ASC Names Top Student Cinematographers
February 8, 2007
LOS ANGELES, February 8, 2007—Brian Melton and Lyle Vincent will receive the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) John Alonzo Heritage Award during the 21st Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards gala here on February 18 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. The Heritage Award recognizes outstanding achievements in student filmmaking.
“This award is designed to encourage the next generation of talented filmmakers to pursue their dreams by recognizing outstanding artistic achievements by students,” says Laszlo Kovacs, ASC, chairman of the organization’s Education Committee.
Applicants for the Heritage Award must be either in their final year of film school or a recent graduate. Their student film submissions must be accompanied by a written recommendation from a film school chair, dean or teacher. Entries were judged by a jury of ASC members.
“We weren’t looking for beautiful images,” Kovacs says. “We were judging how effectively the films submitted by student cinematographers helped their collaborators present their stories. It wasn’t an easy decision. There were many impressive entries.”
Kovacs also announced that Kevin Moss and Sandra Stojanovic received honorable mentions for their entries. Moss will complete his undergraduate education at Columbia College Chicago in May, and Stojanovic graduated from the American Film Institute.
Melton, who was born in Virginia and raised in Atlanta, received a bachelor’s degree in filmmaking from the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA). He submitted the short 16 mm film Red Autumn, which tells the dark tale of a relationship between an aging ex-con and a young, innocent girl. He says that the nature of the story allowed him to take risks and experiment. “I’ve always admired John Alonzo’s work,” Milton says. “This recognition is the best encouragement that I could ask for at this early stage in my career.”
Vincent, who was born and raised in Connecticut, will earn a master’s degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in May. When he enrolled in the NYU graduate film program, his intent was to pursue directing but he soon found his passion in cinematography. “John Alonzo’s work on Chinatown really influenced me,” Vincent says. “I think it’s a perfect example of what a great collaboration between a cinematographer and director can produce in terms of a seamless, amazing story. I can’t imagine a higher honor than to be recognized by the ASC.”
“We re-dedicate the ASC Heritage Award annually to the memory of a different cinematographer,” Kovacs notes. “John Alonzo was a gifted artist and a dear friend whose parents were immigrants from Mexico. He didn’t have the advantage of attending a film school, but John proved that the human spirit can overcome the most daunting odds. He pursued and achieved an impossible dream and created a memorable body of work.”
Alonzo compiled some 65 credits, including such classic films as Chinatown, which earned an Oscar nomination in 1975, Harold and Maude, Sounder, Lady Sings the Blues, Pete ‘N’ Tillie, The Bad News Bears, Black Sunday, Casey’s Shadow, Norma Rae, Scarface, Steel Magnolias and Cool World. He earned Emmy nominations for the miniseries World War II: When Lions Roared in 1994 and Lansky in 1999, and took top honors in 2001 for a live rendition of Fail Safe. Alonzo died on March 13, 2001.
The 21st Annual ASC Awards will be preceded by an open house at the ASC clubhouse on February 17 at 1782 N. Orange Dr., and an Internet chat with the nominees and honorees begins at noon.
The ASC was founded in 1919 for the purpose of advancing the art and craft of cinematography. For additional information about the ASC Awards, call 323-969-433.
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