Hollywood, CA.-The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) held today Saturday 14, an Open House at 925 La Brea, Mole Richardson Stage in Hollywood, to celebrate the nominations in the categories of Best Cinematography and Lifetime Achievement of several of their members.The early morning occasion was a unique opportunity to mingle with active ASC members and speak directly to these selected group of talented cinematographers. The event was attended by an eclectic group of established filmmakers, producers, working camera crew members, representatives of the Society of Camera Operators (SOC) and ICG-iatse Local 600, budding future filmmakers from AFI film school, and the press, eager to congratulate the nominees and to hear about their experiences.
The Open House schedule was divided in several Q & A Panels. The four hour long panels were filled to capacity in matter of minutes. The first panel of the morning was the Regular Series Nominees, followed by the Pilot or MOW Nominees (Movie of the Week), to be continued at noon time by the Achievement Awards Honorees panel and culminated with the Feature Film Nominees panel. Also, the studio was converted into a gallery showing the still works of several ASC members.
The Nominees in the TV movie/miniseries/pilot category are Oliver Bokelberg, BVK for “Breakdown,” the pilot of My Own Worst Enemy (NBC); Michael Bonvillain, ASC for the Fringe pilot (FOX); Jon Joffin for “Night One” of The Andromeda Strain (A&E); Kramer Morgenthau, ASC for the pilot of Life on Mars (ABC); and director of photography David Stockon for “Resurrection,” the pilot of Eleventh Hour (CBS). The Achievement Awards Honorees by ASC are Robert F. “Bobby” Liu, ASC , Isidore Mankofsky, ASC Jack Green, ASC and Don McAlpine, ASC.
The ASC Feature Film Nominees are Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (Revolutionary Road and The Reader), Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC (Slumdog Millionaire), Chris Menges, ASC, BSC (The Reader), Claudio Miranda (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) and Wally Pfister, ASC (The Dark Knight)
All the Nominees are the finalists in the feature film category of the competition. The recipient will be named during the awards celebration at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on February 15. The panels of discussion were of upmost interest to all. After a brief introduction of the Nominees to the audience by Stephen Pizzello and Richard Crudo ASC, a round of questions conducted by Pizello or Crudo to the Nominees about technique, aesthetics, cinematic language, shooting format, location, interaction with production design, reproduction, work-flow, post-production and personal experience about their films were de rigeur. After commentaries and anecdotes of the Nominees experiences, the panel moderators conducted a Q& A session between the Nominees and the attending audience.
Some of the typical questions heard on the floor were: filmstock vs HD format, DI post- Can it (DI), fix it all?, shooting ratio regarding to script, interaction between D.P, camera crew and director and questions about lighting technique. A common thread and answer by the cinematographer's panel was the mantra "It is an organic process. The cinematic language develops by the collaboration of all working on the shoot, regardless of the format- The framing, (aspect ratio), the lighting scheme and the camera moves comes from within you in collaboration with your camera team - format and technique are part of the tools you can count on".
During the TV/MOW panel Q and A, Kramer Morgantheau, ASC added, "it is like playing jazz, you know the technique and you make a plan. But, when it comes the time to play, you have to deliver, regardless of the technique (specially, working on a TV series hectic pace). It is an organic process". In the Feature Film Nominees panel, Roger Deakins ACS, made the same observation after a question about shooting ratio and coverage. "You shoot as much as you feel is needed to supply the needs of the director and the editor but you make the rule as you go. One specific framing (shot) may convey cinematically more than a set of long, medium and CU's shots. It is an organic process. Dod Mantle, Pfister and Miranda agreed. All the Nominees are the finalists in the Best Cinematography category of the competition.