American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 83

IN MEMORIAM

Photo by Owen Roizman, ASC.

Sol Negrin, ASC, 1929-2017

Longtime ASC member Sol Negrin
died on March 20. He was 88.
Negrin was born in New York City on
Feb. 16, 1929. His father worked in the
garment industry, but Sol Negrin dreamed
of becoming a naval architect. His math
skills, however, held him back. "I had an
adviser who asked whether I had an avocation," Negrin told AC (March '10). "I told
him I liked photography, and he suggested I
pursue that."
Negrin soon passed the exam for
what was then the High School of Industrial
Arts; there, he gravitated toward motionpicture work. Outside of his studies, he
found employment sweeping the floor at
Hartley Productions, an industrials and
commercials production house. His responsibilities gradually increased, and he eventually
became a camera assistant. Following his
high-school graduation, Negrin joined Hartley full time. "I worked on commercials,
documentaries, industrial films and, eventually, feature films and television," he said.
In 1948, Negrin joined ADTFC/
NABET, whose membership worked in documentaries and television. By 1952, he was
able to join the International Photographers
Union-Local 644, which represented
commercial and feature-film camera crews.
He furthered his training at City College Film
Institute and took courses at the RCA Institute. From 1948 to 1960, Negrin worked as
a camera assistant alongside such noted ASC
members as Torben Johnke, Joseph Brun,
Jack Priestley, Lee Garmes, Joe Biroc, Leo
Tover, Harry Stradling Sr., Hans Koenekamp,
Charles Lang, Charles Lawton, Mario Tosi
and Boris Kaufman.
Negrin was later on staff at commercial production house MPO Videotronics.
"They had fully equipped studios in Queens
and Manhattan," Negrin said. "It was the
definitive operation. Their staff cinematographers included Zoli Vidor, ASC; Akos Farkas;
and Gerry Hirschfeld, ASC. A lot of great cinematographers were trained there early in
their careers, including [future ASC members]
Owen Roizman and Gordon Willis.

"Later," he continued, "I worked at
Filmex, another commercial house, as a
director of photography with ASC members
like Adam Holender, Drummond Drury and
Jack Priestley."
Negrin's first opportunity as a cinematographer arose on a pair of TV documentaries. He quickly earned kudos for his
work, and by 1974 he was invited to join
the ASC after being proposed for membership by members Gerald Perry Finnerman
and Harry Stradling Sr.
Negrin earned his first of five Emmy
nominations in 1975, for the "Wall Street
Gunslinger" episode of Kojak. That same
year, Negrin was elected to his first term as
president of Local 644 in New York.
In the early '70s, Negrin earned Clios
for excellence in advertising for his work on
four different national campaigns. In 1987,
he received the Billy Bitzer Commendation
Award from Local 644 for his contributions
to the union, and in 2000, he received an
honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from
Long Island's Five Towns College. In 2005,
the college handed him another honor: a
lifetime achievement award.
In 2010, Negrin was saluted with the
ASC Presidents Award, recognizing his
www.theasc.com

expertise behind the camera as well as his
ambassadorship of the art and craft of cinematography. Two years later, the Society of
Camera Operators honored Negrin with the
Distinguished Service Award.
Negrin's credits as a director of
photography also included episodes of the
series McCloud and The Lucie Arnaz Show;
the music documentary The Concert for
Bangladesh; and the features Parades and
Amazing Grace (1974). He contributed
additional cinematography to numerous
features, including Jaws 2, Superman (1978)
and Coming to America.
Negrin generously shared his experience and expertise with students and aspiring filmmakers through mentorships, seminars, demonstrations and speaking engagements. He was co-chair of the ICG's Educational and Training Committees, and a Life
Member of the Society of Motion Picture
and Television Engineers. He was also a
member of the Directors Guild of America.
Membership in the ASC was a particular honor for Negrin, and he took special
pride in the fact that his son Michael is also
a member of the Society. "In 1942, I read
my first issue of American Cinematographer, which featured many fine, wellknown cinematographers of the time," said
Negrin. "I knew at that moment that I
wanted to be an ASC member, [and] the
day I was accepted as a member was one of
the most memorable in my life. The camaraderie of being in the company of such
talented individuals is something I never
expected.
"The best advice I was ever given
came from Harry Stradling [Sr.]," Negrin
added. "'Never be afraid to take a chance. It
may be the best thing you ever did.'"
‚óŹ
For additional coverage of Negrin's
career behind the camera, visit
www.theasc.com/news/in-memoriam-solnegrin-asc-1929-2017.

July 2017

83


http://www.theasc.com/news/in-memoriam-sol-NEGRIN-ASC-1929-2017 http://www.theasc.com/news/in-memoriam-sol-NEGRIN-ASC-1929-2017 http://www.theasc.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - July 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - Contents
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American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 41A
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 41B
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