The American Society of Cinematographers has re-appointed Kees van Oostrum to a second term as president of the organization, based on votes by the board of governors. The ASC board also elected its officers for the 2017-2018 term, including: Bill Bennett, John Simmons and Cynthia Pusheck as vice presidents; Levie Isaacks as treasurer; David Darby as secretary; and Isidore Mankofsky as sergeant-at-arms.
“As an organization, we are focused on education, international outreach, diversity and preservation of our heritage,” van Oostrum says. “Over the past year, we expanded our Master Class program internationally to Toronto and China. We launched a Chinese version of American Cinematographer magazine. We are preparing for a third International Cinematography Summit, which sees attendees from several other societies around the world. And our Vision Committee has many initiatives planned after presenting two very successful ‘Day of Inspiration’ events in Los Angeles and New York, which were designed to inspire female cinematographers and crewmembers.”
The 2017-2018 ASC Regular Board members include: Paul Cameron, Russell Carpenter, Curtis Clark, Richard Crudo, George Spiro Dibie, Fred Elmes, Victor J. Kemper, Stephen Lighthill, Karl-Walter Lindenlaub, Woody Omens, Robert Primes, Cynthia Pusheck, John Simmons, John Toll, and Amy Vincent. Roberto Schaefer, Dean Cundey, Lowell Peterson, Steven Fierberg, and Stephen Burum are Alternate Board members.
Van Oostrum is also the chairman and originator of the renowned ASC Master Classes, which take place several times a year due to sell-out enrollment. Inaugurated in 2013, the Master Classes are taught exclusively by ASC members. It is designed for cinematographers with an intermediate-to-advanced skill set, and incorporates practical, hands-on demonstrations of lighting and camera techniques with essential instruction in current workflow practices.
The ASC’s ongoing educational programs consist of the Student Heritage Awards, Coffee and Conversation Q&As with cinematographers, panel discussions by the Education and Outreach Committee, Friends of the ASC membership, and several other committee initiatives.
Most notable are the award-winning efforts of the ASC Technology Committee, which has proven unique in its ability to shape the standards and practices of cinematography for digital workflows. The Committee works closely with the Academy’s Sci-Tech Council, and is regularly featured in the SMPTE Journal.
Van Oostrum has earned two Primetime Emmy nominations for his work on the telefilms Miss Rose White and Return to Lonesome Dove. His peers chose the latter for a 1994 ASC Outstanding Achievement Award. Additional ASC Award nominations for his television credits came for The Burden of Proof, Medusa’s Child, and Spartacus. He also shot the Emmy-winning documentary The Last Chance. Currently, he serves as director of photography on The Fosters, which airs on Freeform.
A native of Amsterdam, van Oostrum studied at the Dutch Film Academy with an emphasis on both cinematography and directing, and went on to earn a scholarship sponsored by the Dutch government, which enabled him to enroll the American Film Institute. Van Oostrum broke into the industry shooting television documentaries for several years. He has subsequently compiled a wide range of some 80-plus credits, including movies for television and the cinema, such as Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, and occasional documentaries.
ASC was founded in 1919. There are 370-plus active members today who have national roots in some 20 countries. There are also 200 associate members from ancillary segments of the industry.