Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS took top honors for MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA in the feature film competition here tonight at the 20th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.
It was the first ASC Award for Beebe, who was nominated along with Robert Elswit, ASC for GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK; Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS for KING KONG; Wally Pfister, ASC for BATMAN BEGINS; and Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.
The award was presented by Bill Paxton who observed, "All of the nominees have artfully rendered images that create a sense of time and place. ... They guided the audience under the surface, where they discovered the souls of the characters and the spirits of the stories."
Robbie Greenberg, ASC and Nathan Hope claimed awards in the two television categories. Greenberg led the field in the television movie competition for HBO's WARM SPRINGS. Hope won the episodic television competition for the episode "Who Shot Sherlock?" of CBS' CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION. It was the fourth ASC Outstanding Achievement Award for Greenberg, and the second for Hope.
The television movie award was presented by Edward James Olmos who noted, "I am here to testify that actors and directors get it. We understand and appreciate the roles that cinematographers play in our lives. ... Great cinematography isn't necessarily something you see. It's something you feel on a sub-conscious level."
The episodic television award was presented by Emily Deschanel. The actress, who stars in the hit TV series BONES, is the daughter of award-winning cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, ASC. She congratulated all of the nominees noting, "They are the guardians of the looks that are the unique visual signature of every series. They turn out a little movie every week without compromising their artistry."
The other nominees in the television movie competition were Alan Caso, ASC for INTO THE WEST/"Wheel to the Stars"; Thomas A. Del Ruth, ASC for CODE BREAKERS; Jan Kiesser, ASC, CSC for REEFER MADNESS; and Bill Roe, ASC for FAITH OF MY FATHERS.
The nominees in the episodic arena were John Aronson for "Freefall"/WITHOUT A TRACE; Jeffrey Jur, ASC for "Los Moscos"/CARNIVALE; John C. Newby, ASC for "Everything Old is You Again"/LAS VEGAS; and Glen Winter, CSC for "Sacred"/SMALLVILLE.
Special tributes were presented to Richard Kline, ASC (Lifetime Achievement Award), Sydney Pollack (Board of Governors Award), Woody Omens, ASC (Presidents Award), documentary filmmaker Fredrick Wiseman (Award of Distinction), and Gilbert Taylor, BSC (International Achievement Award).
Five-time Oscar nominee William A. Fraker, ASC, BSC presented the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award to Kline, who earned Oscar nominations for Camelot (1968) and King Kong (1977). Kline's credits also include The Andromeda Strain, Soylent Green, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Body Heat.
Celebrity presenters included Nicole Kidman, Curtis Hanson and Leonard Maltin. Kidman lauded Pollack noting that films he has produced and directed have earned an "astounding" 46 Oscar nominations. Hanson both presented and accepted the award on Taylor's behalf. He noted that the British cinematographer's credits ranged from the Beatles classic A HARD DAY'S NIGHT to the eerie DR. STRANGELOVE and the original STAR WARS. Maltin asked, "How do you describe Frederick Wiseman in a few well-chosen words? ... His films are the histories of our times. They tell the stories of the best and worst of our institutions."
The ASC Jordan Cronenweth Heritage Award was presented by Laszlo Kovacs, ASC to three student filmmakers-Brian Burgoyne (American Film Institute), Rodrigo Rocha-Campos (Florida State University), and Joseph White (University of Southern California). The Heritage Award is renamed annually in memory of a different cinematographer. Cronenweth won the first ASC Outstanding Achievement Award in 1987. His son, Jeff Cronenweth, ASC, spoke about what that recognition from peers meant to his father.
There were over 1,600 people at the event, which celebrated the past, present and future of the art of cinematography. The celebration opened with an homage to the 19 past ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. It was an emotional moment when eight of them present in the audience stood up and took a bow.
ASC Names Winners in Annual Awards
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