014 Board of Governors Award. Wells will be honored during the 28th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards gala here on February 1 at the Hollywood & Highland Ray Dolby Ballroom.

“John Wells is an extraordinary talent whose long career has exposed the world to superlative cinematography across a wide array of features and television,” said ASC President Richard Crudo.

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Lensers Announce ASC Award Film Nominees

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 8:33am PST

LOS ANGELES, January 8, 2014 – The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC)asclogo has announced nominations in the theatrical motion picture category of the 28th Annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement. The nominees are:

• Sean Bobbitt, BSC for 12 Years a Slave
• Barry Ackroyd, BSC for Captain Phillips
• Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster
• Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC for Gravity
• Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC for Inside Llewyn Davis
• Phedon Papamichael, ASC for Nebraska
• Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC for Prisoners

The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony on February 1, at the Hollywood & Highland Ray Dolby Ballroom.

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HBO, Starz Lead ASC TV Nominees

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 8:22am PST

HBO and Starz garnered three nominations each as the American Society of Cinematographers announced its TV nominees for the ASC Awards today. Winners will be announced at the 28th ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography set for February 1 at Hollywood & Highland Ray Dolby Ballroom. Here are the noms:

One-Hour Episodic Television Series
Steven Bernstein, ASC for Starz Network’s Magic City (“The Sins of the Father”)
David Franco for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (“Erlkönig”)
Jonathan Freeman, ASC for HBO’s Game of Thrones (“Valar Dohaeris”)
Pierre Gill, CSC for Showtime’s The Borgias (“The Purge”)
David Greene, CSC for The CW’s Beauty And the Beast (“Tough Love”)
Anette Haellmigk for HBO’s Game Of Thrones (“Kissed by Fire”)
Kramer Morgenthau, ASC for Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (“Pilot”)
Ousama Rawi, BSC, CSC for NBC’s Dracula (“The Blood is the Life”)

Half-Hour Episodic Series
Peter Levy, ACS, ASC for Showtime’s House Of Lies (“The Runner Stumbles”)
Matthew J. Lloyd, CSC for Amazon’s Alpha House (“Pilot”)
Blake McClure for Comedy Central’s Drunk History (“Detroit”)

Television Movie/Miniseries
Jeremy Benning, CSC for National Geographic Channel’s Killing Lincoln
David Luther for Starz Network’s The White Queen (“War at First Hand”)
Ashley Rowe, BSC for Starz Network’s Dancing On The Edge (Episode 1.1)

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ASC Elects Richard Crudo President Again, Taps Other Officers

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 11:37am PDT

Richard Crudo served three terms as president of the American Society of Cinematographers during the mid-’00s, and he’s back atop the guild after eight years. The Brooklyner — whose DP credits include FX’s Justified along with the features American Pie and My Sexiest Year — was voted to the top post by the ASC board, which also announced today that it has elected Owen Roizman, Kees Van Oostrum and Lowell Peterson as VPs. Other officers tapped include Treasurer Victor J. Kemper, Secretary Fred Goodich, and Sergeant-at-Arms Isidore Mankofsky.

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ASC Awards: ‘Skyfall’s Roger Deakins Wins Feature Film Honor; TV Winners Include ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Game Of Thrones’, ‘Wilfred’, ‘Hunted’

Skyfall director of photography Roger Deakins won the Feature Film honor tonight at the 27th annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards, two years after he won the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Deakins, who didn’t attend because he is working on the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal movie Prisoners, now becomes a frontrunner for the Oscar in the category, American Society Of Cinematographers Awards 2013 Winnersafter Life Of Pi‘s director of photography Claudio Miranda won the BAFTA earlier in the day in London. (The ASC Awards noms pretty much mirror the Oscar nominees this year, with Deakins, Miranda, Anna Karenina’s Seamus McGarvery and Lincoln’s Janusz Kaminski nominated by both organizations. The only difference: Les Miserables’ Danny Cohen was up for an ASC Award and not an Oscar, and Django Unchained’s Robert Richardson is up for an Oscar but not an ASC.)

It was Deakins’ third win and 11th nomination for an ASC Award, having won previously for Shawshank Redemption and The Man Who Wasn’t There. His wife James accepted the award onstage at the ceremony, held at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. She read a note he had prepared: “I share this award with everyone who worked on the production…filmmaking is truly a collaborative privilege.”

