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Dick Van Dyke at ICG Awards: 'Surprised Everyone’s Out on the Final Night of 'Breaking Bad''

The veteran actor was a guest speaker at the ICG’s Emerging Cinematographer Awards.

Dick Van Dyke 2011 - P
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Dick Van Dyke

“I’m surprised everyone’s out on the final night of Breaking Bad -- you’re all recording it I bet,” said Dick Van Dyke as he took the stage at the DGA Theater on Sunday -- surprising an estimated 500 guests at the International Cinematographers Guild’s 17th annual Emerging Cinematographer Awards (ECA) ceremony.

“My relationship with cinematographers has always been very, very good,” said the legendary actor, who after an enthusiastic standing ovation, told a few stories and shared a lot of laughs. “I only had one kind of strange experience, on my first day on Chitty Chitty Band Bang. I’m sitting in makeup and the cinematographer Chris Challis -- a wonderful man and great cinematographer -- motioned to the makeup guy, and I heard him say, ‘What are we going to do about the hooter?’ And the makeup guy said, ‘I’m not a plastic surgeon.’

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“After that I went to a plastic surgeon and he said, ‘you can’t do it now, you’re established.' So I just let my nose grow."

He also shared a few beefs he has with evolving technology. “I myself am a Lightwave animator … but I think it is being misused. When I saw Jurassic Park, I thought, ‘what a perfectly judicious use of this medium.’ Now it's the whole movie; people get tired of it, I think.

"The other thing is the use of the handheld camera. If you are going to shoot up my nose I don't want to watch. I think the camera should be a fly on the wall, watching what goes on. That’s just me talking -- as a member of the DGA."

As he arrived, the actor told The Hollywood Reporter that he had seen Disney’s upcoming Saving Mr. Banks, based around the making of Mary Poppins, which starred Julie Andrews and Van Dyke. “It’s great,” he said, adding that he had not known all that went on to get the movie made.

During the awards ceremony, ICG recognized this year’s ECA honorees and screened their short films. They are Michael Berlucchi, operator for a film titled 140 Drams; Eduardo Fierro, operator for Eleven: Twelve; Kyle Klutz, first assistant camera for Vessel; Michael Alden Lloyd, 2nd AC for Secret Number; VanNessa Manlunas, 2nd AC for King of Norway; 
Camrin Petramale, loader for Memoirs of a Parapsychologist; Guy Skinner, operator for Your Father’s Daughter; and 
T.J. Williams, operator for The Return. Additionally, Robert Givens, 1st AC for The Ride and Andrew Shulkind, preview system for South Down Orchard received honorable mentions.

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A New York screening of the shorts will follow on Oct. 20 at the School of Visual Arts; additional presentations are being planned, including one at the upcoming Camerimage cinematography festival in Poland. The ECA is open to any member of the guild who is not already classified as a director of photography, and the films are selected by a panel of ICG members.

Director of photography Steven Poster, president of the ICG, related that the weekend’s ECA activities included a mentoring session. The mentors were Poster, ECA committee chair Jim Matlosz, Jason Pagni of WME, Erin Searcy of The Gersh Agency and Maria Perry of The Skouras Agency.

Four special awards were presented at the ECA luncheon on Friday. Mark Weingartner, chairman of the ICG national training committee, and a director of photography, VFX supervisor and stereographer, received the Canon Award for advancement of digital film and TV technology. Director of photography Julio Macat, whose credits include Home Alone, was presented with the Kodak Mentorship Award. Corey Carbonara, director of the digital communications technologies project at Baylor University, received the Nat Tiffen Award for outstanding educational contributions to cinematography; and the recipient of the Technicolor William A. Fraker Award for outstanding journalistic contributions to cinematography was In Contention editor Kristopher Tapley.