An Outstanding Night of Achievement — The 31st Annual ASC Awards


Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS takes a bow upon winning the ASC Award for Lion.

Lion, Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot and The Night Of took the competitive awards, while Lachman, Garcia, Rousselot, Schreiber and Washington were feted for their exceptional careers and contributions.

The audience arrives at the Ray Dolby Ballroom for the 31st Annual ASC Awards.
The audience arrives at the Ray Dolby Ballroom for the 31st Annual ASC Awards.

Event photography by Herman Jimenez, Mikhail Kharlamov, George Leon, Kim McBride, Danny Moloshok, Hector Sandoval and Michael Zito

The ASC Award trophy.
The ASC Award trophy.

Perhaps the most important night of the year for the practitioners of the cinematographic arts, the 31st Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards was held on February 4, 2017 within the cavernous Ray Dolby Ball Room in the heart of Hollywood. It took place just a stone’s throw from the site of the very first ASC Awards program in 1986 — a more modest affair held at the American Society of Cinematographers’ iconic Clubhouse. But with an attendance of 1,560, the ASC Awards has grown considerably over the past three decades, from an informal celebratory dinner presenting a single award before fewer then 100 people to one of the biggest events of its kind, with five competitive categories examining the year’s finest cinematography and five honors celebrating individuals of exemplary talent and character.

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ASC Awards Co-Chairman Lowell Peterson, ASC.

Welcoming the assembled audience was Awards Committee Co-Chairman Lowell Peterson, ASC — introduced by show announcer John Simmons, ASC — who thanked the many organizers, sponsors and supporters who helped make the event possible. “We’re here tonight to honor the work of visual artists who are at the top of their game,” said Peterson.

ASC Awards co-hosts Delphine Figueras and Matthew Libatique, ASC open the show.

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Returning for their third consecutive year, ASC Awards co-hosts Delphine Figueras and Matthew Libatique, ASC quickly set the tone for the show with their familial and funny banter — she a well-known Society staffer and he a member and 2011 nominee for his work in the film Black Swan. The pair also name checked a number of people in the room, including NASA astronaut Col. Terry Virts, and cinematographer nominees including Linus Sandgren, FSF, Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS; Bradford Young, ASC and James Laxton.

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Presenter Patrick Adams.

The night’s first major award, for cinematography in a Regular Series For Commercial Television, was presented by actor Patrick J. Adams (Suits, Orphan Black, Legends of Tomorrow).

The nominees were:

Tod Campbell for Mr. Robot, “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc.”

John Grillo for Preacher, “Finish the Song.”

Kevin McKnight for Underground, “The Macon 7.”

Christopher Norr for Gotham, “Wrath of the Villains: Mr. Freeze.”

Richard Rutkowski for Manhattan, “Jupiter.”

Patrick Adams presents to winner Tod Campbell for "Mr. Robot."
Patrick Adams presents to winner Tod Campbell for "Mr. Robot."

Opening the envelope, Adams announced that Tod Campbell had won for his work in the inventive and eccentric series Mr. Robot. This was the cinematographer’s first ASC Award nomination, while his other credits include the series Stranger Things, The Affair and Sleepy Hollow. Backstage, Campbell was truly stunned by the ASC’s honor, noting how many of his heroes were in the audience that night.

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“I just didn’t think I stood a chance, I mean, have you seen Gotham? It looks so good!” said Campbell on the red carpet, his ASC Award in hand. “I’m blown away. What was staggering to me is that I’ve never been to the ASC Awards before, and I thought we were going to be at the Clubhouse with like 80 people and I walked in here and it’s like 1,500 people, and I’m looking at Linus Sandgren and Emmanuel Lubezki [ASC, AMC] and these other DPs whose careers I’ve followed. They’ve shaped and influenced me and… The significance of this award, in the company of your contemporaries, even to be nominated… it’s just so flattering. I’m still shaking.”

