Commercials Honored for Cinematography at 2009 AICP Show

The 18th Annual AICP Show, The Art & Technique of the American Commercial, debuted on June 9 at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Nearly 2,000 members of the advertising and production industry gathered to view the hour-long compendium of the best commercials of the year.

Student Honorees Nat Livingston Johnson, Gregory Mitnick and their NYU Instructor DGA Director Laura Belsey and AICP President Matt Miller

On the evening prior to the AICP's premiere, Kodak hosted a dinner at Michael's in New York City to recognize the cinematographers and students whose work is being featured.

"The cinematographers and students being honored in the 2009 AICP Show pushed the envelope and set the standard for artistic achievement in an incredibly competitive field," noted Kodak's Melanie Jones.

Cinematographer Ben Davis, BSC earned his spot in the AICP Show for Volvo's "Stormy Night." The spot shows an oceangoing sailboat encountering rough seas and gathering storm clouds. The alarm is raised. The team boards a rescue vessel and heads into the tempest. They find the sailboat (coincidentally named Volvo) and discover that the crew and vessel are fine. 

"We shot on the Isle of Skye in northwestern Scotland in winter, thinking we'd have the stormy skies that the spot called for," says Davis. "But the weather on the shoot days was clear with blue skies. I used large black screens overhead to create some mood and contrast. I underexposed the film by two stops to get deep blacks. I chose Kodak film stock because I feel it captures mood and texture, and I wanted this spot to feel real, with some grit and some grain."

In addition to Davis, the AICP also recognized Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC and David Higgs, BSC in the cinematography category, and NYU's Nat Livingston Johnson and Gregory Mitnick in the Student Commercial Category.

Over 300 judges from across the United States, and a blue ribbon Curatorial Committee comprised of distinguished members of the industry from advertising agencies, production companies, editorial companies, and many others, selected the winning commercials.

After its debut at MoMA, the Show will tour museums and cultural institutions around the country and abroad. The tour schedule- along with the entire Show archive - is available for viewing at

Photos by: Jon Simon


DP Jon Fauer, WW Advertising Director Sarabeth Litt and Michael Owen 



Student Honorees Nat Livingston Johnson and Gregory Mitnick and Melanie Jones, Kodak



Carl Sturges, Executive Producer, Michael Scrhom, Rich Carlson, Kodak



Student Honorees Nat Livingston Johnson, Gregory Mitnick and their NYU Instructor DGA Director Laura Belsey