Cinematographer Bradford Young Calls for ‘Cultural Shift’ to Combat Industry Bias

At Saturday’s ASC celebration of diversity and inclusion seeking to “change the face of the industry,” Young described a moment of clarity working on “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

The message was clear at Saturday’s American Society of Cinematographers meeting about “changing the face of the industry” to include more minorities and women in cinematography in Hollywood. Engage in collective action from the top down and bottom up, and, if necessary, shame producers and executives into changing their stereotypical hiring practices.

“I’m not interested in legislating change — I’m interested in shifting the culture,” said Bradford Young, only the second Oscar-nominated black cinematographer in the history of the Academy Awards (“Arrival”). “We have to make the cinema we want.”

Read More: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: Different Directors Meant the Same Vision for Cinematographer Bradford Young

Young, who has successfully navigated between indies (“Where Is Kyra?”), franchises (“Solo: A Star Wars Story”), and streaming (Ava DuVernay’s upcoming “Central Park Five” series on Netflix), advised minority cinematographers and camera operators to make choices that allow them the freedom to express ethnicity through their craft. “First and foremost it’s not about making vertical moves but about making horizontal moves,” he told IndieWire. “Cinematographers should connect to projects where they can see themselves and the community that they identify with in the film.”

"Solo: A Star Wars Story"

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

screen shot

Young stressed that his career has been “a reflection of that push back against the sort of pervasive white supremacist culture in our art form. I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects that didn’t seem to have a clear bridge between the community that I identify with and the material on screen. But I still brought my community to the project as a prerequisite. My career is about my cultural acumen, more so than my technical acumen.

“We’re in a time where we can be unapologetic about who we are. So if we’re black, queer, trans, Chicano, European-American, Southeast Asian, we should know that what we can bring to the table is important. And it is something that should be embedded in the films that we make.”

In terms of Young’s challenging “Star Wars” experience, in which directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were replaced last summer by Ron Howard, necessitating reshoots by the cinematographer, he described it as a moment of clarity. “To me, it did not seem like a natural fit so I had to figure that out,” Young said. “I felt like it was an interesting opportunity to express myself in a particular way. I wanted ‘Star Wars’ to feel like ‘Arrival.’ I’m interested in planting my imprint. I’m part of a [black] community and I have to answer to that. I didn’t disrespect myself or the community.”

Arrival Amy Adams

“Arrival”

Paramount

Another highlight of the Netflix-sponsored event, organized by the ASC Vision Committee, was a keynote by USC’s Dr. Stacy Smith (founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative). In addition to engaging with companies to change hiring practices for cinematographers, she encouraged the bottom up approach of hiring more women and ethnic diversity within the ranks behind the camera. “We need a new paradigm to ensure qualified and available talent from all backgrounds,” she said. “There will be better product as a result of diversity and inclusion.”

HBO’s Natasha Foster-Owens (West Coast director of production) touted the fact they have rotating cinematographers who are women and women of color on “Insecure” and “Camping.” Also, the HBO Access program offers fellowships in writing and directing to filmmakers from diverse backgrounds.

Cinematographer John Simmons, ASC Vision Committee co-chair, added that studio mandates and tax incentives for minority hiring are positive steps, but more needs to be done individually to diversify camera crews. “We need to ensure that cinematographers reflect the world we live in,” he said. “Diversity is being asked to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

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ASC Awards 2018: Roger Deakins Takes Top Cinematography Prize for ‘Blade Runner 2049’

The acclaimed cinematographer won his fourth ASC award. Can he finally win the elusive Oscar for his trippy, sci-fi naturalism?

As expected, cinematographer Roger Deakins took the top prize for “Blade Runner 2049” at the 32nd annual ASC Awards at Hollywood & Highland. It was his fourth ASC award, besting the other four Oscar nominees: Bruno Delbonnel (“Darkest Hour”), Hoyte van Hoytema (“Dunkirk”), Dan Laustsen (“The Shape of Water”), and Rachel Morrison (“Mudbound”), the first female from her branch nominated by the ASC and the Academy.

But can Deakins finally earn the elusive Academy Award after 14 nominations? He’s certainly the sentimental favorite for his trippy, sci-fi naturalism in Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner” sequel. And winning the BAFTA Sunday (also his fourth) would certainly provide added momentum.

