HOLLYWOOD — In a spirit more of camaraderie than competition, the American Society of Cinematographers came together Sunday night at the Century Plaza Hotel, awarding top honors to Roger Deakins for “The Man Who Wasn’t There” and Thomas A. Del Ruth, whose work on “The West Wing” was lauded for the second consecutive year.
Deakins wasn’t there to receive his second ASC Award as he was lensing in Montreal. But Del Ruth; Denis Lenoir, lauded in the network movie category for the NBC mini “Uprising”; and Steven Fierberg, honored in the cable category for the USA mini “Attila,” were on hand.
After kicking off the ceremony by announcing the groundbreaking of the new ASC Clubhouse in June, ASC prexy Steven Poster remarked, “There is no competition. Everybody out here are colleagues, and they enjoy each other. That’s what the Clubhouse is all about. We all hang out there because we enjoy each other.”
The depth of friendship was on display as Laszlo Kovacs dedicated half of his lifetime achievement award to presenter and longtime friend Vilmos Zsigmond, reciprocating Zsigmond’s dedication of half of his award to presenter Kovacs four years ago. “He used his hand as a saw. I’ll never forget that motion because he said half of this is yours. So tonight I offered my half so he has a full,” said Kovacs.
Stanley Donen, director of such musicals as “Damn Yankees!” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” received the ASC Board of Governors Award from presenter Warren Beatty. Garret Brown accepted the ASC Presidents Award for inventing the Steadicam, quipping that it was an “analog device.” Steven Spielberg presented legendary lenser Douglas Slocombe with the ASC Intl. Achievement Award, which he accepted via video.
Looking to future filmmakers, recent American Film Institute grad Diego Quemada-Diez and Armando Salas, a grad student at Florida State U., shared the Robert Surtees Heritage Award.