Articles >

ASC Honors Deakins, Seale, And More

“I don’t feel like I’ve been shooting for very long,” said Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, recipient of the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award presented during the 25th Annual American Society of Cinematographers awards ceremony.  “I hope this doesn’t mean the jobs will stop coming.  Contrary to any rumors, I am not ready to retire.”

Deakins has collaborated with many of the industry’s top directors during his thirty odd years as a cinematographer, including Sam Mendes, Ron Howard, and Martin Scorsese.  However, it is his long standing collaboration with the Coen brothers that has garnered consistent recognition.  Five of his eight Oscar nominations are the product of Coen brothers collaborations: “True Grit,” “No Country for Old Men,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Fargo.”

While the relationship has been fruitful, Deakins recalled the difficult times he experienced when he accepted his first cinematography job from the Coens.

“I was going through some down time when I first met the Coens,” said Deakins.  “I had to put my house up for sale when we started shooting ‘Barton Fink.’  Luckily we are all in a better place today.”

The ASC also presented the International Award to John Seale, ASC, ACS.  Seale’s Oscar nominated work includes “Witness,” “Rain Man,” “The English Patient,” and “Cold Mountain.”   Upon accepting his award, the Australian thanked the ASC for acknowledging his body of work.  He remarked that it wasn’t always easy being an Australian on an American set, recalling a specific incident in ordering a breakfast burrito.

“I saw this giant roll full of food, something I could really sink my teeth into.  The guy eating it told me to make sure I got one with beans and cilantro,” said Seale.  “When I ordered it, the cook looked at me funny and said ‘You want beans and cilantro?’   That’s all he gave me – beans and cilantro.  It was the worst breakfast burrito I ever had, and he charged me for it, too!”

Two other special awards were presented by the ASC: the Career Achievement in Television Award was presented to Michael D. O’Shea, ASC, and Julia Roberts was presented the Board of Governors Award.  In addition to special award presentations, the ASC recognized the achievements of cinematography in television and motion pictures throughout 2010.  Jonathan Freeman, ASC, received the regular series/pilot award for “Boardwalk Empire – Home.”  Stephen F. Windon, ACS, received the motion picture/miniseries television award for “The Pacific – Okinawa.”  Wally Pfister, ASC, received the theatrical release award for “Inception.”