The Legacy Lives On

The American Society of Cinematographers is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing the art of filmmaking. Since its charter in 1919, the ASC has been committed to educating aspiring filmmakers and others about the art and craft of cinematography; it accomplishes this by publishing the internationally renowned magazine American Cinematographer and the venerable American Cinematographer Manual, through seminars at schools and industry events, and via one-on-one mentoring. ASC members volunteer their time for such activities.

The planned expansion of the ASC Clubhouse, located in Hollywood at North Orange Drive (between Hollywood Boulevard and Franklin Avenue), will enable the Society to increase and centralize many of its educational activities. The ASC is aware of the many excellent training opportunities that are available to cinematography students, and will work in partnership with these existing programs to develop a curriculum that augments and supports them.

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ASC membership is by invitation, based on an individual’s body of work. Currently, the membership roster comprises 302 cinematographers who hail from about 20 different countries. The ASC also has more than 150 associate members; these individuals work in ancillary sectors of the industry and are invited to join because of their contributions to the art and craft of motion pictures.

In addition to its focus on education, the ASC is actively involved in the development of motion-picture technologies and also works to promote a better understanding of the cinematographer’s contributions to the filmmaking process. Many active and associate members volunteer their time on ASC committees that focus on such projects. These committees include:

  • Technology Committee: Dedicated to providing up-to-date information on current and future filmmaking technology, this committee partners with industry professionals in the evaluation and development of new digital tools.
  • Education Committee: Outreach to emerging filmmakers is a critical component of the ASC’s mission, and this committee has developed several programs and events that provide students with access to professional filmmakers. These include lighting workshops, roundtable discussions, and the ASC Heritage Award, which is given annually to an outstanding student cinematographer whose work is judged by ASC members.
  • Public-Relations Committee: This committee strives to promote a better understanding of the role of the cinematographer by organizing ASC participation in film festivals, trade shows and other events.
  • Publications Committee: This advisory group for ASC publications, which include American Cinematographer and the American Cinematographer Manual, also oversees the Society’s online presence, providing valuable educational content for the Web site.