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Within the ASC there are two basic forms of membership: active and associate. Active members are cinematographers, and everyone knows what we represent to the ASC, but there is some mystery about the role of the associate member.
  

According to the ASC’s constitution, an associate member is a person who is not a director of photography, but is engaged in work that contributes to cinematography through either technical expertise or the rendering of services or products directly related to cinematography. That captures the gist of it, but in practice associates do much more. They come from all corners of the industry; they include camera manufacturers, post supervisors, color timers, company executives, lighting-equipment designers and many others. The contributions of one legendary East Coast associate, General Camera co-founder Dick DiBona, are detailed in this issue.
  

Regardless of their business affiliations, ASC associates leave those agendas at the door when they enter the Clubhouse. They participate selflessly on committees and contribute a lifetime of knowledge and expertise toward the common goal of making our craft the best it can be. They are a vital part of the Society.
  

Associate members understand what motivates us to do what we do, and they support that vision in ways that go beyond mere tech advice or equipment discounts. They are collaborators for the ASC the way our crews are on set. They are an integral part of our major functions, such as the ASC Awards, and major contributors to publications such as the American Cinematographer Manual. They challenge the Technology Committee to forge the way toward new frontiers, and join in the preservation push to guarantee that our work will be seen for generations to come.
  

Three associates, Bob Fisher, Larry Parker and Brian Spruill, have proven so valuable and committed to the ASC that we made them honorary members, a distinction we bestow upon a very select few.
  

The ASC is a small family, so the loss of any member, active or associate, is felt by us all. We recently lost Tak Miyagishima, who epitomized the character and importance of an associate member. The innovations he brought to motion-picture camera technology became an indelible part of our craft. He was present at our events and contributed ideas toward our goals. He used his considerable influence to open doors for our members when it mattered most. And he did all this with the grace and easy familiarity of a friend.
  

The ASC would not exist were it not for the dedication and commitment of our associates. You know the names of our active members — they’ve shot some of your favorite films. The next time you glance at the membership roster in this magazine or on our website, take note of the names of our associates. They are our unsung heroes. If we are able to reach for the stars, it’s because they build the platform that enables us to get there.
  

 

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