The ASC Board of Governor’s Award is the only trophy of the night not bestowed upon a cinematographer, but an industry professional that has demonstrated work and character of the highest order. Previous recipients include directors Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, actress-director Jodie Foster, actor-director-producer Warren Beatty and, in 2016, actor-director-producer Barbra Streisand. This year, the ASC turned to actor-director Denzel Washington, who was warmly introduced by friend Samuel L. Jackson.

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Presenter Samuel L. Jackson.

“We can all agree that tonight’s honoree is a true triple threat,” said Jackson. “As an actor, he’s won Academy Awards for great, great performances in Glory and Training Day, and he’s been nominated four other times as well. He’s also been nominated for two Emmys, and he’s starred in a series of modern classics that pack a philosophical or political punch: Malcolm X. Cry Freedom. The Hurricane. American Gangster. Philadelphia. Man On Fire. The Book Of Eli. Flight. Let’s face it, the man knows how to hold the screen — he is charisma incarnate.

“As a director, he’s no slouch, either — those credits include Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters and one of this year’s standouts, Fences. Paging Mr. Washington — I’m available, man, and I’m hoping this intro will earn me a phone call on your next one!

"He’s also a powerhouse producer. It’s not even fair, people — he’s so good looking he’d probably be makin’ bank even if couldn’t do all of that stuff. I mean, come on — no matter what country you’re in, the name 'Denzel' is like catnip.”

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Denzel Washington takes the stage.

“It’s a real honor,” said Washington on the red carpet, ASC Award in hand. “Over the three movies I’ve made now, I’ve really learned something about the relationship between the director and the cinematographer, so it’s a treat just to be here and for them to say, ‘Job well done.’”

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The ASC President’s Award is traditionally given to film professionals who have in some way personified the organization’s motto of ideals — “Loyalty, Progress, Artistry” — not only through their work behind the camera, but as an ambassador of the filmmaking industry of the highest order.

Through her hard work, talent and tenacity, Nancy Schreiber, ASC has done exactly that, not only by building an enviable career and the respect of her peers, but by serving as a role model and advocate for women endeavoring to succeed in a traditionally male-dominated field, as well as an inspiring mentor for all young filmmakers.

Presenter James Chressanthis, ASC introduces the ASC Presidents Award honoree.

“We all know how crazy our business can be,” said presenter James Chressanthis, ASC during his introduction, remembering first meeting Schreiber at the premiere of the seminal 1992 documentary Visions of Light — which they had both shot portions of on high-definition video. “When I saw what she’d done with that primitive, so-called ‘state-of-the-art’ analog HD camera, I realized how gifted a cinematographer she is.

“I also learned about her remarkable, trail-blazing journey: gaffing, then shooting docs and indie features in a culture that just yesterday — and sometimes still today — denies women even the opportunity to do this work.

“As she became successful, Nancy did not close the door behind her, because she recognized a long time ago that it matters who you help and who you mentor. It matters who you hire and who you recommend to others — it’s who she is.”

Honoree Nancy Schreiber, ASC accepts her prize.

“I want to thank the ASC for this amazing honor,” said Schreiber after accepting her award from Chressanthis. “The first time I entered the ASC Clubhouse, I thought there might not even be a ladies room. But, of course, [ASC event coordinator] Patty Armacost has been our den mother for a very long time, keeping the ASC running so smoothly. And then there was our first female member, Brianne Murphy, who opened so many doors.

“I look out to all of you, my heroes and heroines, cinematographers who inspire me daily to reach beyond what seems possible. Receiving the ASC Presidents Award is the greatest honor, and I am forever grateful and humbled. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love. It’s a privilege to create, communicate and collaborate — using color and contrast, light and dark, lenses and cameras — to tell stories of the human condition.

Honoree Nancy Schreiber, ASC accepts her prize.

“It never occurred to me that I couldn’t do this job because of my gender, and I’m still baffled when people come up to me and tell me I’m the first female director of photography they’ve ever worked with — yet it happens all the time. Why in the world would the job of being a cinematographer be available only to people of a certain gender, race, religion or sexual orientation? Or age? We all have eyes, hearts, minds and souls. And we all need to fight for the right to express our individuality, passion and creativity in the film and television industry.

“I would like to accept this award in the spirit of inspiring more women, and all people who have been excluded from doing what they love, to know that their view of the world is important and they must — and will — have a voice.”

Previous President’s Award winners include visual effects icons Douglas Trumbull and Richard Edlund, ASC; inventor Garrett Brown; photographer Douglas Kirkland and cinematographer Bill Bennett, ASC.

Presenters John Schwartzman, ASC and brother Jason Schwartzman engage in some comedy.

The next ASC Award was given for cinematography in a Television Movie, Miniseries or Pilot, and presented by the duo of John Schwartzman, ASC and his brother, actor Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, The Grand Budapest Hotel) — who forged an room-appropriate comedy bit from the age-old notion of “finding your light.”

The nominees were:

Balazs Bolygo, HSC, BSC for Harley And The Davidsons, “Amazing Machine”

Paul Cameron, ASC for Westworld, “The Original”

Jim Denault, ASC for All The Way

Alex Disenhof for The Exorcist, “Chapter One: And Let My Cry Come Unto Thee”

Igor Martinovic for The Night Of, “Subtle Beast”

Martinovic accepts the ASC Award.

Jokes aside, the Schwartzmans opened the envelope and announced that Martinovic had won for his work in the pilot for the series The Night Of.

This was the first ASC Award nomination and win Martinovic, who is known for his work in the documentaries Man on Wire, The Tillman Story and What Happened, Miss Simone?, as well as the feature Silent House and the series House of Cards.

“I’m really shocked, I didn’t expect this,” said Martinovic on the red carpet after leaving the stage to applause.

With his long career behind the camera on such TV series as Hunter, Crime Story, Twin Peaks, EZ Streets, Gilmore Girls, Providence and Numb3rs, cinematographer Ron Garcia, ASC has left an indelible artistic impression on the medium that remains influential, making him an outstanding honoree for this year’s ASC Career Achievement in Television Award. The honor has been presented in previous years to such luminaries as Donald M Morgan, ASC; George Spiro Dibie, ASC; Bill Roe, ASC; John C. Flynn III, ASC; Michael D. O’Shea, ASC and Lowell Peterson, ASC.

Presenter Steven B. Poster, ASC.

“Ron got started in a similar way that we all did,” said award presenter Steven B. Poster, ASC, the president of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, during his introduction. But while Poster’s tale of an ambitious young man picking up a rented camera for the first time and launching a career by shooting B-movies seemed familiar at first, it took an immediate turn as he noted that Garcia’s “next step was hanging around — and working with — Vittorio Storaro [ASC, AIC] on One From The Heart. What better mentor could you have?” Other future collaborators would include producer-director Michael Mann, executive producer-director David Lynch and executive producers Tony and Ridley Scott — exceptional, inspirational figures.

“Ron became a Union member in 1985 and an ASC member in 1984. I was honored to be one of his signers, along with [ASC greats] Philip Lathrop and Linwood Dunn. They both signed my application as well.”

Poster then detailed how Garcia soon became a pivotal member of the ASC Technology Committee: “He dove into that work and quickly became one of the instrumental members to produce the first Standardized Test Evaluation Material — STEM for short. He went on to develop a “Connectivity Manual” designed to explain the Academy Color Encoding System — not a small task.”


Grateful and heartfelt — with a large contingent of his family in the audience — Garcia noted from the stage, “I’ve had the privilege to spend my life in the pursuit of an art that gives voice to feeling and narratives through the intimate medium of light — and to be recognized by the ASC, a society that has shaped my life and those of others so profoundly. I thank the Board of Governors past and present for this remarkable honor. I feel so fortunate to be here among such great talent tonight. My sincerest congratulations to you all, and I humbly stand in your shadows.”

Honoree Ron Garcia, ASC.

Garcia went on to thank such supporters as Art Tostado, Frieder Hochheim, production designers Hilda Stark and John DeCuir, Denny Clairmont and Allan Albert, agent Scott Harris at Innovative Artists, Dan Donovan and Bob Harvey, producers Lewis Abel and Cyrus Yavneh, gaffer John Buckley, among others.