Deakins’ win for the James Bond pic capped a night in which Angelina Jolie made a surprise appearance to introduce the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dean Semler, her DP on her 2011 directorial debut In The Land Of Blood And Honey and on Disney’s Maleficent, in which she stars.  “I called him up to help me on a film I was directing, not thinking I’d get him”, she said in her intro. ‘Who can shoot it like you can?’ I asked. He said me, and did it. After the call, I’m not embarrassed to say I danced around the room”. Said Semler: “Angie, you’re amazing and we’re so glad you’re here …. This award has to be the greatest any cinematographer can reach for”. Read More »

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Cinematographers Unveil ASC Award TV Nominees

By | Wednesday December 19, 2012 @ 3:01pm PST

Fox garnered three nominations as the American Society of Cinematographers announced TV nominees for its ASC Awards. Winners will be unveiled at the 27th ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography set for February 10 at Hollywood & Highland. The film nominations will be announced January 9. Here are the noms: Read More »

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Steven Lighthill New Cinematographers Society President

By | Wednesday June 6, 2012 @ 1:42pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2012 – Stephen Lighthill has been elected to serve as president of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). The vote was made by the newly elected Board Of Governors who also elected ASC Officers, Vice Presidents Richard Crudo, Daryn Okada and Kees Van Oostrum; Treasurer Victor J. Kemper; Secretary Fred Goodich; and Sergeant-at-Arms Steven Fierberg.

Lighthill takes over the reins from outgoing ASC President Michael Goi, who served a maximum three consecutive terms. This will be Lighthill’s first turn as ASC president. He has previously served on the organization’s Board and as sergeant-at-arms.

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‘Tree Of Life’ Top Cinematographers Winner

By | Sunday February 12, 2012 @ 10:45pm PST

LOS ANGELES, February 12, 2012- Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC; Jonathan Freeman, ASC; Michael Weaver, ASC; and Martin Ruhe claimed top honors in the four competitive categories at the 26th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration here tonight at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.

Lubezki won the ASC Award feature film award for THE TREE OF LIFE. For the second straight year, Freeman earned top accolades in the one-hour television episodic category for HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Weaver was the inaugural recipient of the half-hour television episodic category for Showtime’s CALIFORNICATION, and Ruhe won the TV movie/miniseries award for PBS’ PAGE EIGHT.

The ASC Award for best feature was presented by award-winning actor Antonio Banderas who noted, “As I have found in my career on both sides of the camera, filmmaking at its core is about telling stories with images.”

Lubezki previously won the ASC Award in 2007 for CHILDREN OF MEN, and was also nominated in 2000 for SLEEPY HOLLOW.

The other nominees in the feature film category were Guillaume Schiffman, AFC (THE ARTIST), Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), Robert Richardson, ASC (HUGO) and Hoyte van Hoytema, FSF, NSC (TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY).

Currently onscreen in THE ARTIST, James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller presented Freeman the Outstanding Achievement Award for BOARDWALK EMPIRE (“21″). This is the third ASC Award for Freeman, who has won for Boardwalk Empire (2011), and for the telefilm HOMELAND SECURITY (2005).

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Cinematographers To Honor Harrison Ford

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 12:50pm PST

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30, 2012 – Harrison Ford, the venerable actor who immortalized Han Solo and Indiana Jones, will receive the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) 2012 Board of Governors Award. Ford will be honored during the 26th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards gala here on February 12 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.

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ASC Unveils Film Cinematography Nominees

By | Wednesday January 11, 2012 @ 9:07am PST

The American Society of Cinematographers have announced the feature film nominees for its 26th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards. The winner is to be announced at a ceremony February 12 at Hollywood & Highland. Last year, Wally Pfister won for Inception and went on to take the Oscar as well. This year’s noms:

Guillaume Schiffman
The Artist
Jeff Cronenweth
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Robert Richardson
Hoyte van Hoytema
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Emmanuel Lubezki
The Tree Of Life

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HBO Leads ASC Society’s TV Nominations

By | Wednesday December 28, 2011 @ 11:19am PST

LOS ANGELES, December 28, 2011 – The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has announced nominees in three television categories for the 26th Annual Outstanding Achievement Awards competition. The awards ceremony will be held here on February 12 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.

