Thales Angénieux got the British Society of Cinematographers Bert Easey Technical Award at the annual BSC Operators Night on Friday, November 28, 2014.
The award is named in honor of Bert Easey, who was head of the camera department at Denham and Pinewood Studios in 1947, and was a key force in the formation of the BSC. The award is given to “an individual or company who has contributed something outstanding in the way of endeavour or equipment.”
Presenting the award at Gibson Hall in London, John de Borman, BSC, former president of the British Society of Cinematographers, praised the “really spectacular lenses” made by Angenieux “for the ‘new’ motion picture film and digital industry…which are now used on pretty well every movie.” John mentioned that, even now, vintage Angenieux lenses made in the 1960s work incredibly well on new digital cameras. (The vintage look.)
John went on to commend the optical design work of Bill Woodhouse and Joe Dunton, MBE, BSC, who modified Angénieux zooms into a 25-500 (20:1) T9 lenses for 35mm format. They were first used on “10 Rillington Place” (1971) and Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange (1971). Lightweight and small, one could say they were precursors to the current compact Optimo zooms.
By the way, Joe Dunton received the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the British Academy Film Awards ceremony in 2010. A phone call to Joe at his office in Wilmington, NC yesterday promised further details to come on the 25-500 and other Angénieux lenses.
The Angénieux team said they were honored to receive the Bert Easey award – and especially grateful because it comes from the British cinema industry which is recognized for its great number of talented directors and cinematographers. The British market is one of the largest for Angénieux after the US market.
Pierre Andurand, President of Thales Angénieux, who attended the ceremony to receive the award, said it was an “honor and true privilege for the company to have been accepted for a long time by the members of the British Society of Cinematographers, who represent one of the most distinguished cinematography communities in the world”.
He also expressed his “warm thanks to all Governors and Members of the BSC, for giving this high recognition.”