For 14 years the International Cinematographers Guild has honored new talent within its membership with what is now known as the Emerging Cinematographers Awards. Any Guild member who is not already a Director of Photography can enter this contest with his or her short film, be they a camera operator, loader, still photographer or any of the more than 30 skill categories within the union. The 2010 ECA takes place at the DGA theater in Los Angeles on September 26th.
More than one thousand short films have been submitted over the years, mostly by camera operators and assistants, since Cinematographer Rob Kositchek launched the awards in 1997. Over 120 ICG members have been honored and a number of them have gone on to have stellar careers. They include Mark Williams, who has gone on to a great career in commercial cinematography and directing, as well as features, serving as DP on the upcoming Heloise; Ken Glassing, First Unit Director of Photography, CSI: Miami; Josh Bleibtreu, Second Unit DP, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Van Helsing and two years on X-Files; Founder, Robert Kositchek, 2nd Unit DP, The Pretender, 24 and Director of Photography on Heroes Under Fire, and Julie Kirkwood who has served as Director of Photography on more than a dozen movies and TV shows.
Jim Matlosz has this to say about the Emerging Cinematographers Awards and his involvement.
“Inspiration comes in many forms. Many of us seek it out and find it in the simplest things in life. Others seek the bigger picture. Inspiration is what drives us. It’s something we can all relate to, even if we don’t define it. It culminates in little victories, not only by us but by others as well. The fire of inspiration can often be lit by witnessing success, no matter how great or small, and when witnessed first hand it is truly remarkable.
“Personally, I have been continually inspired by the Emerging Cinematographers Awards since it began some 14 years ago. I have been in steady attendance, watching the work of my peers and feeling inspired every time. Sitting there in the audience I could easily picture myself as one of the Cinematographers being awarded, another step towards realizing my dream of becoming a Cinematographer. The inspiration drew me closer and closer, to the point that I offered my time to volunteer and help with the show. Little did I know at that time that I would inherit the chairman’s seat when founder/operator Rob Kositchek stepped down.
“Now it’s my responsibility to support honorees so that they may continue to inspire others as I have been. Many of the past honorees I have spoken to credit their ECA accolades as a major turning point in their career. Honor is a word often used, and many have told me that it’s great to be honored by your peers, and to be recognized for your hard work.”
Find out more about the program at www.ecawards.net.