On June 28, the ASC Clubhouse was home to the newly founded “Murphy Social,” a members’ luncheon named in honor of the first woman inducted into the Society: Brianne Murphy, ASC. “The Social was created for our female and gender non-conforming members,” says ASC Vice President Patti Lee.
Attendees shown in the photo above are (back row, from left) Shana Hagan, Sandra Valde-Hansen and Lee; and (front row, from left) Amelia Vincent, Joan Churchill, Arlene Nelson, Nancy Schreiber and Cynthia Pusheck. Their fellow ASC member Alice Brooks joined the gathering virtually via Zoom from London, where she is shooting the musical Wicked. All were greeted in the Board Room by Society President Shelly Johnson.
Murphy was invited into ASC membership in 1980. She was a true pioneer, breaking into a male-dominated business as a script supervisor and production manager before working her way into the camera department. She started on indie projects and finally joined the guild as a 1st AC. An NBC documentary later helped her get into the union as a cinematographer, and she was soon shooting news and doc segments for the network, followed by smaller narrative projects. Murphy was then handpicked by Richard Glouner, ASC to replace him to complete shooting an episode of the hit series Columbo — a huge break. Her other TV credits include Little House on the Prairie, Wonder Woman, Breaking Away, Highway to Heaven, In the Heat of the Night and Love & War. Along the way, she earned three Emmy nominations for her camerawork.
Murphy was also the first female cinematographer to shoot a studio feature film, Fatso (1980), directed by Anne Bancroft. Additionally, she designed the MISI Camera Insert and Process Trailer, which earned her an AMPAS Scientific and Engineering Award Plaque (shared with Donald Schisler) in 1982.
She died in 2003 at the age of 70 but remains an inspiration.