Director of Photography, President – International Cinematographers Guild

Steven Poster ASC has been fascinated with the art and science of capturing images since the age of ten.  Beginning with still photography, Poster knew he wanted to make movies by the time he was fourteen.

Poster launched his cinematography career in hometown Chicago at twenty-one, filming television commercials, cinema verite documentaries and industrial films.  He soon moved on to feature films, working as Second Unit Director of Photography on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Blade Runner.  As Director of Photography, Poster has filmed a wide variety of motion pictures, including the Emmy-nominated Mrs. Harris, Stuart Little 2, Daddy Day Care, Rocky V, The Cemetery Club, Life Stinks, Opportunity Knocks, Next of Kin, Big Top Pee-wee and Testament.  He received an ASC nomination for Best Cinematography for Ridley Scott’s Someone To Watch Over Me and has the distinction of being the only American cinematographer to shoot a French language film in France, Une Chance sur Deux, for director Patrice Leconte

In early 2008, Poster completed filming The Box, written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Cameron Diaz, Frank Langella and James Marsden.  This is his third film with the young, innovative director; their collaboration started with cult-favorite Donnie Darko and continued with Southland Tales, which was chosen for full competition at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. He also filmed Spread, in 2008, which had a world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie was directed by David Mackenzie and starred Ashton Kucher. Poster finished 2008 filming Cats And Dogs for Warner Bros.

In addition to his work on numerous television pilots, Poster filmed the critically acclaimed television movies Roswell, The Color of Justice and Courage, as well as the controversial, award-winning Madonna video Like A Prayer.  

Poster is President of the International Cinematographers Guild, a six thousand-member trade union representing camera workers and film publicists across the United States. He was formerly a member of the Executive Board of the International Documentary Association, and is currently on the committee of the Nicholl Fellowship of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

During his tenure as President of the American Society of Cinematographers, Poster was responsible for re-forming its Technology committee, and continues to act as its co-chair.  This committee is at the forefront in standard-setting recommendations for the paradigm-changing use of digital tools for cinematography, and the post-production control of images.

Poster’s involvement in digital technology for the motion picture industry dates back to 1990, when he was asked to experiment with one of the first High Definition television systems for NHK Television in Japan.  He has since become an internationally known spokesman in the industry for the transition to digital imaging.

A native of Chicago, Poster began his college education at Southern Illinois University as a member of a special program conceived by Buckminster Fuller; the master of problem-solving through deductive reasoning. Transferring to the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, Poster learned how to ‘see light’ and was taught a true professional discipline.  Returning to Chicago, he graduated from the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he was greatly influenced by the philosophy of Bauhaus design – that form should fit function.  
 

Speaker years: 
2009