Sunday, March 4, 2007

Vittorio Storaro, ASC Biography

Vittorio Storaro, ASC Biography

Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC was born in Rome in 1940, where his father was a projectionist at Lux Film Studio. Storaro began studying photography at a technical school at the age of 11 and subsequently enrolled at the Italian Cinemagraphic Training Centre. He continued his education at the Centro Sperimente di Cinemagrafia (the state film school). Storaro began his career as an assistant cameramen at the age of 20 and stepped up to the role of camera operator on his second film.

During a lull in production in Italy, Storaro dedicted several years to studying all forms of artistic expression, including literature, painting, sculpting and music. He returned to work as an assistant cameraman in 1966 on Before the Revolution, the first film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Storaro earned his first cinematography credit two years later for Giovinezza, Giovinezza [Youthful, Youthful]. His third film La Strategia del Ragno (The Spider Strategy) marked the beginning of his long collaboration with Bertolucci. In 1970, Bertolucci and Storaro collaborated on The Conformist, a seminal film in the history of contemporary cinematography.

Storaro's first mainstream studio film was Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Copolla in 1979. Storaro earned his first Oscar for that effort. He received his second Oscar in 1981 for Reds, directed by Warren Beatty, and the third one for The Empire of the Sun, in 1987, directed by Bertolucci. Storaro earned a fourth Oscar nomination for Dick Tracy in 1990.

His other feature credits include 1900, Luna, Last Tango in Paris, Tucker: A Man and His Dreams, One From the Heart, Little Buddha, Ladyhawke, Tango and Bulworth. His eclectic body of work also includes the TV mini-series, Peter the Great, the opera La Traviata, a 15-hour documentary, The History of Rome, which plays at museums around the world, and Captain E-O, an extraordinary 3-D filmswhich played at the EPCOT Center, in Florida, for years.

Storaro was president of AIC (Association of Italian Cinematographers) and a founder of IMAGO, an alliance of some 20 cinematography organization in Europe. He coined the phrase and popularized the concept that cinematographers are co-authors of the films they help to create and has been an eloquent advocate for their artistic rights. His recent projects include Dune, a six hour mini-series, based on Frank Herbert's classic novels, slated for airing on the USA Networks in December.

The American Society of Cinematographers will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Storaro on February 18, 2001.

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