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Wednesday, 28 April 2010 10:46

24th Annual ASC Awards

Written by  Jennifer Marino
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The 24th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.
Tom Stern, ASC with actor Morgan FreemanHumor livened up the 24th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on February 27, 2010. Chairman Richard Crudo, ASC opened the ceremony by reflecting on his tasks for setting up the event. “This job is like being on the set,” he joked. “If you’re doing it right, all you have to do is point and delegate.”

The ASC Presidents Award was given to Sol Negrin, ASC by his son, Michael Negrin, ASC, in recognition of his accomplishments as a cinematographer. With over 60 years in the film industry, Negrin expressed his gratitude to his colleagues, especially George Spiro Dibie, ASC. “We traveled a lot of roads together. In fact, he calls me ‘cousin’ … and even ‘sexy’ sometimes,” Negrin kidded.  

While presenting the Television Episodic Series/Pilot Award to Eagle Egilsson, Actress Amanda Righetti commented on the variety of films nominated for the category. “The stories range from undercover cops in Los Angeles to forensic specialists in Las Vegas [and] a New Yorker struggling to be fashionable to a would-be superhero,” she said. “The common denominator is that artful cinematography helped to transport audiences into their worlds.”

 Actor Tim Roth, who humored the audience with his indecision about which side to face, presented Chris Menges, ASC, BSC with the ASC International Award, and referred to the cinematographer as “the epitome of a great collaborator.” Menges took the stage to thank the directors and other people he has worked with over the years. “You can’t make your dreams come true without lots of help,” he said.

The Television Movie/Miniseries Award was presented to Alar Kivilo, ASC, CSC by Actor Ryan O’Neal, who joked about how lucky cinematographers were to work with him. “Watching professionals at work is like watching paint dry,” he teased. O’Neal brought along his daughter, Tatum O’Neal, who attended the event to commemorate the late Cinematographer Andrew Laszlo, ASC.

Michael O’Shea, ASC presented the Career Achievement in Television Award to John C. Flinn III, ASC. “Whatever John says about me is not true,” said O’Shea. “He had black hair when I met him, and 43 years later he still has black hair. How does [that happen]?” Flinn, who is famous for his work on “Hill Street Blues,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “Saving Grace,” proudly accepted the accolade. “What a surprise and a privilege …What an honor,” he said. “Work hard, pay attention, ask a lot of questions and your dreams [will] come true.”

Tom Stern, ASC presented the Board of Governors Award to Actor Morgan Freeman in recognition of his career and contributions to film. Stern worked with Freeman on Million Dollar Baby and Invictus. Freeman, who collected his sixth Oscar nomination this year for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela, praised cinematographers in a short but sweet speech. “You’re at the forefront of technology while maintaining creative integrity,” he said.

Caleb Deschanel, ASC, with daughters Emily and Zooey DeschanelActors Zooey and Emily Deschanel presented the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award to their father, Caleb Deschanel, ASC and reflected on memorable family moments. The sisters referred to him as “a ruthless storyteller … scheming to get the best out of every moment.” While accepting the award, Deschanel spoke about his devotion to the film format. “I love the uncertainty of shooting on film,” he said. “Images rise more than anything you can imagine when they appear on screen. I like digital, but digital lacks mystery and the element of surprise … I love pushing the limits of film and fearing it. And [since film isn’t instant], you think of it as a dream, a journey to the lab.” Deschanel ended his speech by humorously reflecting on his career: “I’ve gotten death threats, hate mail, and I’ve been fired by hugely famous people.”

Actor Timothy Dalton presented the Feature Film Award to Christian Berger, AAC, but first honored cinema. “Movies are amazing,” he said. “You walk into a darkened theater and are swept up in a story steeped in fact or built on fantasy and everything in between. You can fall in love with characters or the story can break your heart.”

ASC also recognized the next generation of cinematographers by presenting the ASC Richard Moore Student Heritage Award to American Film Institute graduate student Benji Bakshi and Loyola Marymount University undergrad Garrett Shannon.
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