Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC; Balazs Bolygo, HSC; Kramer Morgenthau, ASC; Florian Hoffmeister, and Bradford Lipson claimed top honors in the four competitive categories at the 27th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards for Outstanding Achievement, Sunday night at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
Director of photography Deakins, the cinematographer for James Bond billion-dollar blockbuster Skyfall got the feature film prize from the ASC at its 27th annual awards dinner. This was the third time Deakins won the ASC movie award. He received it previously for Shawshank Redemption (1994) and for The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001). And two years ago he was honored by the society with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Deakins is also up for a best cinematography Academy Award for Skyfall, his 11th nomination, though he has yet to nab an Oscar. Three of his ASC competitors are also up for this year’s honor, including Claudio Miranda, DP for Life of Pi, who won the BAFTA for cinematography, also handed out Sunday, in London. Neither award necessarily confers front-runner status on either DP for the Oscars, because there has been only an occasional overlap.
Two other ASC competitors – Janusz Kaminski for his work on Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Seamus McGarvey for Anna Karenina — are also Academy Award contenders. The fifth ASC nominee, Danny Cohen for Les Miserables, is not an Oscar nominee, that spot being taken by Django Unchained DP Robert Richardson.
Other awards were handed out for achievement in three television categories. The first tie in ASC history came for the one-hour episodic series award. Sharing the honor were Balazs Bolygo for the “Mort” episode of Hunted on Cinemas and Kramer Morgenthau for the Game of Thrones episode “The North Remembers.” DP Florian Hoffmeister, a first-time ASC nominee, was the recipient of the television movie/miniseries award for Great Expectations, shown on PBS. And Bradford Lipson got the top honor for half-hour episodic format for Wilfred on the FX channel. A surprise highlight for the evening, a mix of bonhomie and of emotion, came when Angelina Jolie popped up as the presenter of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Australian DP Dean Semler who won an ASC feature film award and an Oscar in 1981 for Dances With Wolves. Semler was Jolie’s DP on In The Land Of Blood And Honey, which was the first film she had ever directed, and on Disney’s Maleficent, in which she stars. “I called him up to help me on a film I was directing, not thinking I’d get him,” she said in her introduction. “‘Who can shoot it like you can?’ I asked. He said ‘Me,’ and did it. After the call, I’m not embarrassed to say I danced around the room.”
“Angie, you’re amazing and we’re so glad you’re here,” Semler said. “This award has to be the greatest any cinematographer can reach for.”