The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

Lubezki Wins ASC Cinematography Award for Children of Men; Moxness, Stokes Claim TV Honors

February 19, 2007

LOS ANGELES, February 18, 2007 – Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC took top honors in the feature film competition for Children of Men here tonight at the 21st Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. This is Lubezki’s first ASC Award. He was nominated along with Dick Pope, BSC for The Illusionist; Robert Richardson, ASC for The Good Shepherd; Dean Semler, ASC, ACS for Apocalypto; and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC for The Black Dahlia.

The award was presented by Tim Allen who observed, “The finalists were born, raised and began they careers in five different countries, but they share a talent for writing with light and motion.” Lubezki is from Mexico, Pope from England, Semler from Australia, Zsigmond from Hungary and Richardson from the United States.

John Stokes, ACS won the television movie/miniseries/pilot competition for “Umney’s Last Case” from the miniseries Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, which aired on TNT. David Moxness, CSC won the episodic TV award for the “Arrow” episode of Smallville, which airs on The CW.

David James Elliott presented the award to Stokes. Elliott drew a word picture of the role that cinematographers play behind the scenes. “Artful cinematography is the difference between radio and television,” he said. “It’s not just about the images you see. It’s about how those images make you feel on a subconscious level.”

Beau Bridges presented the episodic television award. Bridges mused, “A cinematographer can make you look like the Adonis or the devil … they carry the heavy burden of creating a one-hour movie every week for TV. They are part artist, part scientist and have a talent for keeping everyone motivated and working together.”

Nominees in the television movie/miniseries/pilot competition were Thomas Del Ruth, ASC for the pilot of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip; Adam Kane for the Heroes pilot; Walt Lloyd, ASC for The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines; and Bill Roe, ASC for the Day Break pilot.

Nominees in the episodic category were Eagle Egilsson for CSI: Miami (“Darkroom”); Nathan Hope for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (“Killer”); Roe with a second nomination for Day Break (“What If They Find Him”); and Gale Tattersall for House M.D. (“Meaning”).

Special tributes were presented to Allen Daviau, ASC (Lifetime Achievement Award), Ron Howard (Board of Governors Award), Michael Ballhaus, ASC (International Achievement Award), Donald M. Morgan, ASC (Career Achievement in Television) and Jerry Hirschfeld, ASC (Presidents Award).

The cast of presenters ranged from Universal Studios President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Meyer to Howard, directors Martin Scorsese to Ballhaus and Joseph Sargent to Morgan, and actress Charlize Theron to Daviau.

Howard began his career when he was 18 months old with a bit role in Frontier Woman, and portrayed the irrepressible Opie on the popular Andy Griffith Show. Howard has subsequently produced, written, directed and appeared in more than 100 films and television movies and series. He has won two Oscars, two Emmy Awards and countless other accolades.

Daviau was born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles, where he began his career shooting 16 mm films for students and some of the first music videos for television, while he was working in a camera store. He has earned Oscar nominations for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Color Purple, Avalon, The Empire of the Sun and Bugsy, along with other notable credits.

Theron starred in The Astronaut’s Wife with Daviau behind the lens. She said, “It was a beautiful experience. It was like watching a great artist paint.”

Ballhaus was born in Berlin and raised in Bavaria, where his parents were stage actors. He began his career operating an electronic camera for a local TV station and segued into shooting original movies for television. Ballhaus has subsequently compiled nearly 100 feature film credits. He earned Oscar nominations for Broadcast News, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Gangs of New York. His latest project, The Departed, was his seventh collaboration with Scorsese and is nominated for five Academy Awards.

Morgan was born and raised in Los Angeles. Morgan has earned some 70 narrative credits for cinema and television films. He has won five Emmy Awards and earned four additional nominations.

Morgan and Sargent have collaborated on 10 television movies. Sargent told the some 1,600 spectators in the audience that he and Morgan are preparing to shoot their 11th telefilm together.

Hirschfeld was born and raised in New York. He was trained as a cinematographer while working on training films for the United States Army during World War II. Hirschfeld subsequently earned more than 50 feature film credits, including such classics as Fail-Safe, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Diary of a Mad Housewife and Young Frankenstein. Benjamin, who worked with Hirschfeld as an actor and director, observed, “Jerry has a special sensitivity to the human condition on the set. He was a true partner who was my ally and confidante.”

The ASC John Alonzo Heritage Award was presented to two student filmmakers, Brian Melton from the North Carolina School of the Arts and Lyle Vincent from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Laszlo Kovacs, ASC who heads of the organization’s outreach programs for film schools and their students, explained that the Heritage Award is dedicated annually to the memory of a different cinematographer. Kovacs noted that Alonzo’s parents were immigrants from Mexico, and that he began his career working on a puppet show at a local television station in Texas.

Alonzo went on to shoot some 65 films, including such classics as Harold and Maude, Lady Sings the Blues, Black Sunday, Norma Rae and Scarface.

“John Alonzo didn’t have the advantage of attending a film school, but he proved that the human spirit can overcome the most daunting odds,” Kovacs said.

The ASC was founded in January 1919 for the purpose of advancing the art of narrative filmmaking. The ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards were inaugurated in 1987 for the purpose of recognizing and inspiring the quest for artistry in narrative filmmaking. There are currently some 290 members from many countries around the world, and another 145 associates in allied fields.