MASTERS OF THE LIGHT: ULTIMATE CINEMATOGRAPHERS BRACKET

MASTERS OF THE LIGHT:  ULTIMATE CINEMATOGRAPHERS BRACKET by Gadi Elkon

The recent return of the NCAA Basketball Tournament sparked an interest in diving back into the bracket world.  I’ve previously done a director’s bracket ala The World Cup, found HERE.  So I wanted to attempt a March Madness style bracket but with Oscars season pushed to April I felt a nice tie-in element.

Master of The Light is my homage to the beauty and talent captured by so many great cinematographers.

Rules:  To make the competition manageable I decided to have a separation between classic Hollywood films and what’s considered “modern” filmmaking.  So in the brackets all directors have at least filmed 3 feature length projects after 1969-70.  The vast amount of talent prior to that year would be enough to fill up an entire 64 person bracket.  I feel like the advances of technology, talent explosion and changes in the worldly view of film were most impacted by the late 60s and 70s.  With that said I set about dividing the massive Masters of The Light into four unique spheres of talent.   Each bracket is composed of 16 individual cinematographers.

Women’s Bracket – Ladies of The Light

The Americas Bracket – North and South American born cinematographers 

Legendary Ghosts Bracket – Cinematographers who have passed away.

Other Worldly Bracket – All other foreign -born cinematographers.

The criteria utilized in deciding the 16 individuals is as follows:

  1.  Unique usage or lack of use of Light
  2.  Dramatic scope of shots with wide and close-up variation
  3.  Depth of Field touches that impact emotional resonance of the scene
  4.  Charming color choices, black & white or decolorization elements that add to the film’s story
  5.  Innovation in and out of camera shooting
  6.  Variety in Genre over one’s Career
  7.  Continued longevity impact
  8.  Variety of work with Director(s)
  9.  Name recognition and consistent accolades or awards over career
  10.  Other medium prowess via commercial/business work, music videos, episodic TV or short films

The first 5 focus on the camera and in-camera editing elements that showcase the visual precision of the cinematographer.  The last 5 highlight the overall impact and exposure the talented individuals have had in their careers.  This criterium was utilized in picking the top 16 cinematographers for each bracket as well as to choose the winners for each battle.  I looked at both film, digital and animation work.

Since each section had many potential picks for the Top 64 I have compiled an Honorable Mention choice for each bracket.  Also to showcase the next generation of cinematographers I have compiled another list of four future phenoms to keep an eye on in the cinematic realm.  * For the Legends Bracket I have chosen two honorable mention picks.

HONORABLE MENTIONS & FUTURE CHOICES:

Woman’s Bracket –  HM pick – CLAIRE MATHON           Futures pick  –   GRETA ZOZULA

America’s Bracket –  HM pick – JOHN LINDLEY              Futures pick  –   DREW DANIELS

Legend’s Bracket –  HM picks –  HARRIS SAVIDES          RAOUL COUTARD   

Worldly Bracket –   HM picks –   DION BEEBE                  Futures pick  –   LUKASZ ZAL  

And now here are the 64 Cinematographers I’ve chosen to duel for the prize of THE ULTIMATE CINEMATOGRAPHER!

Women’s Bracket – Ladies of The Light

  1.  RACHEL MORRISON
  2.  ELLEN KURAS
  3.  MARYSE ALBERTI
  4.  AGNES GODARD
  5.  MANDY WALKER
  6.  CHARLOTTE BRUUS CHRISTENSEN
  7.  SHARON CALAHAN
  8.  REED MORENO
  9.  TAMI REIKER
  10.  HELENE LOUVART
  11.  NANCY SCHREIBER
  12.  BRIANNE MURPHY
  13.  NATASHA BRAIER
  14.  KIRA KELLY
  15.  PATTI LEE
  16.  ASHLEY CONNOR

The Americas Bracket – North and South American born cinematographers 

  1.  EMMANUEL LUBEZKI aka CHIVO
  2.  ROBERT RICHARDSON
  3.  JOHN TOLL
  4.  WALLY PFISTER
  5.  ROBERT ELSWIT
  6.  RODRIGO PRIETO
  7.  OWEN ROIZMAN
  8.  MATTHEW LIBATIQUE
  9.  GUILLERMO NAVARRO
  10.  BILL POPE
  11.  TAK FUJIMOTO
  12.  JEFF CRONENWERTH
  13.  CALEB DESCHANEL
  14.  ED LACHMAN
  15.  CESAR CHARLONE
  16.  BRADFORD YOUNG

Legendary Ghosts Bracket – Cinematographers who have passed away.

