Simon Duggan, ACS, Darren Lew and Greig Fraser, ACS took top cinematography honors in the 19th annual Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Show: The Art & Technique of the American Commercial. The television commercials they shot were chosen by their peers as the most-effective visual storytelling last year in a highly-competitive field.
The TV spots were featured at the premiere of the AICP Show on June 8 at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. They are compelling examples of how the art of telling stories with moving images can influence thoughts and feelings about products and services offered by advertisers. The stories and visual grammars were radically different:
Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, HSC and Guillermo Navarro, ASC, AMC sat down to share memories about their respective Oscar-winning endeavors, which came nearly three decades apart, for International Cinematographer Guild magazine last year. Zsigmond took top honors for Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1978. Navarro won for El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) in 2007, just the second time in Academy history that a cinematographer won an Oscar for a foreign language film.
Both men followed career paths that could be plucked straight from a Hollywood script. Zsigmond was born and raised in Szeged, Hungary, during the Nazi occupation and subsequent imposition of a communist regime by Russia. He made a perilous journey across the Austrian border in the wake of an uprising that was brutally suppressed by the Soviet Army. With no knowledge of English and zero connections in the film industry, Zsigmond migrated to the United States in 1956 as a political refugee. He worked at odd jobs, and shot free films for students and industrial movies for $2.50 an hour until he launched his narrative film career in 1963 with an ultra-low budget film titled The Sadist. Navarro was born in Mexico City, where he started taking still pictures when he was 13 years old. His sister got him a job as a photographer on a film when he was 14. Navarro eventually purchased a 16 mm camera, and began shooting documentaries.
Bob Fisher is a native New Yorker, where he began his career at a now defunct newspaper. He migrated to Los Angeles for a six-month project writing about cinematography. The assignment was pure serendipity, and it became his life's work. Fisher has since authored a few thousand-plus magazine articles about cinematographers and filmmakers talking about their art form during the past 40-plus years. He has also moderated many panel discussions at film festivals, conferences and Internet chats for both the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG). In 2002, he was made an honorary member of the ASC.