Sol Negrin by Owen Roizman
He’s loved by many. Sol Negrin, ASC, a longtime member of IATSE Local 644, collects on that love when he receives the Presidents Award from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC); that happens this coming February during the Societies’ 24th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards.
Negrin has had an astounding six-decade career as a cinematographer. Who works that long anymore? Or who can, considering the economy?
Back to Negrin, who earned five Emmy nominations, three for episodes of the television series Kojak (1975, 1976, 1977), one for the television movie The Last Tenant (1978), and one for an episode of the series Baker’s Dozen (1982). His cinematography in television commercials earned four CLIO Awards, including that iconic American Tourister campaign of the bouncing suitcase made during the early 1970s.
Some of Negrin’s other television credits as a DP include episodes of classic series such as McCloud, The Lucie Arnaz Show, The White Shadow, St. Elsewhere, Rhoda, as well as the telefilms Best of Friends, Dempsey, and Women at West Point.
Negrin’s feature film credits include The Concert for Bangladesh, Amazing Grace (1974), Proof of the Man, and Parades. He also contributed additional cinematography to many feature films including Crazy Joe, Superman, Coming to America, King Kong (1976), Jaws 2, and Robocop.
Born in New York City in 1929, Negrin studied cinematography at City College Film Institute, and started his career with Hartley Productions, a early commercial/industrial film company in the city.
Sol worked as an assistant cameraman from 1948 to 1960, often with renowned cinematographers including Jack Priestley, ASC, Lee Garmes, ASC, Joe Biroc, ASC, Leo Tover, ASC, Harry Stradling, Jr., ASC, Hans Koenekamp, ASC, Charles Lang, Jr., ASC, Charles “Buddy” Lawton, ASC, Mario Tosi, ASC, Joseph Brun, ASC, and Boris Kaufman, ASC.
Later, Negrin became a camera operator on mainstream television series including The Naked City, The Defenders, Car 54, Where are You?, and The Patty Duke Show; as well as feature films ranging from Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster to Where’s Poppa? and Across 110th Street.
Negrin is credited with sharing his experience and expertise with students and aspiring filmmakers through mentorships, seminars, demonstrations, and speaking engagements. ASC Awards Committee Chairman Richard Crudo praised Sol’s “dedication to educating the next generation, exemplifying the ASC’s motto: Loyalty, progress, artistry.”
For the last decade, he has taught courses on cinematography and the evolution of filmmaking techniques at Five Towns College in Long Island, New York, where he earned an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree in 2002. He is also co-chair of the ICG Educational and Training Committees.