Career Achievement in Television Award honoree Ron Garcia, ASC is surrounded by family.

He also gave special thanks to “my incredible family. My first wife, Trish French, mother to my daughters Renee and Juliana, and my sons, Allan and Glenn. My profound gratitude to my strong wife, partner and friend of 40 years, Peggy King, mother of my youngest daughter, Alyssa. I’m so blessed to have you all sitting here with me tonight. Last but not least are my brothers Jim and Mark, and my sister-in law-Janette, the loving wife of my younger brother Mike, who passed away last year before his time. I wish he and my parents were here to share this. My family was always there for me through thick and thin, never judging me, just loving me, and I will always love them back.”

Presenter Darby Stanchfield announces the winner for Regular Series for Non-Commercial Television.
Presenter Darby Stanchfield announces the winner for Regular Series for Non-Commercial Television.

Presented by actress-director Darby Stanchfield (Mad Men, Scandal), the next ASC Award was for One Episode of a Series for Non-Commercial Television.

The nominees were:

John Conroy for Penny Dreadful, “The Day Tennyson Died.”

David M. Dunlap for House Of Cards, “Chapter 45”

Anette Haellmigk for Game Of Thrones, ”Book of the Stranger”

Neville Kidd for Outlander, “Prestonpans”

Fabian Wagner, BSC for Game Of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards”

Fellow "Game of Thrones" cinematographer Robert McLachlan, ASC accepted the award for Fabian Wagner, BSC.
Fellow "Game of Thrones" cinematographer Robert McLachlan, ASC accepted the award for Fabian Wagner, BSC.

Opening the envelope, Stanchfield announced that Fabian Wagner, BSC was the winner for Game Of Thrones. This was the first ASC Award win and third nomination for Wagner, who was previously honored for his work on the HBO series’ episodes “Mockingbird” (2014) and “Hardhome” (2015). Recently completing the feature Justice League, his other TV credits include Hustle, Sherlock, Sinbad, White Queen and Da Vinci's Demons.

Unfortunately, Wagner could not attend the event due to work commitments, so his award was accepted instead by fellow Game of Thrones cinematographer Robert McLachlan, ASC.

ASC President Kees van Oostruum then took the stage to present the Bud Stone Award of Distinction. “The American Society of Cinematographers is a society of camerapersons,” he began “We are in many ways a non-political organization. As cinematographers we follow the stories and visions of directors, and as a society we invite our members based on merit and character. For almost 100 years our mission has been ‘Loyalty, Progress and Artistry.’

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ASC President Kees van Oostrum.

“Our artistry has been a yardstick for cinematographers and filmmakers all over the world. It is that artistry that makes us special. But in the current climate I would like to share with you an observation. Our society has always cherished the talent that comes from refugees and   immigrants alike. Where we would be today without the contributions of members like Boris Kauffman and Karl Freund, who had to leave their home country to avoid persecution? I was wondering what our cinematic culture would be without refugees like Vilmos Zsigmond and Laszlo Kovacs, and what our movies would look like today without people like Dariusz Khondji, Rodrigo Prieto and Emmanuel Lubezski. All are respected and well-deserving members of our organization.

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“This year the ASC has reached out beyond our borders. With a strong commitment to education, we expanded our master classes internationally. We sent our members to events around the world, solidifying relationships with various cinematography associations. Education, in conjunction with our review of technology, seems to be a suit that fits us well. And we will pursue it with more publications and forums and an expanded web presence.

“This year also marks Arri’s 100th anniversary. They are being honored with an Academy Sci-Tech Award, for “the pioneering design and engineering of a digital camera,” along with our friends Panavision, Sony and Red, who are also being awarded for their camera developments.

“I think we all got into cinematography to create beautiful images and tell stories that inspire people.

“As cinematographers we are also conditioned to put our subjects in backlight and face the light. So, in dealing with today’s complex world, it would be a natural for us to follow Walt Whitman’s advice:

“’Keep your face towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.’

