Two new “Dialogue with ASC Cinematographers” events have been scheduled for this year, taking place on May 18 at the annual J.L. Fisher Open House (held at their facility in Burbank, CA) from 2:30pm to 3:50pm, and on June 1 at the Cine Gear Expo (held on the Paramount Pictures studio lot in Los Angeles, CA) from 1:00pm to 2:30pm.
(Attending the Cine Gear Expo session requires registration and an event badge.)
The “Dialogue” events are programmed and moderated by Education & Outreach committee chair George Spiro Dibie, ASC — an award-winning cinematographer, veteran educator and the former president the International Cinematographers Guild. And for Dibie (at center of photo above, seated), creating these unique opportunities to interact with members of the professional motion picture industry is a vital role for the ASC. “The experience and knowledge we have gained over many years of hard work on the set is what we’re offering them,” Dibie explains. “You can’t learn that from any book or by studying films, whether it is regarding the creative process or working relationships.”
The discussions are informal with no set agenda, and, following brief introductions of the members of the panel Dibie has assembled, he immediately asks for questions from the audience. “We’re there to honestly answer their questions, with no agenda or bias,” he says. “We just give them the truth; the reality of what it is to build a career, assemble a crew, collaborate on the set and — most importantly — to understand that everything cinematographers do is about understanding and telling the story visually. It can be a feature film or TV series or commercial or any other motion picture project. Everything we do — lighting, compositions, camera angles — has to be about the story.”
Questions that are technical in nature are neither encouraged nor answered. “What difference does it make what camera or lens or lights I might have used for what I did?” Dibie asks. “You will probably not have those same tools that I did — and that's what they are, tools — so we try to instead focus on ideas and the methods of creating an image and the process of storytelling. That's what is truly unique to everyone; their perspective and their process. And if you can explore and understand that, then you can figure out all the technical stuff based on what you have to work with, including time and budget. So we do not address technical issues.”
ASC members who have participated in these discussion group sessions include Bill Bennett, Oliver Bokelberg, Stephen H. Burum, Patrick Cady, James L. Carter, James A. Chressanthis, Dean Cundey, David Darby, Steve Fierberg, Michael Goi, Nathaniel Goodman, Peter Levy, Stephen Lighthill, Paul Maibaum, Chuck Minsky, Donald A. Morgan, Donald M. Morgan, George Mooradian, Peter Moss, David Mullen, John Newby, Michael D. O’Shea, Daniel Pearl, David Perkal, Jaron Presant, Cynthia Pusheck, John Simmons, Ueli Steiger, John Toll, Amelia Vincent, Lisa Wiegand and Ken Zunder.
Note that these events are always well-attended. You are advised to arrive early.
You can learn more about the ASC Education & Outreach program here.
Founded in 1919, the ASC celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and this reel of exemplary images created by ASC members was made to honor their rich cinema legacy: