2019 Honorees and Honorable Mentions

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Honorees

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A collection of highlights from all of the 2019 honorees.

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Daniel Bombell

1st Assistant
Present Day, Athens

Originally hailing from Sydney, Australia, Daniel Bombell first ventured to the U.S. in 2003 to complete his final year of film school as an exchange student at Ithaca College in upstate New York. While attending the school’s L.A. program, he interned with cinematographer Matty Libatique, ASC, and got his first introduction to working on set.

From there he started his journey in the camera department as a film loader and worked up to 1st AC, joining Local 600 in 2007. During his time as an AC, Daniel started working in commercials and music videos, dabbled in TV pilots and worked as an A-camera 1st AC on a number of major studio pictures. This experience working with many of the top DP’s in the world really helped prepare him for his next step as a cinematographer.

Present Day, Athens is an irreverent look at a day in the life of a local sheriff in the dusty, forgotten town of Athens, TX. Despite the stifling heat and mundane nature of his job, he goes about his seemingly futile business in a charming and unexpected way. The film’s look and aesthetic were somewhat inspired by the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men and the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. The Directors wanted to create an atmosphere at the beginning of the film that would make the Sheriff’s later actions unexpected for the viewer. The film was shot in one day in July in Palmdale, CA — not the most pleasant of conditions for cast and crew.

Daniel chose to capture the images on ALEXA XT’s and Minis with Cooke Anamorphic prime and zoom lenses as well as an Angénieux Anamorphic zoom — all provided by Keslow Camera. He opted to shoot ARRIRAW in order to have the best resolution and most information when it came to grade the film, which was completed using DaVinci Resolve. Other tools utilized were a 45-foot Movie Bird crane provided by TCC and a Steadicam operated by Local 600 operator Christopher Glasgow.

Daniel would like to thank the directors (the Coles) for having him join them in this collaboration and the cast and crew for all their hard work. Special thanks to 1st AC Joseph Cannon, Steadicam operator Christopher Glasgow, SOC; Key Grip Rudy Covarrubias; Gaffer Blue Thompson and Technocrane operator Christian Hurley.

He would also like to thank his family for supporting his moving halfway across the world to pursue his dreams.

Tinx Chan

Camera Operator
Empty Skies

Tinx Chan is a cinematographer native to Brooklyn, New York. With a background in film studies and photography, he graduated with honors from CUNY College of Staten Island, and then later furthered his studies through workshops and personal examination of films that resonated with him pictorially.

Tinx is naturally drawn to stories that pose questions about what it means to be human, and feels called to collaborate with like-minded filmmakers to bring these stories to life visually. Empty Skies is one of such projects, about two children faced with a moral dilemma set during The Great Leap Forward period in China.

The film posed many challenges, but the limitations helped establish the look and the execution of the photography. Some of the visual influences include Caleb Deschanel’s (ASC) work on The Black Stallion and Chris Menges’ (ASC, BSC) work on Kes. The color palette was motivated by the propaganda imagery of the time.

Working with Ed Lachman, ASC, Tinx has adopted a philosophy in cinematography in which the images that we create should have metaphorical value in relation to the story we’re trying to tell – a meditative consideration for every frame he sees through the viewfinder.

Tinx has been a director of photography, camera operator and proud member of ICG for more than 6 years. He would like to thank his wife, Wendy, and all of the lonely spouses in our Guild for allowing us to do what we love as a career – our calling to move hearts with the moving image.

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Marcos Durian

2nd Assistant
Fish Head

Marcos Durian was born in Toronto. He started as a stills photo assistant and took photography classes at Ryerson University before moving to London to continue his education, then New York where he worked as a production assistant. With the opportunity to work with legendary photographer and commercial and music video director Herb Ritts at his commercial production company, Marcos relocated to Los Angeles and soon joined Local 600.

Serving as a freelance camera assistant in the commercial and music video world allowed Marcos to develop and fine-tune his skills, working with revered cinematographers such as Darius Khondji, ASC; Paul Cameron, ASC; Sal Totino, ASC, AIC; Pierre Rouger; Christophe Lanzenberg; and Jeff Cutter.

Marcos not only wrote and directed the short film Fish Head, he also served as his own cinematographer. The film was shot on the ARRI ALEXA Mini with Kowa Anamorphic lenses (provided by T-Stop Inc.). Fish Head is a Filipino-American coming of age story, which chronicles a young boy’s adversity with childhood, identity and being bullied at school.

With a minor, Madison Rojas, as the lead actor in almost every scene and a limited budget, the schedule was incredibly tight. Marcos was able to coordinate with his skillful crew to maximize the limited hours in the day. “We were after a very real, textured, natural look, so together with my producers, AD, gaffer, and key grip, we organized the scenes and schedule with the orientation of the sun, which would be our main light source, and planned Madison’s days around that trajectory. This gave us the ability to achieve the look we desired and sequence our schedule around our actors’ eight-hour days.”

Marcos would like to thank his entire cast and crew for an unforgettable and extraordinary experience bringing Fish Head to the silver screen. He would also like to thank his friends and family, particularly his mother, Lorenza, for her on-going support and encouragement and his Aunt Frances, who inspired him from a young age with her travel photos from around the world.

Recent cinematography work includes the feature film Itsy Bitsy, which will be released in late 2019 by Shout! Studios genre imprint Scream Factory, the TVOne Bobbi Kristina biopic and national commercials for The Company Store and Green Dot Financial. Other clients include Bona, DKNY, DELL, El Torito, Chevys and Peter Piper Pizza.

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Chad Erickson

Camera Operator
Eddy

Chad Erickson grew up in the small town of Cambridge, Illinois, where he spent many days and nights shooting video projects with friends, dreaming of heading west to California. After high school and an Associate of Arts degree in Broadcast Communication at Black Hawk College, Chad transferred to Chicago’s Columbia College to study film.

Week one at Columbia saw Chad with a Bolex in hand, loaded with a 100-foot daylight spool of reversal film. He focused on shooting as much as possible, on every type of camera, and quickly the world of filmmaking opened.

After graduating in 1998, he secured an internship with Panavision Chicago while also working in various departments on films around the city. Eventually Chad was offered a camera intern position on High Fidelity (working with Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC, and Key 1st David Morenz), which pushed everything in the right direction.

One year and many indie projects later, Chad officially joined Local 600 as a film loader. Over the next five years, he learned from countless Chicago assistants in a very talented and tight-knit community. By 2003 he made the trip west to work on the pilot for The OC and decided to stay for good. The show NCIS came next, altering the course of Chad’s life forever. Working with the best crew, under the leadership of William Webb, ASC, and Key 1st Mike Riba, he experienced a time of great growth. It was on NCIS that Chad met and worked with his now wife Kim Erickson, and together they’ve raised their daughter, Malone (currently a senior in high school). Starting as a 2nd AC, then spending twelve years as a focus puller until recently making the transition to operator, Chad has always been about patience and learning while moving through the ranks. He embraced every challenge and has appreciated the leaders who shared knowledge and gave him chances.

Now in his 17th season with NCIS, he is thoroughly enjoying his role as B-camera operator.

Working on Eddy with director Richie Owens, producer Heather Owens, and the wonderful cast has been a transitional time for Chad as he explores the role of director of photography. From the early concept talks to the final days of color timing with George Delaney, the entire journey has been one of collaborative creativity. Being a small camera/electric crew, both Steadicam operator James Troost and master of all trades Chris Liner have dived in to make the best film possible.

Chad is extremely thankful for his wife and daughter for their endless support and love. He’s thankful to family and friends for their impactful relationships. And, oh yeah – mom and dad, Chad thanks you for picking up that VHS camcorder from QVC in the mid-eighties; it was a true game changer.

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Geoff George

Camera Operator
My Blood

Geoff George was born in Detroit and is a graduate of the University of Michigan film school. Geoff joined Local 600 in 2011 as a 2nd AC. Getting his start as an AC in Michigan, Geoff worked under many veteran DP’s who helped shape his work ethic and approach, including James Laxton, ASC; Larry Fong, ASC; Chris Norr, ASC; and Benoît Debie, SBC. With a keen eye for capturing urban environments, and heavily influenced by his Rust Belt roots, he worked as 2nd Unit DP on the Detroit-shot features It Follows, Orion, and Cash Only. As a cinematographer, he has shot indie features, shorts, commercials, and music videos, and was recognized for his work on the film Break My Bones, which won Best Cinematography at the Rhode Island Film Festival in 2016. Geoff is based in Los Angeles and was reclassified as a Local 600 Operator in 2018.

Geoff has been collaborating with directing duo The Deka Brothers since 2009. With The Deka Brothers’ dark, distinctive vision closely aligning with Geoff’s cinematography, the trio has worked on many music videos and commercial projects. Geoff shot The Deka Brothers’ narrative short My Blood, a thriller about an exorcist and his son, on the RED EPIC DRAGON with RED Pro Primes. Geoff worked closely with Production Designer Joey Ostrander and Gaffer Bryan Kimbel to light the two main sets for the film with primarily practical sources. My Blood was a labor of love, self-funded by the directors, and many from Detroit’s independent film community were involved with the production.

Geoff would like to thank his family and fiancée for their unwavering support, his mentors and colleagues in the ICG and film community, and The Deka Brothers for their vision and friendship.

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Shannon Madden

Camera Operator
Scratch

Shannon Madden’s fixation with film began when she discovered she could escape her young world through classic teen horror flicks. She relished the debauchery of midnight premieres at the movie theater where she got her first job, shot imaginary television shows and recorded parties on her Canon Hi-8, and scoured Craigslist for the commercial AC gigs that slowly transformed into a career in filmmaking. Now a freelance cinematographer and union camera operator based in Brooklyn, with numerous commercial credits to her name (most recently as B-camera operator on the Hulu series Ramy), Shannon says it is a dream come true for her to call herself a filmmaker and to work with so many talented, creative people in this vibrant industry.

Bongani Mlambo

1st Assistant
The Coin

Bongani Mlambo is a Zimbabwean South African cinematographer based in L.A. who is obsessed with telling visually creative and compelling stories and exploring the world.

Bongani’s recent projects include All Creatures Here Below, directed by Collin Schiffli, starring David Dastmalchian (Blade Runner 2049, The Dark Knight) and Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jumanji); Three Days In August by Johnathan Brownlee; Upstream Color by Shane Carruth; and Woodshock, starring Kirsten Dunst. His work has won awards at the NBC Universal Short Film Festival, SXSW, The Tellys, and other festivals, and he is a 2018 Film Independent Project Involve Fellow and recipient of the 2019 ICG Emerging Cinematographer Award.

Bongani got his start camera assisting on indie features, then shooting short films and music videos, and then he eventually added commercials to his repertoire. He joined Local 600 in 2017. Beyond his artistic pursuits, Bongani loves to dance, drum, and ponder social issues and the meaning of life. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and talents and plans to establish arts and film workshops, programs, and residencies in Zimbabwe, inspiring and helping the next generation of Africans to tell stories and pursue their dreams in the visual and performing arts.

Bongani’s Emerging Cinematographer Award film, The Coin, follows the story of a young woman who loses a jar full of lucky coins that she has been collecting since childhood while on her journey to a new country. On Chinese New Year, finding a coin hidden inside of the dumplings means the finder has a blessed year ahead. Her new life begins with a search to find the coin, tackling questions about identity and place of heritage in the face of forging one’s own path, with an emphasis on food as a vessel for cultural traditions.

The stop-motion-animation film was made as part of Film Independent’s Project Involve, over six months, including approximately 32 days of photography for a runtime of 6 minutes 40 seconds. The raw stills were shot on Canon 5D and 7D. Bongani would like to thank his fellows, collaborators, mentors, the many volunteers who felted and contributed, and his family and friends.          

