American Society of Cinematographers Honors Rodney Charters

rodneychartersWith seven directing credits and fifty-one film and television projects for which he acted as cinematographer and executive producer, Rodney Charters (ASC, CSC) is one of the most prolific and respected cinematographers working in the movie and television industries today. On February 10, 2013, in the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center, the American Society of Cinematographers a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the art of filmmaking, honored his achievements by presenting him with The Career Achievement in Television Award.

ASC award showThe star-studded event was the last big awards ceremony before the Academy Awards on February 24. Leading the parade of stars and honorees down the red carpet was Angelina Jolie, making her first awards appearance of 2013. Jolie, stunning in Versace, presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dean Semier, who was DP on her film, In the Land of Blood and Honey. “Every day I learned something from Dean,” said Jolie. “He inspires us to make the kind of work we dream of”. Also among the list of honorees was Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC who won the best feature film award for Skyfall. Robby Muller, NSC, BVK received the ASC International Achievement Award, presented by actress Natasha Kinski and director Steve McQueen. Unfortunately, Mr. Muller was unable to attend because of illness.

Rodney Charters got the first standing ovation of the night when his name was announced as the recipient of the Career Achievement in Television Award. Sir Robert Harvey, Mayor of Waitakere City, came all the way from New Zealand to present the award to his friend. In Charters acceptance speech he saluted “…everything Kodak and Fuji have done for our industry”. He also thanked Kiefer (Sutherland) and the entire 24 family. “I love actors,” he said, “and I want to thank all of them for hitting their mark and finding my light.”

ASC award

Above:  Rodney Charters with Mayor of Waitakere City, New Zealand Sir Robert Harvey and Angelina Jolie

Leading the cheers for Rodney were his Zacuto family, Jens Bogehegn (Zacuto USA, producer/product designer) and, (in absentia), Steve Weiss, producer/director/product designer for Zacuto USA) along with friends: Danit Sigler, Daniel Herman, Bruce Logan ASC, Den Lennie, Vincent Pascoe, Jonathan Barenbaum, Lan Bui, and Stephen Goldblatt, ASC/BSC. Bogehegn commented: “We had an epic night at the ASC Awards at the Zacuto table with our Hollywood friends. Congratulations on your lifetime achievement award, Rodney. You’re the best.” Weiss explained his absence the next day. “Unfortunately, I was unable to make the ceremony. I traveled all the way to California to see my pal get his lifetime achievement award, rented a tux, and couldn’t attend because I caught the flu from hell. Huge bummer. At least I got to see Rodney at the ASC breakfast the day before.”

ASCAbove: Lan Bui, Bruce Logan, Jens Bogehegn, and Den Lennie  at the ASC Awards

Rodney Charters: A Life Behind the Camera

Charters grew up in a small New Zealand town. He was introduced to his craft by his father, a photographer and theatre buff, who cast his son in a number of 16mm movies. But it was the smell of the darkroom, not greasepaint that lured Rodney into filmmaking. He preferred to look at the world from behind the camera—not in front of it.

From his father’s studio, Rodney went to the University of Auckland and then to the Royal College of Art in London. He shot commercials in London and the United States, and then moved on to filming documentaries—traveling from the jungles of South America to Soviet Russia. In 1986, he gravitated to drama and became second camera operator on a Canadian feature called Youngblood starring Rob Lowe as a teenage hockey player for the Mustangs. The film won a Genie, the Canadian equivalent of an Emmy, for its cinematographer.

rodney chartersRodney has achieved success in both Canadian and American television. His hit shows include: Nash Bridges starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin, The Pretender featuring Michael Weiss as a prodigy who could transform himself into anyone in any line of work; and Roswell, a sci- fi series about teenagers living in the town of RoswellNew Mexico who possessed supernatural powers.

Perhaps Rodney’s signature television work was the award-winning drama 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, a member of an L.A. counter-terrorist unit that defused bombs, found antidotes for viruses, foiled assassination attempts, and saved lives. The show was a ratings blockbuster, running from 2001 to 2010. It racked up 150 nominations and 44 wins in all television awards categories, including two Golden Globes for best television series.

Rodney was DP for Shameless, a Showtime comedy-drama now in its third season, starring award-winning actor William H. Macy as an alcoholic single father of six. He is also working on two hit series: Dallas, and Nashville. Charters recently went to Germany with Alicia Brauns to shoot the Dachau portion of her documentary, Mosaic of Life, the story of her father, Dr. Jack Brauns a holocaust survivor who became a noted California surgeon.

To read more about Rodney check out his Zacuto featured filmmaker article.

Join the conversation

2 Responses to “American Society of Cinematographers Honors Rodney Charters”

  1. Jith Paul on February 18th, 2013 2:50 pm

    A well deserved honour for Mr. Charters.

  2. Jacqui Beardsley on February 27th, 2013 3:36 pm

    Well done Rodney, you are a legend.
    your cousin Jacqui

About the Author

Shirley Baugher has been a resident of Old Town since 1978. She and her husband Norman lived for seven years in the North Park Condominiums. In 1985, they bought the historic row house on Crilly Court and have been there ever since. Shirley earned an M. A. and Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and has written extensively in the area of American History.


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