“Okay, let’s get on with the show. Next I would like to introduce the recipient — or recipients — of the Bud Stone Award.

“The ASC Bud Stone Award of Distinction is presented to ASC associates who have left their mark on the art of filmmaking, and it is named after one of our organization’s biggest supporters. Burton ‘Bud’ Stone was president of Deluxe Laboratories in Hollywood from 1976 to 1994. He was a founding member of the ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards and served as its chairman for 17 years.”

Van Oostruum presents to Frank Kay.
Van Oostrum presents to Frank Kay.

Van Oostruum then announced the surprise winners of the Bud Stone award: longtime ASC associate members Frank Kay (J.L. Fisher) and Bruce Berke (formerly of Eastman Kodak), who were clearly shaken by the honor. Berke walked to the stage from a control console at the back of the room, where he was doing his annual duty as director of the show.

Van Oostruum presents to Bruce Berke.
Van Oostruum presents to Bruce Berke.

“It was a pleasure,” said Kay backstage. “And the best part was that I got to accept this with my good bud Bruce. You can’t beat that. And this is a personal thing because we both go to work with Bud on the [ASC Awards] Committee. I’m just proud to carry on the tradition he set down for all of us.”

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“Bud Stone was such a great influence, so to get this award in his name is a great honor,” said Burke. “Bud was very close to me. And when he died eight years ago, I handled the eulogy at one of his memorial services. He gave so much back to the ASC, that I made a promise to myself that if I ever got into the ASC myself, I would do the same.”

The show’s co-hosts then took time to recognize the ASC’s education program, which “includes the Student Heritage Awards, which are renamed annually in honor of an influential Society member,” said Figueras. “The 2016 Vilmos Zsigmond Student Heritage Award was presented at the ASC Clubhouse this past September, along with the Haskell Wexler Student Documentary Award.” (You’ll find details here.)

Libatique then introduced those winners in the audience: “Andrew Jeric from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Emmett Sutherland from the Art Center College of Design and Colin F. Shepherd from the Rochester Institute of Technology.”

He then added, “I’m very pleased to announce that the 2017 Student Heritage Award will be named after another great cinematographer whose work made an indelible imprint on cinema history: Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS.”

Presenter Rachel Nichols introduces the ASC International Award honoree.
Presenter Rachel Nichols introduces the ASC International Award honoree.

The ASC International Award was presented to Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC by actress Rachel Nichols (Criminal Minds, Continuum, Chicago Fire), who noted, “The ASC International Award is a great achievement for any cinematographer, and I know Philippe is extremely honored to be here. But he’s humble to a fault, so you may want to keep an eye on the exits — in case he’s disguised as a waiter and trying to slip out of the room.

“My friend is soft-spoken, but he is charming and charismatic — you’re drawn to him and you hang on every word. Secretly, he’s also an extraordinary musician who plays classical piano beautifully. He’s a great talent and a real Renaissance man, but he’ll never admit it.

“I first met Philippe in Santa Fe on A Bird Of The Air, the first feature directed by the late, great Margaret Whitton. She was a brilliant woman, and a perfect match for Philippe. She was awed by him and, trust me, she was not awed by many.

“Working with Philippe is an incredible experience. He has these captivating eyes that just look right into you; you can see his mind working, and then he does this one little thing that transforms the entire scene — he may make a slight adjustment, or add a little bounce, but his light is always warm and welcoming, and his aesthetic instincts are impeccable.

“On top of everything else, Philippe’s work defines versatility. He has shot every kind of movie in every conceivable genre, from Dangerous Liaisons And A River Runs Through It to Sherlock Holmes and his most recent project, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. There is no limit to what he can do, and every film he does reflects his love of life. He can truly do it all, as you’ll see in tonight’s tribute reel celebrating his work, because he shoots from his heart what he sees with his eyes.”

Rachel Nichols presents to Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC.
Rachel Nichols presents to Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC.

“My deepest thanks to ASC president Kees van Oostrum, and all members of the Society, as well as everyone who’s here tonight.,” Rousselot said. “Receiving this award has been a surprise, because such an honor does not just come along automatically after a certain number of years — like retirement money, or chronic back pain.