“The Crown”

But there’s also a case to be made for three of the other contenders: Van Hoytema’s innovative IMAX work for Christopher Nolan’s World War II survival epic, Lausten’s sublime imagery for Guillermo del Toro’s Best Picture favorite, and Morrison’s poetic work for Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.” Although the dark horse, she clearly has buzz from both her historic nomination (benefiting from the Academy’s long-overdue diversity program) and her great work on Ryan Coogler’s zeitgeist-grabbing “Black Panther.”

Meanwhile, Mart Taniel won the Spotlight Award for the psychological thriller “November” (Estonia’s foreign language Oscar entry); Adriano Goldman took the episodic non-commercial series award for “The Crown” (“Smoke and Mirrors”); Boris Mojsovski earned the episodic commercial series award for “Twelve Monkeys” (“Thief”); and Mathias Herndl captured the miniseries award for “Genius” (“Einstein: Chapter 1”).

Angelina JolieAngelina Jolie in Cambodia, Phnom Penh - 18 Feb 2017US director-actress Angelina Jolie arrives for a press conference at a hotel in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, 18 February 2017. Angelina Jolie will give a free public screening of her new film 'First They Killed My Father' about the war time experiences of Cambodian Loung Un as a young child in Cambodia. The movie is to be released on the Internet TV network Netflix.

Angelina Jolie

MAK REMISSA/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Special honors went to actress-director Angelina Jolie, who took the Board of Governors Award; Russell Carpenter (the Oscar-winning “Titanic”) won the Lifetime Achievement Award; Alan Caso (“Six Feet Under”) earned the Career Achievement in Television Award; Russell Boyd (the Oscar-winning “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”) won the International Award; Stephen Lighthill (“Gimme Shelter”) grabbed the Presidents Award; and Frieder Hochheim, president and founder of Kino Flo Lighting Systems, earned the Bud Stone Award of Distinction.

Jolie (“First They Killed My Father”) summed up the emphasis on diversity and inclusion in many of the acceptance speeches: “I am grateful that I’ve never been made to feel like a female director, but my job is to be a good director. I’m very excited there are more women making their mark in cinematography and being recognized for it. I am hopeful that in our lifetime we will be able to see the rise of more women…that surge of light that has been held back for far too long.”

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‘Blade Runner 2049’ Wins Top Prize From American Society of Cinematographers

Roger Deakins has been named the best cinematographer of 2017 for his work on “Blade Runner 2049,” the American Society of Cinematographers announced at the ASC Awards on Saturday night.

The honor marks Deakins’ fourth competitive ASC Award, in addition to one lifetime-achievement award from the group. Though he is widely acclaimed as the greatest living cinematographer and has been nominated for the Oscar 14 times, Deakins has never won an Academy Award.

The five ASC nominees in the theatrical category — Deakins, Bruno Delbonnel for “Darkest Hour,” Dan Laustsen for “The Shape of Water,” Hoyte van Hoytema for “Dunkirk” and Rachel Morrison for “Mudbound” — were the same as the five nominees for the Academy Award for cinematography, with Morrison the first woman ever nominated for both awards.

But the win does not necessarily mean that Deakins is now an Oscar frontrunner. In the first 31 years of the ASC Awards, the theatrical winner went on to win the Oscar only 13 times, although three of those wins (“Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” all to Emmanuel Lubezki) were in the last four years.

Also Read: Oscars Nominate First Female Cinematographer: Rachel Morrison for ‘Mudbound’

More often than not, though, ASC members disagree with the Academy. That explains why Lubezki won two ASC Awards before he won his first Oscar, and why Deakins won his first three ASC Awards but then lost at the Oscars.

The ASC Spotlight Award, which goes to a foreign or indie film without wide distribution, was won by Mart Taniel for the black-and-white Estonian film “November.”

Television awards went to Adriano Goldman for the “Smoke and Mirrors” episode of “The Crown,” Mathias Herndl for the first episode of the Nat Geo miniseries “Genius” and Boris Mojsovski for the “Thief” episode of “12 Monkeys.”

The ceremony took place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Honorary awards were given to director Angelina Jolie, cinematographers Russell Carpenter, Alan Caso, Russell Boyd and Stephen Lighthill and Kino Flo Lighting Systems founder Frieder Hochheim.

