Stephen Lighthill Elected to Lead American Society of Cinematographers
The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Board of Governors has elected a new slate of officers, elevating Stephen Lighthill to president of the organization. The Board also voted in Vice Presidents Amy Vincent, Bill Bennett, and John Simmons; Treasurer Levie Isaacks; Secretary Gregg Heschong; and Sergeant-at-Arms David Darby.
Lighthill takes over the reins from outgoing ASC President Kees van Oostrum, who served the maximum four terms and recently was appointed to lead IMAGO, the international federation of cinematographers. This is Lighthill’s second turn as ASC president, previously serving from 2012-2013. Most recently he held the position of vice president.
Lighthill assumes his role at an important time in history, as members continue to advocate for equal rights and diversity, as well as safe production environments amidst the COVID-19 contagion.
“This is a challenging moment for filmmaking in general and cinematography in particular,” Lighthill says. “As an organization, we are making plans to put words into action. Through the work of the Future Practices Committee and Vision Committee, I’m ready to lead our Society in responding, and in making our work environments safe, equal and diverse.”
Lighthill currently is the Discipline Chair: Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory. He has long served as an officer on the National Executive Board of the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) as well.
Lighthill began his career shooting for San Francisco Bay area news programs, as well as national news shows such as 60 Minutes. He segued into documentary cinematography, working on many films including Gimme Shelter and Berkeley in the Sixties, which was nominated for an Academy Award® and won the Audience Award at Sundance. His narrative credits include such television dramas as Vietnam War Story, Earth 2, Nash Bridges among many others. In 2018, Lighthill was honored with the ASC Presidents Award. He is also the recipient of the Society of Operating Cameramen’s (SOC) President’s Award in 2000.
The ASC strives to serve its mission of inspiring the next generation of cinematographers and advancing the art of filmmaking through many industry events and initiatives. The Society has over 20 committees leading the organization’s various initiatives, including the recently formed Future Practices Committee to assist and advise on COVID-19 safety on set; the award-winning Motion Imaging Technology Council (MITC) formed in 2003 to understand technology’s ongoing impact on the imaging chain in a way that best serves the creative interests of filmmakers; the efforts of the Vision Committee to encourage and support the advancement of underrepresented cinematographers, their crews and other filmmakers; regional and international ASC Master Classes taught by members; Clubhouse Conversation discussions with members and filmmakers about highly regarded work; and the activities of the Education & Outreach Committee with film schools.
ASC was founded in 1919. There are 400-plus active members today who have national roots in some 20 countries. There are also 249 associate members from ancillary segments of the industry.