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Lubezski’s Repeat Performance At 2015 ASC Awards

Emmanuel Lubezki won his second consecutive ASC Award Sunday, February 15th, 2015. Photo Credit: Trevor Morgan.

American Society of Cinematographers Vice President Lowell Peterson kicked off the 29th Annual ASC Awards by announcing his disbelief at the astounding quality of work displayed by the evening’s nominees.

“When I saw ‘Birdman’ I felt like I was watching a documentary,” said Lowell.

While Emmanuel (Cheebo) Lubezki, ASC,AMC would take the Outstanding Achievement in a Feature Film Award at the evening’s conclusion, many other cinematographers were honored during the course of the ceremony. The first award given was the ‘ASC Spotlight Award” honoring DPs involved with low budget, independent fare. The award was presented to Peter Flinckenberg, FSC, for “Concrete Night.” Making his first ASC nomination and win, Flinckenberg stated he was “deeply moved.”

The International Award honoree Phil Meheux, BCS, recalled his love of cinema began when he was a child. “We had no TV – I saw everything on at the theater.” The DP behind films including “The Mask of Zorro”, “Edge of Darkness” and “Goldeneye” recalled a conversation with a notable DP who declared “The romance is gone” when film transitioned from Panavision to electronic devices. Meheux stated, “The romance is still there, and it is our job to keep that romance alive.”

John Lindley, ASC, won the award for television movie/miniseries or pilot for his work on “Manhattan.” Upon receiving the award, he recalled a conversation he had after a tough day or shooting. “I don’t know how I do it,” he stated, to which his camera operator said “You don’t. We do.” He heartily thanked his entire camera department.

Longtime collaborators the Farrelly brothers presented the Presidents Award to their regular DP Matthew E. Leonetti, ASC. “You can bs your way into this industry, but you can never bs a DP,” they said. Before welcoming Leonetti to the stage. “I’m not used to being on this side of the lights,” remarked Leonetti as he received his award. He made a special dedication to his longtime gaffer, Pat, who recently passed away.

“Jonathan Freeman, ASC, won the television series award for his work on “Bordwalk Empire’s Golden Days for Boys and Girls.” Upon receiving his award he commended his fellow nominees, particularly PJ Dillon and Anette Haellmick (who he previously worked with) for being not only superb cinematographers but “beautiful human beings. They both inspire me with their artistry and humanity every day.”

Bill Roe, ASC, received the Career Achievement Award. After growing up on set with his father, doing things including cleaning the chocolate river in the original “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, Roe moved into cinematography. Upon receiving his award he declared, “This is a night to thank my mentors, who kept me in town all those years.”

The Bud Stone Award was presented to Donny Clairmont and Otto Nemez, two men who have made a significant impact to film production. Barbara Streisand greeted the crowd upon receiving the Governors Award . She highlighted the great relationships she’s held with the DPs she’s worked with throughout her career. “Without their support it’s a nightmare and with it, it’s a joy.”

Upon receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, John Bailey, ASC, shared the best advice he ever received. “The more you relax your grip, the more control you will have. Let them do their job.” Bailey concluded by stating “To be given this award by your peers is truly humbling.”

Lubezki’s win for “Birdman” concluded the evening. It is the second year in a row Lubezki received the guild’s top honor (he won last year for “Gravity”). Lubezki stated he was deeply humbled to be in the company of his peers, and thanked his steadicam operator who “walked very fast backwards and only fell once.”

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