ASC bestows Elswit top honor for 'Blood'


Robert Elswit was honored for his work on "There Will Be Blood" in the feature film competition of the 22nd Annual American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards on Saturday night at Hollywood & Highland.

The five nominees in the ASC feature category are the same contenders for the Oscar in cinematography. The additional nominees were Roger Deakins, who had two nominations, for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "No Country for Old Men;" Janusz Kaminski for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly;" and Seamus McGarvey for "Atonement."

Deakins pulled a rare feat this year, in that he was the first cinematographer to earn two nominations in one year in the ASC feature competition, and he was the first cinematographer to earn two Oscar nominations in the same year in the category in 37 years.

Ben Nott and Glen Winter earned top ASC honors in television, with Nott topping the movie/miniseries/pilot category for "The Company" and Winter winning the episodic TV competition for "Noir," an episode of "Smallville."

Also during the ceremony, the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Stephen H. Burum. Additionally, the ASC International Award was given to Walter Lassally, the ASC Career Achievement in Television Award was bestowed upon George Spiro Dibie, the ASC Presidents Award was presented to visual effects pioneer Richard Edlund, and the ASC Board of Governors Award was given to Annette Bening.

Vilmos Zsigmond presented the ASC Laszlo Kovacs Heritage Award to Andrew M. Davis of Chapman University and Sean Stiegemeier from the American Film Institute. This student award is rededicated annually to the memory of a cinematographer who has made an indelible impression on the art of filmmaking. Kovacs, whose cinematic achievements include "Easy Rider," died last July.

"Laszlo was one of the most talented cinematographers of our times," Zsigmond said. "He was also my friend and partner in life. Laszlo led the ASC outreach program to students and other young filmmakers for many years. He will never be forgotten, because he was a great artist who helped so many other people's dreams come true."