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The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) is an educational, social, and professional organization with an invitation-only membership of motion picture directors of photography. Two early cinematography clubs founded in 1913 were combined to form the ASC. The Cinema Camera Club was started in New York by Phil Rosen, Frank Kugler, and Lewis W. Physioc, all cinematographers for the Thomas A. Edison Studio. The Static Club membership was comprised of cinematographers active in the rapidly growing movie industry of Southern California. When Phil Rosen moved to Los Angeles, he and Static Club member Charles Rosher worked to combine the two organizations. The charter for the new organization, received from the State of California in 1919, declared that it was "dedicated to the advancement of the art of cinematography through artistry and technological progress, to exchange ideas and to cement a closer relationship among cinematographers." The ASC began publishing "American Cinematographer" magazine in 1920. To this day, the magazine continues to profile cinematographers, their work, and the tools and techniques of cinematography. The Society also periodically publishes the "American Cinematographer Manual," an authoritative guide which is updated regularly to reflect changing technologies. The ASC is headquartered in Hollywood, California at 1782 North Orange Street, in one of the oldest existing homes in the area. In addition to serving as a clubhouse and offices for the Society’s administration and magazine, the building houses a small museum containing a fine collection of early motion picture cameras. As of 2006, the ASC had over 350 active members.
The photograph series of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) collection encompasses 42.5 linear feet and contains many images used in the pages of "American Cinematographer" magazine from the years 1947 to 1998. The collection is organized by year and month of the issue and title of the article to which the photographs relate. The bulk of the photographs are various sized black-and-white photographs, but material beginning in 1971 contains color photographs and color transparencies. Subjects include cinematographers, crews and cameras on film sets and locations, newly developed equipment, ASC social events, visual effects, trade shows, and film festivals. There are also portraits and on-set photographs of more than 250 past members of the Society which came directly from the ASC membership files and are arranged in alphabetical order by personal name.
Gift of the ASC Holding Corporation, 1996.
Members of the American Society of Cinematographers