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Honoring industry pros: awards season 2003: editors, cinematographers and effects pros were recently honored at awards shows throughout Los Angeles

Honoring industry pros: awards season 2003: editors, cinematographers and effects pros were recently honored at awards shows throughout Los Angeles – Special Report

Daniel Restuccio

HOLLYWOOD — A slew of gala award ceremonies brought out Hollywood’s top creative talent decked out in tuxes and gowns to do some glamour schmoozing and most importantly honor excellence in the arts and crafts of moviemaking.

ASC AWARDS

Kicking off the awards circuit, the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) awards were held at the Century Plaza Hotel celebrating the transformation of light into images for television and motion pictures.

Award presenters included Lucy Liu, Jill Hennessy, Joe Mantegna, Elizabeth Perkins, Bill Paxton and Robert Wagner.

Richard Crudo the new president of the ASC spoke of cinematographers as the guardians of the image.” The big issue facing cinematographers he said is the impact of technology, particularly the rise of the digital intermediate, the increasing use of high definition 24p cinematography and digital exhibition, The digital intermediate, he said, demands that the cinematographer have an essential role in the post production process as well as the production process and be compensated for it. “By right,” he emphasized, “the cinematographer is the person who should govern those areas.”

Two-time Oscar-winner, Conrad L. Hall won his fourth ASC award for Road to Perdition. Hall’s son, cinematographer Conrad W Hall, accepted the posthumous honor for his father who succumbed to cancer on January 4th.

Robert Primes, ASC, won the episodic television competition for the MDs: Wing and a Prayer. This was a historic moment for the awards. Primes shot the show with the Sony/Panavision CineAlta 24p, marking the first time ever that a digital submission has won an ASC award.

The ASC also honored Michael Barrett, who won the broadcast television competition for movies/miniseries/pilot for C.S.I. Miami: Cross jurisdiction (pilot) and Jeffrey Jur ASC, who won the movie/miniseries/pilot competition for cable television for Last Call.

Bill Butler, ASC, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for lensing such films as jaws, Grease, The Conversation and Rocky II-IV.

“I cannot come to this point in my career” he said emotionally, “without reflecting on the element of time. Future generations will look back at our films to see how we viewed things, how we dressed, made love, even what we thought the future would look like. I have tried to do it all. I know this is as good as it gets. I am honored to receive this award.”

Roger Ebert received a special achievement award by Haskel Wexler.

The International Achievement Award was presented to Witold Sobocinski, PSC, by Janusz Kaminski, ASC. Sobocinski’s evocative and haunting body of work was shot in Poland and other Eastern European countries. Ralph Woolsey, ASC, received the Presidents Award from Robert Wagner. “The joy is in the journey.” said Woolsey, “and ft’s been a great trip.”

Director Norman Jewison, who has helmed over 20 feature films, was presented with the Board of Governors Award by Greg Kinnear. Jewison said, “When you get a lifetime achievement award it means your getting old.” Talking about the art of cinematography he quoted Turner, “God is light,” and Kurosawa, who said, “If I could have said ft in words I would have.”

Bob Fisher longtime friend and ally of cinematographers was made an honorary member of the ASC for his prolific writing on the art and craft of cinematography.

VES AWARDS

The Visual Effects Society debuted its first ever awards show in Los Angeles. Presenters included Doug Trumbull, John Landis and former astronaut Colonel Rick Searfoss.

Tom Atkin, executive director of the VES, said that this was a milestone event because, for the first time, the craft of visual effects was being honored by other visual effects artists.

Jim Morris, VES chairman and president of Lucas Digital, said, “I think the first VES Awards program has come at a pivotal time in the history of the visual effects. Never before have there been so many large effects movies. Never before have there been so many small effects movies. Last year, almost every film released had some sort of visual effects work or digital enhancement Visual effects and animation are really coming of age in the film and video worlds, No longer is it just the domain of tentpole films; visual effects are tools that every filmmaker can now use to aid in his or her storytelling.”

The big winners that evening were The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which took home eight awards and Dinotopia, which coped four awards.

In the Best Visual Effects in an Effects Driven Motion Picture category, the winners were Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, and Alex Funke, all of whom contributed to Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The Best Special Effects in a Motion Picture award went to Steve Ingram, Blair Foord, Rich Cordobes, and Scott Harens for their work on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The Best Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture award was presented to Glenn Neufeld, Derek Spears, Dan Malvin, and Al Disarro for their work on The Sum of all Fears.

Best Visual Effects in a Commercial was won by William Bartlett, Andrew Daffy, Jake Mengers and Helen Mackenzie for the XBox Mosquito spot.

And in the Music Video category the winner was Andrew Honacker, Steven Wagner, Sean Capone and Talon Nightshade for their work on So to Speak.

ACE AWARDS

The American Cinema Editors held their gala at the Beverly Hilton. The star-studded event was hosted by Gilmore Girls star Loren Graham. Presenters included William Macy, Adrian Paul, Dominic Monaghan, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Acker, Dee-Wallace Stone and Peter Krause.

