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ASC Awards Write-Up & Award-o-Meter

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By Jack Egan
Robert Elswit, ASC, the director of photography for There Will Be Blood, won the award for outstanding achievement on a feature film at the 22nd Annual American Society of Cinematographers dinner. The event took place January 26 in the Hollywood and Highland complex.
Ben Nott, ACS, received the honor for The Company, a dramatized history of the CIA in the movie/miniseries/pilot category. And Glenn Winter, CSC, got the ASC’s accolade for best work in a television series for “Noir,” an episode of Smallville, about the youth of Superman.
British cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, achieved a first by being nominated twice this year by the ASC in its film feature category. He was up for his work on No Country for Old Men and on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Other nominees in the category included Seamus Garvey for Atonement and Janusz Kaminski for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
All the ASC nominees also happen to be candidates for this year’s best cinematography Oscar, with Deakins again getting two nods.
Stephen Burum, ASC, the cinematographer on films as various as Rumble Fish, Hoffa and Mission Impossible, got the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Walter Lassally, BSC, DP on such classics as The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Zorba the Greek and Tom Jones, was the recipient of the ASC International Award. Special effects master Richard Edlund, ASC was honored with the organization’s Presidents ward.
George Spiro Dibie, ASC, known for his work on the small screen was the recipient of the ASC Career Achievement in Television Award. He thanked his crew profusely. “I can never do a movie by myself—like some directors do,” he said.
The ASC Laszlo Kovacs Heritage Award, named this year after the beloved cinematographer who passed away last July, was handed out by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, his longtime friend—the two escaped Hungary together during the foiled 1956 revolution—to two promising students: Sean Stiegemeier from the American Film Institute and Andrew Davis at Chapman University.
A non-cinematographer but a favorite of DPs, Annette Bening got the ASC Board of Governors Award for her work in front of the camera. Director of photography Allen Daviau, ASC, who won an Oscar for his work on Bugsy, memorably starring Bening and her now husband Warren Beatty—also in attendance—handed out the trophy.

Venue: Grand Ballroom, Hollywood and Highland
Ease of Parking: Convenient underground garage; $10 ($2 with validation if you could find the kiosk); $20 valet
Open Bar? Yesssss
Quality of Drinks: Top brands, big pours
Quality of Wine: Nice
Food: Pretty on the plate and delicious
Attire: Black-tie variations
Show Length: 4 hours
Host: Voiceover
Swag: None
High Point: Clip reels
Low Point: Length
Best Quote of the Night: Robert Elswit: “Next year there should be an award for best cinematography in a film by Roger Deakins.”

Written by Jack Egan

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