Also Read: ‘Get Out’ and ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Win 2018 Writers Guild Awards

The ASC Awards winners:

Theatrical Release: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

Spotlight Award: Mart Taniel, “November”

Motion Picture, Miniseries, or Pilot Made for Television: Mathias Herndl, “Genius,” “Chapter 1”

Episode of a Series for Non-Commercial Television: Adriano Goldman, “The Crown,” “Smoke and Mirrors”

Episode of a Series for Commercial Television: Boris Mojsovski, “12 Monkeys,” “Thief”

Lifetime Achievement Award: Russell Carpenter
Board of Governors Award: Angelina Jolie
Career Achievement in Television Award: Alan Caso
International Award: Russell Boyd
Presidents Award: Stephen Lighthill
Bud Stone Award of Distinction: Frieder Hochheim

Andrew Lesnie Heritage Award Winners:
Undergraduate: Logan Fulton, “Widow”
Graduate: Favienne Howsepian, “Snowplow”
Haskell Wexler Student Documentary Award: Connor Ellmann, “Forever Home”

Related stories from TheWrap:

SAG and PGA Awards Give Boosts to ‘Three Billboards’ and ‘Shape of Water,’ But How Big?

Roger Deakins has been named the best cinematographer of 2017 for his work on “Blade Runner 2049,” the American Society of Cinematographers announced at the ASC Awards on Saturday night.

The honor marks Deakins’ fourth competitive ASC Award, in addition to one lifetime-achievement award from the group. Though he is widely acclaimed as the greatest living cinematographer and has been nominated for the Oscar 14 times, Deakins has never won an Academy Award.

The five ASC nominees in the theatrical category — Deakins, Bruno Delbonnel for “Darkest Hour,” Dan Laustsen for “The Shape of Water,” Hoyte van Hoytema for “Dunkirk” and Rachel Morrison for “Mudbound” — were the same as the five nominees for the Academy Award for cinematography, with Morrison the first woman ever nominated for both awards.

But the win does not necessarily mean that Deakins is now an Oscar frontrunner. In the first 31 years of the ASC Awards, the theatrical winner went on to win the Oscar only 13 times, although three of those wins (“Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” all to Emmanuel Lubezki) were in the last four years.

More often than not, though, ASC members disagree with the Academy. That explains why Lubezki won two ASC Awards before he won his first Oscar, and why Deakins won his first three ASC Awards but then lost at the Oscars.

The ASC Spotlight Award, which goes to a foreign or indie film without wide distribution, was won by Mart Taniel for the black-and-white Estonian film “November.”

Television awards went to Adriano Goldman for the “Smoke and Mirrors” episode of “The Crown,” Mathias Herndl for the first episode of the Nat Geo miniseries “Genius” and Boris Mojsovski for the “Thief” episode of “12 Monkeys.”

The ceremony took place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Honorary awards were given to director Angelina Jolie, cinematographers Russell Carpenter, Alan Caso, Russell Boyd and Stephen Lighthill and Kino Flo Lighting Systems founder Frieder Hochheim.

The ASC Awards winners:

Theatrical Release: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

Spotlight Award: Mart Taniel, “November”

Motion Picture, Miniseries, or Pilot Made for Television: Mathias Herndl, “Genius,” “Chapter 1”

Episode of a Series for Non-Commercial Television: Adriano Goldman, “The Crown,” “Smoke and Mirrors”

Episode of a Series for Commercial Television: Boris Mojsovski, “12 Monkeys,” “Thief”

Lifetime Achievement Award: Russell Carpenter
Board of Governors Award: Angelina Jolie
Career Achievement in Television Award: Alan Caso
International Award: Russell Boyd
Presidents Award: Stephen Lighthill
Bud Stone Award of Distinction: Frieder Hochheim

Andrew Lesnie Heritage Award Winners:
Undergraduate: Logan Fulton, “Widow”
Graduate: Favienne Howsepian, “Snowplow”
Haskell Wexler Student Documentary Award: Connor Ellmann, “Forever Home”

Related stories from TheWrap:

SAG and PGA Awards Give Boosts to 'Three Billboards' and 'Shape of Water,' But How Big?

ASC Awards Live Blog And Winners List

As awards season rolls along, the American Society of Cinematographers are next up to the plate with the 32nd annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. The ceremony takes place tonight at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland and is emceed by Turner Classic Movies’ Ben Mankiewicz. Deadline is on the scene to give you live coverage of the event.
The ceremony recognizes excellence in cinematography in television and film, but all eyes will be…

As awards season rolls along, the American Society of Cinematographers are next up to the plate with the 32nd annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. The ceremony takes place tonight at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland and is emceed by Turner Classic Movies' Ben Mankiewicz. Deadline is on the scene to give you live coverage of the event. The ceremony recognizes excellence in cinematography in television and film, but all eyes will be…

Cinematographers Heed John Huston’s Advice to ‘Shoot With Your Gut’