  1.  CONRAD HALL
  2.  ROBERT SURTEES
  3.  FREDDIE YOUNG
  4.  ALLEN DAVIAU
  5.  HASKELL WEXLER
  6.  KASUO MIYAGAWA
  7.  GORDON WILLIS
  8.  SVEN NYKVIST
  9.  VILMOS ZSIGMOND
  10.  WILLIAM FRAKER
  11.  MICHAEL CHAPMAN
  12.  MICHAEL BALLHAUS
  13.  NESTOR ALMENDROS
  14.  FREDDIE FRANCIS
  15.  JOHN ALCOTT
  16.  TONINO D. COLLI

Other Worldly Bracket – All other foreign born cinematographers.

  1. ROGER DEAKINS
  2.  JANUSZ KAMINSKI
  3. VITTORIO STORARO
  4.  CHRIS MENGES
  5.  JOHN SEALE
  6.  DARIUS KHONDJI
  7.  PHEDON PAPAMICHAEL
  8.  ANTHONY DOD MANTLE
  9.  LINUS SANDGREN
  10.  BRUNO DELBONNEL
  11.  CHUNG-HOON CHUNG
  12.  JOHN MATHIESON
  13.  SEAMUS MCGARVEY
  14.  DICK POPE
  15.  DANTE SPINOTTI
  16.  EDUARDO SERRA

Like the NCAA tournament the cinematographers were matched:

1 vs 16

8 vs 9

5 vs 12

4 vs 13

6 vs 11

3 vs 14

7 vs 10

2 vs 15

For the first round of battles our winners are as follows:

Women’s Bracket  – 

1. RACHEL MORRISON over 16. Ashley Konnor

8. REED MORENO   over  9.  Tami Reiker

5. MANDY WALKER   over  12. Brianne Murphy

13. NATASHA BRAIER   over  4. Agnes Godard

6.  CHARLOTTE BRUUS CHRISTENSEN  over 11. Nancy Schreiber

3.  MARYSE ALBERTI   over  14. Kira Kelly

7.  SHARON CALAHAN  over 10.  Helene Louvart

2.  ELLEN KURAS  over  15.  Patti Lee

The Americas Bracket – 

1. CHIVO over 16. Bradford Young

8. MATTHEW LIBATIQUE   over  9.  Guillermo Navarro

5. ROBERT ELSWIT   over  12. Jeff Cronenwerth

4.  WALLY PFISTER   over  4. Caleb Deschanel

6.  RODRIGO PRIETO  over 11. Tak Fujimoto

3.  JOHN TOLL   over  14. Ed Lachman

10.  BILL POPE  over  7.  Owen Roizman

2.  ROBERT RICHARDSON  over  15.  Cesar Charlone

Legendary Ghosts Bracket –  

1. CONRAD HALL over 16.  Tonino D. Colli

9.  VILMOS ZSIGMOND   over  8.  Sven Nykvist

12.  MICHAEL BALLHAUS   over  5.  Haskell Wexler

13. NESTOR ALMENDROS   over  4. Allen Daviau

11.  MICHAEL CHAPMAN  over 6. Kasuo Miyagawa

3.  FREDDIE YOUNG   over  14. Freddie Francis

7.  GORDON WILLIS  over 10.  William Fraker

2.  ROBERT SURTEES  over  15.  John Alcott

Other Worldly Bracket –  

1. ROGER DEAKINS  over 16. Edouard Serra

8. ANTHONY DOD MANTLE  over  9.  Linus Sandgren

5. JOHN SEALE   over  12. John Mathieson

4. CHRIS MENGES  over  13. Seamus McGarvey

6.  DARIUS KHONDJI  over 11. Chung-Hoon Chung

3.  VITTORIO STORARO   over  14. Dick Pope

10. BRUNO DELBONNEL  over  7. Phedon Papamichael

2.  JANUSZ KAMINSKI  over  15.  Dante Spinotti

 

HERE ARE THE QUARTER FINALS  / SEMI FINALS /  FINALS  FOR EACH BRACKET.

OUR FINAL FOUR AND THE MASTER OF THE LIGHT:  THE ULTIMATE CINEMATOGRAPHER:

 

Masters of The Light: Ultimate Cinematographers Bracket Challenge from Gadi Elkon on Vimeo.

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