Stephen Lighthill Elected to Lead American Society of Cinematographers

​Elections bring new leadership to Society for 2020-’21 session. This is Lighthill’s second term following 2012-’13 stint.​

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Board of Governors today elected a new slate of officers, elevating Stephen Lighthill to president of the organization. The Board also voted in vice presidents Amy Vincent, Bill Bennett, and John Simmons; treasurer Levie Isaacks; Secretary Gregg Heschong; and sergeant-at-arms David Darby. 

Lighthill takes the reins from outgoing ASC President Kees van Oostrum, who served four terms and was recently appointed to lead IMAGO, the International Federation of Cinematographers. 

This is Lighthill’s second turn as ASC president, previously serving from 2012-’13. Most recently, he held the position of vice president. 

Lighthill assumes his role at an important time in history, as members continue to advocate for equal rights and diversity, as well as safe production environments amidst the COVID-19 contagion. 

“This is a challenging moment for filmmaking in general and cinematography in particular,” Lighthill says. “As an organization, we are making plans to put words into action. Through the work of the Future Practices Committee and Vision Committee, I’m ready to lead our Society in responding, and in making our work environments safe, equal and diverse.”

Lighthill currently is the Discipline Chair: Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory. He has long served as an officer on the National Executive Board of the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) as well.

Lighthill began his career shooting for San Francisco Bay Area news programs, as well as national news shows such as 60 Minutes. He segued into documentary cinematography, working on many films including Gimme Shelter and Berkeley in the Sixties, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Audience Award at Sundance. His narrative credits include such television dramas as Vietnam War Story, Earth 2, Nash Bridges, and She Spies, among many others. He is a Society of Operating Cameramen’s (SOC) President’s Award recipient for his career achievements (2000). In 2018, Lighthill was honored with the ASC Presidents Award.

Founded in 1919, the ASC strives to serve its mission of inspiring the next generation of cinematographers and advancing the art of filmmaking through many industry events and initiatives. The Society has over 20 committees leading the organization’s various initiatives, including the recently formed Future Practices Committee to assist and advise on COVID-19 safety on set; award-winning Motion Imaging Technology Council (MITC) formed in 2003 to understand technology’s ongoing impact on the imaging chain in a way that best serves the creative interests of filmmakers; the efforts of the Vision Committee to encourage and support the advancement of underrepresented cinematographers, their crews and other filmmakers; regional and international ASC Master Classes taught by members; Clubhouse Conversation discussions with members and filmmakers about highly regarded work; and the activities of the Education & Outreach Committee with film schools. 

There are 405 active ASC members today who have national roots in some 20 countries. There are also 249 associate members from ancillary segments of the industry.

Current ASC leadership:

2020-’21 ASC BOARD OF GOVERNORS 

Stephen Lighthill
President

Amy Vincent 
1st Vice President

Bill Bennett
2nd Vice President

John Simmons
3rd Vice President

Levie Isaacks
Treasurer

Gregg Heschong
Secretary

David Darby
Sergent-At-Arms

Regular Board Members
John Bailey
Bill Bennett
Curtis Clark
Dean Cundey
David Darby
Jim Denault
Frederick Elmes
Ed Lachman
Stephen Lighthill
Lowell Peterson
Steven Poster
Rodney Taylor
Kees van Oostrum
Mandy Walker
Robert Yeoman

Alternate Board Members 
Larry Fong
Larry Sher
Chris Chomyn
Levie Isaacks
Richard Crudo

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