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Jared Moossy

Camera Operator
A Lucky Man

Jared Moossy, a BFA Parsons School of Design graduate in photography who joined Local 600 in 2018, has always been fascinated with the myriad artful ways to capture the play of light and shadow in a picture. After working as a conflict photographer for over a decade, Dallas-based Moossy made a seamless transition to cinematography. Lending a philanthropic eye to the lens, he was able to capture both the tragedy of war and the beauty of the people impacted. This photographic/documentarian background yields a unique aesthetic vision to his cinematic work – one that skillfully elicits emotion while preserving the beauty of the moving picture.

On September 3, 2015 Jared’s life changed forever. As documented in his film A Lucky Man, (Shaul Schwarz, Christina Clausia, Billy Baca; shot on Canon C300 and Sony FS5), after 15 years of dodging bullets in war zones, the death-defying photojournalist faced his greatest hardship, losing his memory and his life as he knew it in a motorcycle accident. Jared always knew that photographs were powerful, but he never imagined how important and therapeutic imagery would be in redefining his sense of self.

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Claudio Rietti

Camera Operator
Kid Boxer

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Claudio Rietti is a New York–based cinematographer and Local 600 camera operator. He has travelled the world shooting documentaries, commercials, and independent films for a number of production companies. Eventually settling in New York, Claudio continued lensing and operating (and serving as 2nd-unit Director of Photography) for narrative films, including several for NBC/Universal, A24, and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films.

In the commercial world, he has shot for several high-profile clients, including Peloton, AT&T, Redken, Olay, Clarisonic, Coach (Tapestry), Cosentyx, Target, Jockey, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, and Sunglass Hut, among several others.

He takes pride in his chameleonic style, being able to execute a different aesthetic for each individual project.

Claudio is honored to have shot Kid Boxer, a story about a father teaching his son life lessons through the physically, mentally and emotionally stringent sport of boxing. Most recently he’s had the good fortune to work as an A-camera operator on Hulu’s hit comedy Ramy. He feels incredibly grateful to still be heading down the same path he set out on all those years ago.

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Alejandro Wilkins

Camera Operator
El Gallo

Alejandro Wilkins is known for his bold choices and emotional visual style. Throughout his career, he has made an effort to adapt traditional approaches to modern technologies, and the result has been a cinematic standard that spans the genres he shoots. 

When not working as an operator on series programming, Alejandro focuses on shooting commercials, recently for such notable clients as Lexus, Cisco, Maruha Nichiro and Nestle. He is also a prolific documentary cinematographer, covering subjects from science exploration to humanitarian activism.

He traveled through the Seram Sea for the critically acclaimed feature documentary Ghost Fleet and is currently in the southern Pacific Ocean filming scientists of the International Oceans Discovery Program who are exploring ancient earth sediment for climate research.

“Documentary cinematography often forces me to adjust what I have planned and embrace what has manifested. It has been an incredible aid for my approach to lighting and composition.”

This is his second recognition by ICG as an emerging cinematographer, his first for a work of nonfiction. 

El Gallo is a Spanish-language documentary that was shot primarily in Sonora, Mexico and coincides with boxer Juan Estrada’s title fight in Inglewood, CA.

Camtec L.A. outfitted the team with an ALEXA Mini and Kowa Anamorphic lenses for the principal shoot. A RED WEAPON HELIUM, with a spherical Angéniuex E-Z1 Zoom, was chosen for the fight-night event. Alejandro and Director Michael Medoway focused on choosing equipment that would create a subtle separation between the present-day fight and the film’s flashbacks.

Alejandro’s collaboration with Medoway began at San Francisco State University, where they both studied film production. They now team up frequently for projects in the U.S., Japan and Latin America, often shooting in the native language.

El Gallo was bred from the desire to cultivate creative growth with recurring collaborators. It would not have been possible without the determination of producers Michael Medoway, Liz de Los Santos and Jeff Murray, the generosity of Juan ‘El Gallo’ Estrada and his team, the precision of colorist Marshall Plante, Hermosillo and our strapping local crew, and the Local 600 Emerging Cinematographers program.”

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