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Tuesday, 12 March 2013 15:09

Society of Camera Operators Lifetime Achievement Awards 2013

Written by  James Thompson
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soc_colinThe Society of Camera Operators (SOC) recently held its annual awards ceremony at the prestigious Television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, Calif. The elegant event honored the camera professionals and innovators who contribute to television and feature film entertainment. The audience of celebrities, camera operators and technicians, equipment manufacturers and industry peers also enjoyed a special tribute highlighting the Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Renowned Camera Operator Mitch Dubin, SOC was named Camera Operator of the Year for Feature Films. His outstanding work helped to breathe life into Steven Spielberg’s period biopic Lincoln, one of the year’s finest films. This was Dubin’s second SOC nomination after being nominated last year in the same category for War Horse. In his acceptance speech, he thanked his longtime collaborators Spielberg and Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. Andrew Voegeli, SOC won Camera Operator of the Year for Television for lensing the AMC series “Breaking Bad.” This was Voegeli’s first SOC nomination and win. “I’m humbled in the presence of some of the greatest operators and technicians," said Voegeli, who also thanked Showrunner Vince Gilligan for creating the show’s rich characters. Other award highlights included SOC President Chris Tufty presenting Actress Kyra Sedgwick with the President’s Award. In her acceptance speech, Sedgwick relayed some savvy advice to the receptive crowd: “A smart actor will go make friends with the cameraman at the start of every show.”

soc_maccallumThe Governors Award went to Penny Marshall, honoring her lifetime of achievement as an actor, director and producer in film and television. An appreciative Marshall kept the audience laughing as she reminisced about her career and explained her trust in camera operators by citing Orson Welles. “A film is never really good unless [the] camera is an eye in the head of a poet,” said Marshall. “‘We make poetry together. We’re a collaborative effort.’ Thank you so much for the Governors Award of the SOC, and thank you to all the guys I did work with. I would be nothing without them. They understood me.” Tim Wade presented the Camera Technician Award to Baird Steptoe, who thanked Wade and other peers for helping his career to prosper. “I’ve been blessed to work with some incredible camera operators,” said Steptoe.

Camera Operator Bruce MacCallum, SOC won the final award of the evening, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Known for his work in a variety of genres, his films include The Adjustment Bureau, Julie and Julia, Ransom and The Paper. Actor Colin Farrell entertained the audience with his charisma as he presented the award to MacCallum. “The relationship between an actor and a cameraman is one that is so fundamentally significant with regard to the mission at hand,” said Farrell. “An actor is a tree falling in the forest, not making a sound without their cameraman. The camera operator is the first to really be in close quarters with you, who is right there looking through the lens. If you’re baring your soul [or] if you’re experiencing a moment of truth, [he] is sharing in that with you.” Other Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Still Photographer Melissa Moseley, SMPSP and Mobile Camera Platform Operator Brad Rea.

soc_awards_lighthillPeter Robertson, ACO, SOC won the Historic Shot Award for the beachhead scene in Atonement. The award was presented with humor and camaraderie by Seamus McGarvey, BSC, ASC, who was Robertson’s DP on that film. The Distinguished Service Award went to Woody Omens, ASC. “So many of you out there have operated for me over the years, and you made it possible for me to be a better cinematographer,” said Omens. “I am really grateful for that support. Thank you for being my talented teammates and collaborators.”

The evening’s Technical Achievement Awards went to Canon for the EOS Cine C300 and C500 camera systems, and to David Eubank for the pCAM Film+Digital Calculator. “We’re in a period of change,” said Cinematographer Richard Crudo, ASC, who presented the award to Canon representative Tim Smith. “All we’ve heard in the past 10 or 15 years is we’re in a period of great transition. From the very beginning, cinematography has been an art that is driven by change. Early cameramen were inventors and tinkers.” Crudo added that he is impressed by Canon’s new cameras. “I speak from considerable firsthand experience when I tell you that they have delivered a remarkable tool in the C300 and C500.” As Smith accepted his award, he thanked SOC members for their help in developing the camera: “It was with your guiding hand that we were able to bring the C300 and C500 to market.” P3 congratulates all of the SOC nominees and winners.

to see more photos from the event!
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