Nominees in the one-hour Episodic Television Series/Pilot Category are:
David Franco for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (“To the Lost”)
Jonathan Freeman, ASC for Boardwalk Empire (“21″)
David Katznelson, DFF, BSC for PBS’ Downton Abbey (Pilot)
John Lindley, ASC for ABC’s Pan Am (Pilot)
David Stockton, ASC for NBC’s Chase (“Narco Part 2″)

The finalists in the Television Movie/Miniseries category are:
Ed Lachman, ASC for HBO’s Mildred Pierce
Kevin Moss for Showtime’s Chicago Overcoat
David Moxness, CSC for ReelzChannel’s The Kennedys (“Moral Issues and Inner Turmoil”)
Martin Ruhe for PBS’ Page Eight
Wojciech Szepel for PBS’ Any Human Heart (“Episode 2″)

The third category, for a half-hour Episodic Series or Pilot, was just added this year. The inaugural nominees are:
James Bagdonas, ASC for ABC’s Modern Family (“Bixby’s Back”)
Michael Balfry, CSC for The Hub’s R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour (“Brush with Madness”)
Vanja Cernjul, HFC for HBO’s Bored to Death (“Forget the Herring”)
Levie Isaacks, ASC for ABC’s Man Up (“Acceptance”)
Michael Weaver, ASC for Showtime’s Californication (“Suicide Solution”)

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Hollywood Rallies Against Iran’s Draconian Verdicts Against Filmmakers And Stars

Mike Fleming

Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi Faces Six-Year Stretch
Iranian Actress Faces Flogging Over Film

In September 2011, the Iranian government arrested six independent filmmakers for allegedly working with the BBC, on charges including espionage and treason. Along with the ongoing house arrest of director Jafar Panahi and the prior arrest of actress Marzieh Vafamehr, who was later sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes, the arrests sparked outrage from filmmaking communities within Iran and around the world. Prior to the release of two of the filmmakers, all six were denied access to their lawyers and families, who were forced to remain silent.

The following entertainment industry organizations stand united in their support for the rights of these artists and call for their immediate release.

Statement from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

As an international organization representing over 6000 artists in 35 countries, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is deeply concerned whenever and wherever the rights of filmmakers are threatened. The recent arrest of six Iranian filmmakers, the sentence of “one year in jail and 90 lashes” to an actress just for playing a role in an acclaimed film, and the continued house arrest of Jafar Panahi, among others, is a situation that demands our serious attention. These filmmakers – and others – are artists, not political combatants. We join our colleagues around the world in calling unequivocally

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ASC Announces Awards Film Nominations

January 10, 2011 – Matthew Libatique, ASC (Black Swan), Wally Pfister, ASC (Inception), Danny Cohen, BSC (The King’s Speech), Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (The Social Network), and Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (True Grit) have been nominated in the feature film category of the 25th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards.

The winner will be announced at the ASC Awards celebration at the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom on February 13.

“These five people have set the standard for today’s cinematography,” says Awards Committee Chairman Richard Crudo. “Although they were nominated for a variety of films, they share the common denominator of extraordinary talent and good taste. Just their mere presence on set would elevate any production.”

This is the ninth nomination for Deakins in the ASC feature film competition. He earned top honors for The Shawshank Redemption (1995) and The Man Who Wasn’t There (2002), and other nominations for Fargo (1997), Kundun (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2001), No Country for Old Men (2008), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2008), Revolutionary Road (2009) and The Reader (2009). In addition to his nomination for True Grit, Deakins will also be honored as the recipient of the ASC’s 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award.

This is the third nomination for Pfister who was previously recognized for Batman Begins (2006) and The Dark Knight (2009).

Cohen, Cronenweth and Libatique are all first-time nominees.

“The artistically diverse approaches these talented cinematographers employed are

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ASC Honors Roger Deakins On February 13

By | Monday October 11, 2010 @ 12:53pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, October 11, 2010- Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC will receive the 2011 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation will be made during the 25th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration here at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on February 13, 2011.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award is a reflection of the impact that a cinematographer has made on the art of filmmaking rather than the capping of a career,” says ASC President Michael Goi. “It is our way of acknowledging a true artist in his prime. Roger Deakins raises the artistic profile of our profession with every movie and he will continue to do so for many years.”

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