“My first reaction was ‘Why me?’ As if I had done something wrong.

“When Kees assured me he hadn’t mixed up phone numbers, I broke out in the big smile of someone who has just won the lottery.

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“Then I started pondering what it means to be honored, what exactly this award really stands for, and what exactly had been achieved. In short: What on earth had I done to deserve this?

“I started scrolling down my filmography on IMDb, and what came back in my mind from the list were not the fleeting images I could claim as mine, nor the films themselves, nor the public or critical successes and failures. Far more vividly, I recalled the people I had met and worked with during my career: the directors, actors, grips, electricians, decorators, painters, whoever they were, whatever they did, and whatever awards they themselves might have stumbled upon during their lives — all the people who so much contributed to the making of these films, and to the quality of my own work.

“I also remembered the pleasure I experienced collaborating with each of them, which made the work worth doing — and life worth living.

“At the same time, other names came to my mind — the names of the great cinematographers, past and present, who not only inspired me, but from whom I stole so many ideas.

“From a very long list, I will mention one: Nestor Almendros, a most illustrious member of the ASC, a great cinematographer and a wonderful human being, whom I had the privilege to assist, and learn from, when I was still very young.”

Presenter Dakota Johnson announces the winner of the ASC Spotlight Award.
Presenter Dakota Johnson announces the winner of the ASC Spotlight Award.

The next competition prize, presented by actress Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of Grey, Black Mass, 50 Shades Darker), was the ASC Spotlight Award. “It’s my great pleasure to present the third annual ASC Spotlight Award,” she noted. “Selected by a blue-ribbon panel of ASC members, this award calls attention to exceptional cinematography in independent, foreign or art-house films. In my experience, and perhaps yours, these non-mainstream projects often boast the kind of adventurous, artful cinematography we all hope to see every time we go to the movies.”

The nominees were:

Lol Crawley, BSC, for Childhood Of A Leader

Gorka Gomez Andreu, AEC, for House Of Others

Ernesto Pardo for Tempestad

Juliette van Dormael for My Angel

Dakota Johnson presents to winner Gorka Gómez Andreu, AEC.
Dakota Johnson presents to winner Gorka Gómez Andreu, AEC.

Johnson then announced the winner Gorka Gomez Andreu for House Of Others. This is the first ASC Award nomination for Spanish cinematographer, who received the Best Cinematographer´s Debut award in Camerimage in 2012 for his feature Chaika. His other credits include the features Moira, The Night Watchman, Kalebegiak and the recently completed Errementari.

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“I’m in shock,” Andreu later noted on the red carpet. “It’s amazing; this is like a dream.”

ASC Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Edward Lachman, ASC was presented by friend and frequent collaborator Todd Haynes, the director with whom he’d worked on Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce, I’m Not There, Carol and the forthcoming feature Wonderstruck.

Presenter Todd Haynes introduces the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.
Presenter Todd Haynes introduces the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.

On stage, Lachman noted, “Thank you, Todd, coming here to present this award to me and for your generosity and trust in me through the many years we’ve worked together. You are very much a part of it.

“My gratitude is also to the ASC and the American Cinematographer magazine for all their hard work putting this together for me — and to the Selection Committee for presenting this award to me.

“I’ve traveled the world with my camera. I was never judged because of my country, my skin color, my faith, my sex or if I was straight or gay but for who I was as a person. So, I have to say I think our lives have to be about compassion and decency towards others, or it will create a world that we won’t be able to live in.

“I’ve always felt like I’m on the outside looking in with all the creative talent here tonight … but now, I feel a bit like I’m on the inside looking out, so it feels strange, but I guess that’s what we cinematographers do.


“Maybe I’m getting this honor because I’m becoming too old and feeble, but the wonderful thing for me in receiving this recognition … is the opportunity to share and acknowledge the people in the industry that supported and believed in me. So I take my hat off to you.

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“This encased statue of a motion picture camera, standing on a tripod with three legs, is a symbol for me that represents how I’ve been supported in this industry literally and figuratively.

