By Carolyn Giardina
Bringing awareness of “who [cinematographers] are and what we do” is at the top of the agenda of Richard Crudo, the newly named president of the American Society of Cinematographers.
The need for awareness, he told Below the Line in a recent interview, is driven in part by the development of new digital production tools and techniques. “There needs to be one set of eyes to guide the look of the production from preproduction to post, especially today with the new digital production tools available. The cinematography needs to act as guardian of the image.
“Digital Intermediates is one of the most exciting new developments with a new raft of capabilities and certainly our members are already taking the lead,” he reported, citing Roger Deakins, ASC as an example for his work on O Brother, Where Art Thou?. “The cinematographer is an integral part of the development of the technology.”
This and other efforts will be examined by a technical committee formed last year and headed by Curtis Clark, ASC.
On the technical front, Crudo said that if digital cinematography is to proceed into the future, “we need to start to think of digital on the level of film.” He added that that includes capture improvements in blacks, color space, contrast and resolution (“4K is a good place to start.”).
Educational efforts, as always, are high on the ASC agenda. One upcoming event is a Salute to Cinematography, scheduled to take place at the American Cinematique in April. The ASC will be involved in planning screenings and discussions.
Crudo also reported that this summer the ASC hopes to break ground on the expansion of the ASC clubhouse, which will include a 160-seat screening room and a dining hall. Plans call for the existing structure to become a cinematography museum open to the public.