ACE president Tina Hirsh opened the evening by saying we are all here to “celebrate excellence in film editing.” She was proud, she said, to be talking to a room full of heroes, who through “feats of courage” give up a part of their lives for their craft. One of the big issues facing editors, she said, is “maintaining the perception of the value of the film editor in the moviemaking process. Because today’s tools are so powerful, people think the tools are doing the job instead of the person. It’s the editor who has the ideas and the craft.”

The ACE for best-edited dramatic feature film was presented to Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE, for Gangs of New York. Schoonmaker who has edited most of Martin Scorsese’s features thanked everyone involved in the production. On Gangs of New York they started shooting in September of 2000 and were mixing by spring of 2002. There was a half million feet of film to edit, which is not that much, she said, because Scorsese is very focused and decisive.

“When he is thinking about a movie he is already designing the editing style,” says Schoonmaker. “He carries that style through when he is shooting. He is thinking like an editor. He knows what he needs to shoot to make a scene work For the battle scenes in Gangs of New York he showed me a clip from Sergi Eisenstein’s Potemkin, not the famous steps scene, but the scene where a sailor is getting angry about the food on his plate. He said, ‘This is how I would like the battle sequence to feel, disconnected and abstracted.'”

Martin Walsh won the best-edited comedy or musical feature film award for Chicago.

In the television category Tony Cranstoun and Anthony Ham won the best-edited episode from a television miniseries award for Forsyte Saga (part I ). Wendey Stanzler, ACE, won the best-edited half-hour series for television award for Sex and the City: Luck Be An Old Lady. Stephen Lovejoy, ACE, won the best-edited motion picture for noncommercial television award for Our America. Sidney Wolinsky, ACE, won for the best-edited one-hour series for television award for The Sopranos: Whitecaps. Kurt Engfehr won the best-edited documentary for Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. Tod Feuerman, ACE, won the best edited motion picture for commercial television award for We Were the Mulvaneys.

Kathleen Kennedy received the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year honoring her 20 years and 60 credited feature films including ET, The Extraterrestrial, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Jurassic Park amongst many others.

Kennedy said that as a producer she felt a kinship to editors. “People wonder what it is that we do,” she notes. Backstage she reflected on the state of the art and business saying that she thinks producing today is a bit more stressful because the stakes are much higher.

“Movies in general are more expensive. I think consequently it takes a consensus amongst a number of people and that makes it more challenging and a bit more difficult.” Movies, Kennedy continued, are also more complicated to make with huge visual effects and “that it takes an extraordinary director to manage that and hold that together in terms of a vision.”

John Burnett, ACE, and Tom Rolf, ACE, graciously accepted the Eddie Lifetime Career Achievement Awards. Burnett, now a gentleman cattle rancher, edited such popular classics as The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Grease. Reflecting on his editing career he said that it’s been a “terrific journey” and that he “really enjoyed going to work “Tom Rolf, ACE, edited numerous features including War Games, Stakeout, Outrageous Fortune and recently Windtalkers. On stage, after a brief pause, he said, “I’m savoring the moment” It’s been a 48-year career, he continued,” and I wish it could be 48 more.”

SCI-TECH OSCAR AWARDS

At the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel the Scientific and Technical Achievement Oscar awards were hosted by Kate Hudson, star of the new movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Oscar award-winning visual effects artist. Richard Edlund opened the ceremony commenting that, “Tonight’s awards represent the efforts of a long and complicated process of research and investigation, but we feel it’s well worth the effort. As chairman of the Sci-Tech Committee, it’s a pleasure for me to be associated with such a distinguished, hard-working and dedicated group.

Three Oscar statuettes were awarded in two categories. Sci-Tech Oscars were awarded to: Alias/Wavefront for the development of a 3D animation, dynamics, modeling and rendering production tool known as Maya; Arnold & Richter Cine Technik and to Panavision, Inc., for their continuing development and innovation in the design and manufacturing of advanced camera systems specifically designed for the motion picture entertainment industry.

Academy plaques were presented to Glenn Sanders and Howard Stark of Zaxcom for the concept, design and engineering of the portable Deva digital audio disk recorder; Mark Elendt, Paul Breslin, Greg Hermanovic and Kim Davidson for their continued development of the procedural modeling and animation components of their Prisms program, as exemplified in the Houdini software package; Dr. Leslie Gutierrez, Diane Kestner; James Merrill and David Niklewicz for the design and development of the Kodak Vision Premier Color Print Film, 2393; Dedo Weigert for the concept, Dr. Depu Jin for the optical calculations, and Franz Petters for the mechanical construction of the Dedolight 400D.

Academy certificates were presented to Dick Walsh for the development of the PDI/Dreamworks Facial Animation System; Thomas Driemeyer and to the team of mathematicians, physicists and software engineers of Mental Images for their contributions to the Mental Ray rendering software for motion pictures; Eric Daniels, George Katanics, Tasso Lappas and Chris Springfield for the development of the Deep Canvas rendering software; Jim Songer for his contributions to the technical development of video-assist in the motion picture industry; and Pierre Chabert of Airstar for the introduction of balloons with internal light sources to provide set lighting for the motion picture industry. Rawdon Hayne and Robert W. Jeffs of Leelium Tubelite also received awards for their contributions to the development of internally-lit balloons for motion picture lighting.

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