Nancy Schreiber, ASC: First Woman to be Honored with ASC President's Award

Published on in Exclusive Interviews

On February 4, 2017, Nancy Schreiber ASC will be honored with the President’s Award for her contribution to the art of cinematography and service to the industry at the 31st Annual ASC Awards ceremony.

Based in New York and Los Angeles, she was the fourth woman ever voted into membership of the American Society of Cinematographers and will be the first female to receive the ASC’s prestigious President’s Award. Schreiber is used to firsts. A Detroit native, she relocated to New York and moved through the ranks becoming the first female gaffer in NABET Local 15. She honed her lighting skills gaffing inspiring projects including the Academy Award-nominated documentary, The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, for co-directors Shirley MacLaine and Claudia Weill.

Her can-do spunk, considerate work ethic and cinematic acuity kick-started her camera career leading to an eclectic mix of features, television series and documentaries. In the early ‘90s, she combined her passion for music and cinematography by creatively lensing dozens of music videos for the top rock and roll bands of the day including Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin and The Bangles. Concurrently she was chosen as Director of Photography for the stunning Visions of Light documentary about the art of cinematography.

Schreiber earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the feature, Chain of Desire, followed by an Emmy nomination for HBO’s The Celluloid Closet documentary. She was named one of Variety’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch, received the Kodak Vision Award at Women in Films’ Crystal Awards and received Best Cinematography at Sundance for November, which followed her shared Sundance Award for Best Cinematography on My America… Or Honk if You Love Buddha. Her numerous credits include the critically acclaimed, Your Friends and Neighbors for Neil LaBute, John August’s The Nines, and HBO’s The Comeback, with Lisa Kudrow.

Continuing to choose a variety of compelling projects, Schreiber’s work can currently be seen in the feature documentary, Eva Hesse, the indie feature Folk Hero and Funny Guy, and on television in ABC’s The Family and FX’s Better Things. Schreiber is a big believer in giving back. She has served on the ASC Board of Governors, the foundation board of Women In Film (WIF) and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is also a passionate supporter and member of Film Independent, Independent Feature Project (IFP), Alliance of Women Directors (AWD) and the International Documentary Association (IDA). Between shooting, Schreiber has taught advanced cinematography at the American Film Institute, and frequently guest lectures throughout the US and worldwide.

When asked what advice she gives to aspiring cinematographers Schreiber replies: “Take risks. Don’t fall into the rut of being comfortable with what you have done before.Try everything once, or maybe even twice. Most of all find your own voice and live a large life of passion beyond our industry. It will definitely fuel your work”.

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