Magazine article American Cinematographer

Industry Activities

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Industry Activities

Article excerpt


Ben Levin, a graduate student of film in the School of Communications and Theater, was the winner of a special Academy Award in the first national competition honoring outstanding achievements by college film-makers. Temple's entry was selected from among 300 films submitted by colleges and universities all over the United States at a special screening for the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills. The picture, a half-hour documentary called "You see ... I've Had a Life", is a quiet but moving portrait of the last eight months in the life of a 14-yea'r-old Philadelphia boy stricken with leukemia.

Levin, who is 31, came to Temple's Radio-Television-Film Department three years ago after visiting schools on both coasts which offer film training programs. Having graduated from the Eastman School of Music, done post-graduate work in musicology, and then served four years in the U.S. Marine Band, he had reached a crossroad in his professional career which led him to search for other ways of satisfying his artistic aspirations. Like many others of his generation, he sensed in the film medium a possible way of expressing creative feelings in a manner not open to him as a musician.

"I came to Temple," he said, "because its program was focused on problems in the real world, because it had physical resources the equal of any in the country, and because of the people that I would have a chance to work with there." Five of the film professors headed programs of their own at other institutions before coming to teach at Temple. During their professional careers, members of the department faculty have made almost 3,000 films, worked in 82 different countries of the world, and trained a whole generation of broadcasters and film-makers not ohly in the U.S. but in the Middle East, Brazil, and Africa. Together, they have contributed 286 articles and 13 books to the scholarly literature in their field, earning 144 awards, citations and honors including two "Emmys" and a recent Pulitzer prize nomination.

Though film was added to the broadcasting curriculum only five years ago, the integrated programs leading to B.A., M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees now enroll almost 800 majors. Levin's "Oscar" from Hollywood is the most recent of 11 awards won by film students at Temple in the short time the program has existed. In hearing of this latest honor, he commented on the freedom of choice a film-maker experiences within a university, remarking, "One may never quite sense the likes of it in the rest of one's professional career."


The Taylor Hobson Varotal 30 color television zoom lens system made by Rank Optics, a company within The Rank Organisation, has been chosen in England for a Design Award in the Engineering section of the 1974 Design Council Awards, it has been announced by Rank Precision Industries, Inc.

Designed by a team of research and development engineers headed by E. D. McConnell, the technical manager, the Varotal 30 lens is the latest in a range of television zoom lens systems made by the Leicester-based team which has been involved in advanced optical developments for many years.

Following years of experience gained working closely with television program directors, cameramen and engineers throughout the world, the Varotal 30 was launched 2% years ago. It is available through Rank Precision Industries in the U.S.A.

With the lens and its associated control systems, a director can achieve very wide or very narrow angles and genuine close-up effect shots. The cameraman can choose from five different control systems-three servo, one manual and a further one that combines the two types.

Use of new optical principles in the Varotal 30 achieves an 18-inch (45cm) minimum object distance and a horizontal angular field of view up to 56 degrees. …

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