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The Decisive Moment

September 4 - 15, 2012
A semi-brightly lit room with photographs hanging on the white walls. There is a hallway leading elsewhere.
"The Decisive Moment," September 4-15, 2012
Credit: SVA Gallery

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “The Decisive Moment,” an exhibition of fine art photography from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) featuring work by 87 of the top cinematographers working around the world today. Organized by faculty member Dejan Georgevich, ASC and BFA Film, Video and Animation Department Chair Reeves Lehmann and curated by cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky, ASC, “The Decisive Moment” will be on view at SVA Gallery, 209 East 23 Street, New York City, September 4 – 15, 2012.

Cinematographers are trained to view the world through the lens of a motion picture camera, but many are also accomplished still photographers. Exemplifying Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment,” when multiple actions intersect at one instant to comprise a compelling photograph, each of the 90 photographs in the exhibition provide a unique window into the personal aesthetic of these masters of light. Photographs were taken by the cinematographers on their personal time or downtime on the set. Several Academy Award nominees and winners are represented, including Roger Deakins, Richard Edlund, Conrad Hall, Owen Roizman, Vittorio Storaro, John Toll, Haskell Wexler and Vilmos Zsigmond.

An earlier version of “The Decisive Moment” was presented in late 2005 in the Grand Lobby at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills, California.  The exhibition originated as a one-night event presented by ASC, for which cinematographers were invited to display one work of art.

ASC Vice President Richard Crudo said at the time, “Our art form is different than still photography in many ways, but both disciplines share a vital purpose. As cinematographers, our creative process allows us to produce an indelible record of who we are and how we see the world. Though the tools we use – light, composition and movement – have remained consistent, we always strive to apply them in ways that are both unique and revealing.”

“As one of the leading film programs in the country where students can specialize in cinematography, it is a natural fit for SVA to host this exhibition,” says Reeves Lehmann, chair of the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department. “Since this is the first time this work is being seen in New York, I hope both the industry and the public will take the opportunity to see it.”

Students in the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department can earn a degree in film/video or animation. From their first day of study, students are immersed in the aesthetic and technical training of the art of visual storytelling. The curriculum focuses on the essential elements of a well-crafted screenplay; techniques for working with actors and being a part of a professional production set; the visual and psychological choices for cinematography; and the structure and rhythm of editing. Students may choose to specialize in directing, cinematography, editing or screenwriting.

Animation students learn the fundamental skills of drawing, storytelling, character development and the history of animation, all directed toward bringing their creations and inanimate objects to life. The curriculum covers the entire range of animation professions, from traditional animation to stop motion to 3D computer modeling.

BFA Film, Video and Animation Department alumni have received accolades from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Sundance Film Festival; International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France; American Film Institute; Women in Film; and the National Board of Review, among many renowned institutions and organizations.

Free and open to the public