The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry
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Shutter Island
John C. Flinn III, ASC
Sol Negrin, ASC
Page 2
Presidents Desk
DVD Playback
ASC Close-Up

Negrin’s first opportunity as a cinematographer arose on a pair of TV documentaries about two West African nations emerging from colonial rule. He was recommended for the job by Jack Etra, a cinematographer he had assisted. Negrin quickly earned kudos for his work, and by 1974 he was invited to join the ASC. (He was proposed
for membership by Gerald Perry Finnerman and Harry Stradling Sr.)

Negrin earned his first Emmy nomination for the “Wall Street Gunslinger” episode of Kojak, the TV series that starred Telly Savalas as a hard-nosed New York detective. That same year, Negrin was elected president of 644, the New York local; it was the first of several terms he would serve. He eventually shot 24 episodes of Kojak, earning two more Emmy nominations along the way. “While shooting Kojak in New York, I worked with many different directors and often received their praise for a job well done,” he recalls. “Part of our task was to capture the flavor of New York City. While working with these directors, I absorbed many of their techniques in order to produce the best visual images. I enjoyed collaborating closely to achieve a mutual understanding about the lighting and composition in order to make each story as interesting and exciting as possible. The Emmy nominations were very gratifying, but my greatest satisfaction came from knowing I had done my best.”

In the early 1970s, Negrin earned Clios for excellence in advertising for his work on four different national campaigns. He continued working on TV projects, feature films and commercials through the 1980s and into the 1990s. In 1987, he received the Billy Bitzer Commendation Award from Local 644 for his contributions to the union, and in 2000, he received an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from Long Island’s Five Towns College, where he has taught cinematography for the last decade. In 2005, the college handed him another honor, a lifetime achievement award.

Negrin often shares his wealth of experience and expertise with students and aspiring filmmakers through mentorships, seminars, demonstrations and speaking engagements. He is co-chair of the ICG Educational and Training Committees and a Life Member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, where he has been on the roster for an astonishing 65 years. He is also a member of the Directors Guild of America.

Membership in the ASC has been a particular honor for Negrin, and he takes special pride in the fact that his son Michael is also a member. “In 1942, I read my first issue of American Cinematographer, which featured many fine, well-known cinematographers of the time,” says Negrin. “I knew at that moment that I wanted to be an ASC member. I very much admired the work of ASC members Gregg Toland, Harry Stradling Sr., Lee Garmes, Ernest Haller, Stanley Cortez and Hal Rosson. The day I was accepted as a member was one of the most memorable in my life. The camaraderie of being in the company of such talented individuals is something I never expected. To receive the Presidents Award this year means so much to me. I’m honored and very happy.

“The best advice I was ever given came from Harry Stradling, who said, ‘Never be afraid to take a chance. It may be the best thing you ever did.’”   


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