Winners of First Annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards for Best Photographed College Films Feted in Hollywood

By Lightman, Herb A | American Cinematographer, July 1975 | Go to article overview

Winners of First Annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards for Best Photographed College Films Feted in Hollywood


Lightman, Herb A, American Cinematographer


A.S.C. Members and their guests gather to honor young film-makers who were finalists of competition in which each college or university selected from its student films the one featuring the best cinematography

On the evening of May 21st last, Denis Mayer, a recent graduate of San Diego State University, was named winner of the first annual American Society of Cinematographers award for the best photographed college film of 1974.

Gregory Peck presented Mayer with a specially-created lucite and gold trophy for his work as cinematographer on the 25-minute color film, "NEGATIVE IMAGE" (see Page 772), which was screened for the awards banquet audience following the presentation at the A.S.C. Clubhouse in Hollywood. Additionally, a trophy was presented to Dr. Hayes Anderson of San Diego State, honoring the university which produced the winning film.

Four other nominees for the prestigious award were given plaques of achievement by A.S.C. President Lester Shorr. These were Samn Hoicombe, Florida State University, for the film, "GAPS OF SILENCE"; Richard Fee, New York University, "BELLIGERENCE"; John Sharaf, UCLA, "AND I DON'T MEAN MAYBE"; and Vince Dyer, California Institute of the Arts, "WRITER'S CRAMP".

Famed comedian Edgar Bergen, who for many years has been an Associate Member of the American Society of Cinematographers, served as master-of-ceremonies for the gala event, convulsing the audience with his quips and clever ventriloquist routine.

Nominees for the coveted award were chosen by a 24-member A.S.C. judging panel from a total of 40 entries, each of which had been submitted by a college or university as its best-photographed student film of the year. The winner was then selected in a vote of the entire A.S.C. membership. Of the five films in the final voting, all but the UCLA entry were in color.

Honored guests at the awards banquet included Paul Beeson, BSC, of London, past president of the British Society of Cinematographers. Mr. Beeson was in Hollywood to attend the Emmy Awards presentation, having been nominated for that award for his work as cinematographer on the seven-hour TV special, "QB VII".

In his opening remarks, A.S.C. President Lester Shorr said, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed a pleasure, on this special occasion, to extend a warm welcome to our honored guests, who are all around me, to the ladies and gentlemen of the media, and to the large turn-out of our own membership. For us at the A.S.C., this is a notable event, because it marks the presentation of our first annual College Film Award, created to honor the best achievement in cinematography among college film-makers . . .

"From its inception, the A.S.C. has always been interested in encouraging young and enthusiastic students of cinematography. Our magazine, American Cinematographer, is widely accepted and read by students and young film-makers the world over, and our photographic manual is used as a textbook by students in many of the film schools. Many of our members have conducted seminars and lectures at colleges and universities throughout the country, passing on their know-how in the profession to film students."

Mr. Shorr then introduced A.S.C. past president Ernest Laszlo, who said, "I am very pleased and happy that the idea of this competition was conceived early in my administration. Now that the child has been born, I want to tell you that it has many, many fathers. This is not a night to pat ourselves on the back, but I want to express my gratitude and thanks to our judging committee of 24 members, and particularly to the chairman of that committee, Stanley Cortez, and also to our public relations representatives, Ormond & Nicholson. They all worked very hard to make this event possible. Thank you very much."

Mr. Shorr next introduced Stanley Cortez, who said, "In accepting your applause, I am taking a bow for all those concerned - my colleagues, the staff and certainly John Ormond and Blaine Nicholson, our public relations people. …

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