The American Society of Cinematographer’s board of governors has once again elected Stephen Lighthill as president of the organization. He previously held the position from 2012 to 2013. The board also voted in VPs Amy Vincent, Bill Bennett and John Simmons; treasurer Levie Isaacks; secretary Gregg Heschong; and sergeant-at-arms David Darby.
Lighthill, who was most recently a VP at the ASC, 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.
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,” he 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 is currently at the American Film Institute Conservatory as the discipline chair/cinematography, where he’s been a proponent for gender diversity and supported 100 female cinematography graduates during his tenure. He has also 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. The latter 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 and Nash Bridges, among many others. In 2018, Lighthill was honored with the ASC President’s Award. He was also the recipient of the Society of Camera Operators President’s Award in 2000.
The ASC 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 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.