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Emerging Cinematographers Feted by ICG

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CreativeCOW presents Emerging Cinematographers Feted by ICG -- Cinematography Feature


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At the Directors Guild of America, the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600) held the 15th Emerging Cinematographer Awards, a gala event to celebrate the work of ten up-and-coming cinematographers, eight of whom won awards and two of whom received honorable mention.

The awards are open to ICG members who are not already Directors of Photography. The judging committee who selected these films from about 74 short film submissions is comprised primarily of ICG Cinematographers. Since the inception of the awards, ICG members have submitted over 1,000 short films for consideration by the Emerging Cinematography Awards.

Steven Poster
ICG President Steven Poster, ASC--who presided over the event with ECA Committee Chair Jim Matlosz--introduced the event. Poster also noted that Awards were founded in 1996 by cinematographer Rob Kositchek Jr., who was inspired by "First Look," a film showcase held by the University of Southern California, with the support of then-ICG president George Spiro Dibie, ASC. "As president of ICG, we decided to grow this event and see the work of our newest stars," said Poster, who also noted that sponsorship of the event had doubled over the last years, a big change from the first years when Kodak was the only company to sponsor the event.

"It was my goal in taking the Chairman reins from Rob Kositchek, to expand his vision of what the ECA awards could be," adds Matlosz. "It's also about cinematography as an art form. As cinematographer and presenter Patrick Cady said, It's so great to see people applaud cinematography. With that said, the continued success would not be possible without the support of the ICG staff and, of course, Steven Poster and Maryanne MacDougal. Steven and I share a vision, but it's the staff and the sponsors that really make it happen for us."

This year, the Emerging Cinematographer Awards committee added three awards: Multiple Emmy-winner Robert Primes, ASC received the Deluxe Bud Stone Award for cinematography education; the Kodak Award for mentorship went to veteran cinematographer John Bailey, ASC; and the Technicolor Billy Fraker Award for cinematography journalism went to Carolyn Giardina, contributing editor at The Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to surprise guest and speaker Bruce Davis, former executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, awards presenters included a list of illustrious Guild cinematographers, including Dibie, current ASC president Michael Goi, Ron Garcia, ASC; Primes; and Matlosz.


L. to R. Alan Gitlin, ICG national secretary-treasuer, Bruce Doering, executive director, Robert Primes, winner of the Deluxe Bud Stone Award for Cinematography Educator.
L. to R. Alan Gitlin, ICG national secretary-treasuer, Bruce Doering, executive director, Robert Primes, winner of the Deluxe Bud Stone Award for Cinematography Educator. Photo courtesy Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging.


The 15th annual ECA honors went to Joseph Arena, Camera Operator, Applebox; Alison Kelly, Assistant Camera, Spring of Sorrow; David Mahlman, Camera Operator, Numb; Michael Nie, 2nd Assistant Camera, Not Your Time; Steve Romano, Assistant Camera, String Theory/A.F. Vandervorst; Stefan Tarzan, 1st Assistant Camera, Absaroka; Yueni Zander, Assistant Camera, Dead Grass, Dry Roots; and Gregory Wilson, Digital Imaging Technician Somewhere Else. Abraham Martinez, 2nd Assistant Camera, Little Candy Hearts and Brian O'Carroll, Operator, 8 For Infinity received honorable mentions.

Romano shot String Theory, directed by Zach Gold, with the Phantom camera and Leica lenses supplied by AbelCine Tech and Romano's company Velocity Media Systems. The surrealistic film shows a young woman experiencing breaks in reality. After being presented his award by Dibie, Romano joked that when it came to understanding String Theory, quoting Pink Floyd, "You don't need to be on drugs, but it helps."

Mahlman, SOC was cinematographer for Numb, directed by Erwann Marshall and shot with the RED ONE camera system and Panavision Ultra Speed lenses. The short movie, about an up-and-coming mixed martial arts fighter who struggles with his estranged father and troubled son, was shot on location in a variety of settings.

