The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) is accepting applications for the ASC Jordan Cronenweth Heritage Award. The award is presented annually to one or more students enrolled at colleges and universities in the United States that offer film study curriculums. Submissions are due by November 1.
"The Heritage Award is designed to encourage the next generation of
cinematographers to pursue their dreams," says Laszlo Kovacs, ASC, who chairs
the ASC Education Committee, which offers many outreach programs to aspiring
cinematographers and other filmmakers.
The Heritage Award is dedicated annually to the memory of a
cinematographer who made enduring contributions to advancing the art form.
"Jordan Cronenweth (ASC) was a gifted artist and a courageous human
being," he says. "He created an enduring legacy of films that touched our
hearts and souls despite a debilitating illness which significantly affected
and shortened his career and finally claimed his life."
Cronenweth was born and raised in Los Angeles where his father was a
studio portrait photographer and his mother was a former Busby Berkeley
dancer. He spent countless hours at the studio watching his father manipulate
light and shadows to record images that dug beneath the surface of the faces
of the actors. Cronenweth said that he had boyhood thoughts about becoming an
engineer, which explain his passion for mastering cinematography.
He began his career in the still photo lab at Columbia Studios. Many
years later, Cronenweth said that was where and when he learned how to take
pictures one frame as at time. He began working with Conrad Hall, ASC in 1966
as an assistant cameraman on HARPER. Cronenweth was subsequently Hall's
camera operator on COOL HAND LUKE, IN COLD BLOOD, HELL IN THE PACIFIC and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.
Cronenweth earned his first cinematography credit in 1970 for BREWSTER
MCCLOUD. His credits during the next seven years included an eclectic mix of
such memorable films as ZANDY'S BRIDE, THE FRONT PAGE and ROLLING THUNDER, and occasional telefilms, e.g. BIRDS OF PREY.
Cronenweth was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1978. He was in
constant pain, but did some of his most artful and original work during
subsequent years, including ALTERED STATES and CUTTER'S WAY, two of his
There were times when his crew literally had to carry him out to the set
while he was shooting BLADE RUNNER in 1982. Director Ridley Scott's dark view
of the future of humanity got minimal notice from fans and critics in the
United States, but Cronenweth earned the English equivalent of the Oscar from
the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
"BLADE RUNNER called for extremes in lighting," Cronenweth said. "It was
theatrical, but it also had to be very realistic." Years later, Leonard
Maltin wrote, "The world of BLADE RUNNER has undeniably become one of the
visual touchstones of modern movies."
In 1987, Cronenweth won the first ASC Outstanding Achievement Award for
PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, for which he also earned an Oscar nomination.
After he was nominated by his peers Cronenweth said, "Most people in the
industry appreciate how we practice the craft. I hope these awards lead to a
better understanding of the art of cinematography so more directors are
willing to take chances and give us more latitude."
Cronenweth went on to shoot several other features, including GARDENS OF
STONE and STATE OF GRACE, and the landmark documentary U-2: RATTLE AND HUM, along with some 50 television commercials. He earned his last feature credit
for FINAL ANALYSIS in 1992. Cronenweth died on November 29, 1996, at the age
"Jordan Cronenweth was a remarkably talented artist and an admirable human
being," says Kovacs. "He played a unique and important role in both the
evolution of the art of cinematography and in the history of ASC. The
recipient(s) of this year's Heritage Award should feel proud that it is
dedicated to his memory, and find inspiration in his artistry and values."
Applicants for the Jordan Cronenweth Heritage Award must be in either
their final year of film school or a recent graduate. Requirements include a
recommendation by the dean, department head or a faculty member and submission
of a student film. Kovacs says that the ASC jury will evaluate both the
artistry and skill with which the contenders tell stories with moving images
that augment the performances of the actors and the vision of the directors.
Applications are available online at www.theasc.com.
The 20th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards are slated for February
26, 2006, at the Century Plaza Hotel. The ASC was founded in 1919 and is
dedicated to advancing the art and craft of cinematography. For additional
information about the ASC Heritage Award and ASC Outstanding Achievement
Awards, contact Patty Armacost at 323-969-4333 or email Patty@theasc.com.
ASC Calls for Entries for Student Award
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