“The first leg is the equipment, suppliers, film festivals and organizations like the ASC. The Labs like CFI/Technicolor — my hermano, Art Tostado.

“CSC/ARRI, Dana Ross, Gus, Matt.

“Clairmont Camera — Denny, Terry and Alan.

“The Camerimage Film Festival, which nurtures and shares the love for what we do. I promise, if you go once, it won’t be your only time.

“The second leg is the directors I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

“The Maysles Brothers — I did sound, second camera and ran their office, sometimes all at the same time.

“Werner Herzog, who really gave me my start. Wim Wenders, Volker Schlondorff and Ulrich Seidl… Paul Schrader… Steven Soderbergh… Sofia Coppola… Robert Altman… And, of course, Todd Haynes.

“The third leg is my extended family, my crew. Over the years, Mitch Dubin, who was my AC over eight years with a Zen feeling for focus. He never missed focus when it was THE take. And he went to crazy and dangerous places with me all over the world — from Haiti to Columbia to Beirut. Even though you’re a greatly respected operator now, Mitch, I have all your assistant tools still at my loft if you ever want to come back to be my AC.

“The artistry and visual poetics of my operator Craig Haagenson on Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce and Carol.

“My dear friend, key grip Jimmy McMillan, who always gets me out of trouble or in trouble near the camera or away from it.

“My gaffer, John DeBlau, whose loyalty of almost 25 years has always been my joy and honor to work with. He has always been there for me even when I brought him out of retirement, half a dozen times. He’s a true master and artist in his own right, and helps everyone else on the set. I share this with you, John.

“The people in this room who know me well and crew here, you will always be my reflection in this award.

“But, in the end, this allows me to be most proud to receive this honor in front of my 11-year-old daughter from Amsterdam, Bella — and her mother, Laura. Bella paints and takes wonderful pictures and wants to be an artist when she grows up… But, you know what, Bella? You already are. I love you.”

The final prize of the night was the ASC Award for Theatrical release. “Our final presenter is an amazingly versatile actor whose credits include Saving Private Ryan, Lost In Translation, Avatar, Ted and Selma,” Figueras announced. “He’s also one of my favorite alumni of the ASC Master Class and a true friend of the Society. Please welcome Giovanni Ribisi.”

Presenter Giovanni Ribisi announces the winner for Theatrical Release.

With that, Ribisi took the stage. “There’s a special kind of bond between actors and cinematographers,” he noted. “As a performer, I know I can be really bold and take risks when the DP has my back. You guys help us define our characters with the right lighting, the best angle, camera moves, a carefully composed frame.

“The bottom line is trust. When we know that the cinematographer has our back, it frees us up to be adventurous and explore our onscreen persona. That’s when the magic can happen. So thank you all, because you help to make that journey so fulfilling.”

The nominees were:

Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS for Lion

James Laxton for Moonlight

Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC, for Silence

Linus Sandgren, FSF, for La La Land

Bradford Young, ASC, for Arrival

Greig Fraser accepts his award.

Opening the envelope, Ribisi announced the winner: Greig Fraser. This was the first ASC Award nomination and win for Fraser, who also earned the Golden Frog at Camerimage and a BAFTA nomination for this project. His other feature work includes Let Me In, Snow White and the Huntsman, Killing Them Softly, Zero Dark Thirty, Foxcatcher, The Gambler, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the recently completed Mary Magdalene.


“What an amazing honor to win this,” Fraser said. “When I looked out at the talent in that room from the stage, I was just blown away. Humbled. I was very humbled. It was such a joy to work on this picture with [director] Garth [Davis], even when it was tough on location in India — it was quite spiritual for both of us. ”

With that, and a final toast by co-hosts Figueras and Libatique, the 31st Annual ASC Awards came to a close.

ASC Awards co-hosts Delphine Figueras and Matthew Libatique, ASC close the show with a toast.
ASC Awards co-hosts Figueras and Libatique, close the show with a toast.

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A complete gallery of images from the event can be found here.

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