A graduate of the American Film Institute and mentored by ICG members Bobby Mancuso and Scott Tinsley, Zander shot Dead Grass, Dry Roots with a Sony F900. The period piece, which deals with the violent mythology of the Old West, was part of Zander's AFI thesis requirement. Kelly shot Spring of Sorrow, with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Kelly, who was mentored by Ellen Kuras, ASC, and Anthony Jannelli, says that director Suzi Yoonessi was very visually inspired and wanted the short--which was shot on location in Palmdale and at Mono Lake--to feel like a fairy tale.


L. to R. Brian O'Carroll, Alison Kelly, Stefan Tarzan, Michael Nie, Yueni Zander, Steven Poster, Joseph Arena, Steve Romano, David Mahlman, Gregory Wilson.
L. to R. Brian O'Carroll, Alison Kelly, Stefan Tarzan, Michael Nie, Yueni Zander, Steven Poster, Joseph Arena, Steve Romano, David Mahlman, Gregory Wilson. Photo courtesy Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging.


Arena shot Applebox, a comedy about a height-challenged movie star whose career falls apart once his applebox is stolen, in six days with a RED ONE as well as a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Arena noted that he used a 1.35:1 aspect ratio for everyday life and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio for the movie parodies in the film. Wilson, who was cinematographer on Somewhere Else, about a soldier suffering from PTSD, shot as part of a two-day test of Vision Research's Phantom Flex. Everything was handheld except the 24fps footage.

Tarzan shot Absaroka, a Western about frontier justice, in HDV format with a Canon XH A1. He used a 2.40:1 aspect ratio to make the most of Wyoming's location. Patrick Mignano wrote, directed and starred in the short. Nie was cinematographer on Not Your Time, a musical comedy, written, produced and directed by Jay Kamen. Nie shot the short, which features 40 speaking parts and 35 locations, on a Sony F-900 with Panavision's Digital Primo lenses. It was color corrected by John Dunn at Sony ColorWorks and color timer Chris Regan at Deluxe Laboratories brought it to Kodak's Vision Premier 2393 print stock.

Abraham Martinez, who also recently shot independent films in India and Kenya, was cinematographer on honorable mention Little Candy Hearts directed by Seaton Lin. He used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II for the project. Brian O'Carroll, who previously recognized with an ECA nod in 2007 for Cherry Bloom, got an honorable mention for 8 for Infinity, which was photographed on 35mm, party with a wind-up 16mm Bolex, using Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 film stock.

The two big winners of the night were Romano, who won a rental package from Panavision and Tarzan, who won an ARRI Alexa camera rental package. O'Carroll was awarded a one-day Phantom rental; Wilson won a Deluxe post lab package; Kelly received a Rosco light pad kit; Arena won $1,000 from Rosco for gels; and Martinez received a SCRATCH package from Assimilate.

"Every year, the films get better, which makes the evening better," said Poster. "It's exciting for me to help so many talented and up-and-coming cinematographers as we have. Many of them have become working cinematographers. All of them have raised the bar of cinematography and many of them have become."

ECA sponsors this year were Kodak, Tiffen, Arri, Panavision, Sony, Deluxe, LaserPacific, Continental Color Craft, ASSIMILATE, Rosco, Technicolor, 3ality Digital, Canon, Carl Zeiss, K5600, AbelCine, Band Bro, The Camera House, Clairmont Camera, JL Fisher, KinoFlo, O'Connor (A Vitec Group), Birns & Sawyer, Chimera, Cinematography Electronics, Illumination Dynamics, Preston Cinema Systems, The Rag Place, Sekonic, Matthews Studio Equipment, Creative Handbook, American Society of Cinematographers, NAB Expo, Plus Camerimage, Production Hub, Cinegear, Animation World Network, SHOOT Magazine, Mill Valley Film Festival, DV Magazine, The Wrap, Film Independent, LA Short Fest, and Big Bear Lake Intl Film Festival.

Matlosz stated that continued future goals are "to get the word out to other guilds and unions, including Local 80 (grip) and 720 (electric), but also to SAG, DGA and WGA." A special screening of the ECA films will be held at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York on Sunday, October 2. Other screenings are planned at Camerimage; Geneva Film Festival; and Hollywood Shorts.









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