Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam Herbert S. Alpert, ASC, CSC, 1918-201

Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam Herbert S. Alpert, ASC, CSC, 1918-201

Article excerpt

Herbert S. Alpert, ASC, CSC, who shot numerous documentaries and features such as The Hired Gun (1961), and was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, died Feb. 20 at the age of 93.

Alpert was bom on Nov. 26, 1918 in New Haven, Conn. He began working as a camera assistant at the age of 18, and in his early 20s he began notching credits as a director of photography. His career was put on hiatus when the United States entered World War II; from 1942 through 1945, he served in the U.S. Army Air Force Special Services.

Returning to civilian life, Alpert settled in New York City, where he found steady work as a cameraman on industrial, training, educational and advertising films, as well as documentaries. In 1955, he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he served as the cinematographer for Meridian Films on a host of commercials, television programs, documentaries and theatrical shorts.

In 1957, Alpert approached fellow cinematographers M. Jackson-Samuels, Fritz Spiess and Bob Brooks and formed the CSC. In a history of that organization posted on its website, Alpert noted, "Britain had the BSC, [and] the Americans, of course, were the prime movers in that area with the ASC... I thought it was time, in spite of the fact there were only about a dozen cinematographers around whom I knew, that we, too, should have some standards and a fraternal association." Alpert was appointed the first president pro-tern, and Brooks was later elected his successor.

Alpert's credits in the 1950s and 1960s included the features A Dangerous Young and the Beat and A Cool Sound from Hell, all directed by Sidney Furie; Bloody Brood and The Mask, both directed by Julian Roffman; and the TV series Mr. …

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