The 23 directors of photography recognized by the American Society of Cinematographers with ASC Award nominations represent a sprawling range of sensibilities and approaches to the job of visual storytelling. The list of projects to be recognized is similarly varied, but together, they reveal continued growth in the use of feature-film tools and techniques — […]

The 23 directors of photography recognized by the American Society of Cinematographers with ASC Award nominations represent a sprawling range of sensibilities and approaches to the job of visual storytelling. The list of projects to be recognized is similarly varied, but together, they reveal continued growth in the use of feature-film tools and techniques — […]

Angelina Jolie to be Honored by American Society of Cinematographers

The American Society of Cinematographers has selected Angelina Jolie as the recipient of its 2018 ASC Board of Governors Award. The presentation will be made at the 32nd annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement on Feb. 17 at Hollywood & Highland’s Ray Dolby Ballroom. The ASC Board of Governors Award is given to individuals in […]

The American Society of Cinematographers has selected Angelina Jolie as the recipient of its 2018 ASC Board of Governors Award. The presentation will be made at the 32nd annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement on Feb. 17 at Hollywood & Highland’s Ray Dolby Ballroom. The ASC Board of Governors Award is given to individuals in […]

Cinematographers Guild (ASC) Nominates Roger Deakins and Rachel Morrison

“Mudbound” cinematographer Morrison could be the first woman to gain an Oscar nomination for cinematography.

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) feature film nominees tends to lean toward big-scale movies, and this year is no exception. Their top five include frontrunner Roger Deakins for his stunning visuals in “Blade Runner 2049” as well as Rachel Morrison, who photographed “Mudbound.” Left out were viable but smaller-scale contenders “Call Me By Your Name” and “The Post.”

So far, neither the ASC nor the cinematography branch of the Academy has ever nominated a woman for a feature film. So Morrison’s nomination is a big deal. (Next up for Morrison:  Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Black Panther.”) According to a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, women made up 5 percent of cinematographers on the top 250 domestic-grossing films in 2016.

Roger Deakins and Denis Villeneuve

Roger Deakins and Denis Villeneuve

Robichon/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

The ASC awarded Nancy Schreiber its 2017 Presidents award, the first for a woman, and two-time Emmy nominee Anette Haellmigk has received three ASC nominations for her work on “Game of Thrones.” But one of the first women members of the ASC, Ellen Kuras, Oscar-nominated for the documentary “The Betrayal — Nerakhoon,” has never been nominated.

Aside from Morrison, all the other 2018 ASC nominees are men.

The ASC will reveal the winners at their February 17 awards show, which will be emceed this year by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.

This year’s nominees in all categories of the 32nd Annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement are:

Theatrical Release

·      Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC for “Blade Runner 2049”

·      Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC for “Darkest Hour”

·      Hoyte van Hoytema, ASC, FSF, NSC for “Dunkirk”

·      Dan Laustsen, DFF for “The Shape of Water”

·      Rachel Morrison, ASC for “Mudbound”

 

Spotlight Award

·      Máté Herbai, HSC for “On Body and Soul”

·      Mikhail Krichman, RGC for “Loveless”

·      Mart Taniel for “November”

 

Episode of a Series for Non-Commercial Television

·      Gonzalo Amat for The Man in the High Castle (“Land O’ Smiles) on Amazon

·      Adriano Goldman, ASC, ABC for The Crown (“Smoke and Mirrors”) on Netflix

·      Robert McLachlan, ASC, CSC for Game of Thrones (“The Spoils of War”) on HBO

·      Gregory Middleton, ASC, CSC for Game of Thrones (“Dragonstone”) on HBO

·      Alasdair Walker for Outlander (“The Battle Joined”) on Starz

 

Episode of a Series for Commercial Television

·      Dana Gonzales, ASC for Legion (“Chapter 1”) on FX

·      David Greene, ASC, CSC for 12 Monkeys (“Mother”) on Syfy

·      Kurt Jones for The Originals (“Bag of Cobras”) on The CW

·      Boris Mojsovski, CSC for 12 Monkeys (“Thief”) on Syfy

·      Crescenzo Notarile, ASC for Gotham (“The Executioner”) on Fox

 

Motion Picture, Miniseries, or Pilot Made for Television

·      Pepe Avila del Pino for The Deuce pilot on HBO

·      Serge Desrosiers, CSC for Sometimes the Good Kill on Lifetime

·      Mathias Herndl, AAC for Genius (“Chapter 1”) on National Geographic

·      Shelly Johnson, ASC for Training Day pilot (“Apocalypse Now”) on CBS

·      Christopher Probst, ASC for the Mindhunter pilot on Netflix