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Oscar-nominated cinematographer Lawrence Sher — whose credits include The Hangover, Joker and upcoming Black Adam — urged the next generation of cinematographers to take risks as he accepted the Distinguished Filmmaker Award at the International Cinematographers Guild (Local 600) Emerging Cinematographer Awards.
“Continue to take risks. … and be gentle and kind to yourself. That will keep you going,” he told this year’s 10 honorees during the ceremony, held Sunday at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center. “What I love about the industry and being a member of Local 600 is that you can move up and do these things. [Your honored work] is incredible. You are risk takers. At ever stage of my career I tried not to think of the same path [and] dropped the safety net.”
Following a montage of his work, including some memorable moments from hit comedy The Hangover, he quipped, “I make a living shooting dumb shit.” Sher also serves on the American Society of Cinematographers board of directors and is the creator of image database Shotdeck.com.
The Emerging Cinematographer Awards were created to allow Local 600 members (those not yet classified as a DP) an opportunity to present themselves as directors of photography by submitting a short film with a running time of 30 minutes or less for consideration.
ICG national president Baird B. Steptoe Sr. kicked off the presentation, attended by roughly 350 guests, calling the honorees “the future of motion imaging” while adding “after a two-year shutdown, we are finally able to show the work of these talented union members.” The shorts were screened during the ceremony and they will be presented at additional events including the upcoming Camerimage cinematography festival in Poland.
During this 24th edition of the awards, honorees were Andrew Aiello, for Green Cobra; Austin Scott Ahlborg, Lotus; Jac Cheairs, Kenobi: A Star Wars Fan Film; Morgan Gardiner, Molly Robber; Gregor Tavenner, Pleasant Canyon; Jason Chau, Sting; Michael P. Tedford, Eilder Scrolls: Legends E3 trailer; Leonard P. Walsh ll, Kingsnake; Eric M. Hurt, Singularity; and Allie Schultz, Your Monster.
Cinematographer and ICG past president Steven Poster, who chairs the Emerging Cinematographer Awards with DP Jimmy Matlosz, introduced an In Memoriam, asking for a moment of silence for Local 600 members who passed away since the last ECA event. That included past ICG president George-Spiro Dibie and members including Halyna Hutchins, who died last year due to a gun accident on the set of Rust.
During a pre-awards luncheon held Friday at the ASC clubhouse in Hollywood, cinematographer Patti Lee was honored with the guild’s Mentor Award. Lee is a three-time Emmy nominee, for her work on Call Me Kat, Bob Hearts Abishola and Superior Donuts.
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