Letter from the President: Working Through the New Normal

We must go about the business of living and working in the modified and masked manner we have learned over the last two years.

At top, working through challenges: Alice Brooks, ASC assists director Lin-Manuel Miranda on the set of Tick, Tick… Boom! (Unit photograph by Macall B. Polay, SMPSP, Courtesy of Netflix.)

We are survivors of an international health crisis, and we have been traumatized. Even the take-out bag of our local burger joint has the 800 number for suicide, human trafficking, substance abuse and child abuse. Freud said: “…the essence of the traumatic situation is the experience of helplessness…”

But we now have the tools to fight back, to not be helpless. So, we must go about the business of living and working in the modified and masked manner we have learned over the last two years. The magazine’s parent organization, the ASC, has returned to in-person events. During the holidays we celebrated with events at the ASC Clubhouse and in New York City.

Stephen Lighthill, ASC (Photo By Michael M. Pessah, ASC)

The ASC could not have weathered the rough seas of 2020-2021 without the continuing support of our manufacturing and rental-house friends on the commercial side of filmmaking. Their financial, informational and moral support has been critical to the survival of our non-profit organization.

At AC, we have never stopped delivering cinematography news and information. In this issue, we look at makeup artists and how they work with cinematographers. Celebrating our production collaborators is a reminder that what is in front of our lens is as important as the crew, lights and camera behind the lens.

Persistence in the face of adversity is a hallmark of our industry, whether that adversity takes the form of conflicts during production or the forces of nature. As viewers, too, we are all linked by our passion for storytelling through motion pictures, and this passion has survived the pandemic. Whether on large, continuing stories (Star Wars, et al.) or smaller films, there has been an expansion of volume through the entry of new players in the making of films, particularly in the new domain of streaming. This is an opportunity to tell more stories, big or small.

During two years of Covid, the ASC has continued to bring in new members who comprise the most diverse new cohort (in terms of age, gender, culture, etc.) in the Society’s history. Of course, this development also reflects the large volume of production, the variety of stories, and the many countries where production is taking place. Because just as the pandemic has touched every region of the globe, the basic human instinct to tell stories is also common to all humanity. We will survive this together. And we will make better, more diverse, more interesting and more entertaining films because of it.

Stephen Lighthill
President, ASC

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