Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam: Michel Hugo, ASC, 1930-2010

Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam: Michel Hugo, ASC, 1930-2010

Article excerpt

Emmy-nominated cinematographer Michel Hugo, ASC, an affiliate assistant professor in the film department at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, died Oct. 12 after a brief battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.

Hugo was born on Jan. 13, 1930, in Paris, France. As a teenager, he aided the French Resistance during World War II. After the war, he attended the Vaugirard film school in Paris, where he focused on cinematography, following in his father's footsteps behind the camera. Hugo graduated in 1951 and quickly found steady work as a camera assistant on numerous French productions. Before long, he climbed the ranks and began notching professional credits as a director of photography.

In 1 956, Hugo moved to Los Angeles, Calif., and essentially began again at the bottom of the ladder. "I don't regret it," he told AC in January 1990. "I just pushed ahead, I never looked behind.

"I always had great admiration for the technology of American movies," he added. "I was overwhelmed by the abundance of equipment, the size of the stages. Taking a golf cart to move from stage to stage in a big studio - this was paradise! "

In 1960, Hugo became a U.S. citizen and was admitted into the camera union, then known as IATSE Local 659. By 1967, he was once again ranked as a director of photography, and he was working on the hit television series Mission: Impossible.

Following Mission: Impossible, Hugo transitioned to features, where he worked with such directors as Bob Rafelson (Head), Jacques Demy (Model Shop), Stuart Rosenberg (April Fools) and Stanley Kramer (R.P.M. and Bless the Beasts <§ Children). …

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