McDonald wins SMPTE’s Kodak Educational Award for 2012

FTVDM Chair honored at Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers conference October 23-25

William McDonald Wins SMPTE/Kodak Award

The 2012 Kodak Educational Award will be presented to TFT Professor and FTVDM Chair William McDonald at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineer’s (SMPTE) Honors and Awards Ceremony during the SMPTE 2012 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Hollywood. McDonald, a cinematographer and filmmaker himself, is being recognized for his dedication to educate the next generation of filmmakers in the art and craft of cinematography throughout his professional career. The presentation takes place on October 25 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel.

“I take pride in the art and craft of what I do and teach,” says McDonald. “It is tremendously important to the field of cinematography that new filmmakers are fully aware of the artists who came before them, and the attention they gave to the craft of cinematography when shooting with film. New filmmakers must be taught, and must adhere completely, to all the principles of cinematography regardless of the tools being used. To do so ultimately strengthens the very foundation of what we do as filmmakers.”

As Chair of the of the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media at TFT, McDonald has advocated for the best production and post-production resources for the college’s film students. He tirelessly negotiates services and alliances with companies and organizations in the industry to assist the next generation of storytellers as they learn how to create and succeed in the entertainment business. Additionally, McDonald has fostered the UCLA Cinematographer in Residence Program, also sponsored by Kodak, where an award-winning professional cinematographer teaches a spring course and hosts movie screenings followed by discussions.

“McDonald’s accomplishments are truly admirable and his efforts deserve to be recognized,” says Kim Snyder, president of Kodak’s Entertainment Imaging Division. “The next generation of filmmakers are benefitting greatly from his ongoing dedication to both the aesthetic and technical principles of cinematography.

SMPTE 2012 is the premier annual event for motion-imaging professionals in the media, entertainment, communications, and technology industries. As an accredited industry standards-setting body, The Society is also the industry’s leading nonprofit association providing technology education and information to the motion imaging industry.

Kodak introduced its worldwide film school program in 1991. Through the years, the program has grown to include a wide range of initiatives to help both students and educators enrich the development of their skills in the art and craft of filmmaking.

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Home > Faculty > William McDonald

William McDonald


Professor William McDonald was chair of the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media from 2012-2015. He was awarded the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineer’s (SMPTE) Kodak Educational Award in October 2012. A cinematographer and filmmaker, McDonald was recognized for his dedication to educate the next generation of filmmakers in the art and craft of cinematography. This was not the first organization to recognize his passion for cinematography. In 2009, the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) honored him with Associate Membership, acknowledging his leading role as an educator in the field of academic cinematography. Now in his 28th year of teaching, McDonald brings to students an enthusiasm and passion for the art and craft of cinematography.

He received his master of fine arts in cinematography in 1986 from the UCLA College of Fine Arts, the first cinematography degree awarded by the university, and then joined the faculty for three years as head of the first-year graduate production program. Thereafter, McDonald served on the faculties of various film schools, including American University, Loyola Marymount University and, from 1992-1997, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he was a senior lecturer in cinematography. He returned to UCLA TFT’s Department of Film, Television and Digital Media in 1995 as a visiting assistant professor, and was tenured in 1998 as head of cinematography.

For his success in the classroom, the UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Teaching selected McDonald for the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997. He was the first member of the film production faculty to receive this award.

As department vice chair for production from 1998-2003, one of McDonald’s major accomplishments was leading the effort, with help from a strategic alliance with Apple Computer, to convert UCLA TFT’s post-production facilities from analog to digital technology. This resulted, at the time, in the largest Final Cut Pro fiber-connected network in the country, only to be surpassed by CNN. Additionally, McDonald worked with numerous companies, including JVC, Panavision, DTS Sound Systems, Technicolor/VidFilm International Digital, Deluxe Laboratories and FotoKem Industries, in the creation of student product and service awards that allowed UCLA students to complete their projects at a lower cost.

In academic year 2004-2005, McDonald was appointed chair of the UCLA Graduate Council, the Academic Senate body that oversees graduate education policy on the UCLA campus. In academic years 2008-2012, he served as department vice chair of Undergraduate Studies, overseeing the film major and the film minor, which was established under his leadership. McDonald’s numerous credits as a cinematographer include both documentary and dramatic films, and he has won numerous film festival awards. With his wife, filmmaker Pamela Beere Briggs, he has produced and photographed independent documentaries. Funny Ladies: A Portrait of Female Cartoonists, profiles four of America’s most popular female newspaper cartoonists. The film won film festival awards and aired on U.S. and international television. Women of Mystery: Three Writers Who Forever Changed Detective Fiction blends dramatic and documentary forms, and delves into justice and crime in novels by Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and Marcia Muller. The film inspired a highly popular film and book discussion program in public libraries across the country. Their Mysterious California: Four Authors launched one of California Center for the Book’s newer “Book Discussions in a Box” programs. Their most recent documentary is Something Like a Sabbatical, which follows the story of Sue Mitchell, who long ago wanted to be an artist but instead became a successful businesswoman. After 35 years, she decides to take a 52-week sabbatical to pursue her dream.


Home > Faculty > Thomas F. Denove

Thomas F. Denove

Professor; Area Head, Cinematography

Tom DenoveCinematographer, lighting designer and international award-winning director of photography Tom Denove chaired the Cinematography Department at the American Film Institute (1988-1994) before coming to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. His resume includes more than 40 feature films including Midnight Witness, Puppet Master II, Cold Steel, Hunters Blood, Flexing With Monty, The Curse of the Crystal Eye and The Last Horror Film; more than 700 commercials including L’Oreal, McDonald’s, Shell Oil, Yamaha, Select Comfort, Canon Printers, Turtle Wax, Sears, Bran Chex, J.C. Penney and the Olympics; and more than 100 television shows including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ally McBeal and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

In 1991, Denove won a Technical Achievement Academy Award for the development and manufacture of the Belco/Denove Cinemeter exposure system.

In 1996, he produced and photographed Hollywood Boulevard, a film about three irreverent street angels who are assigned to Hollywood Boulevard to save the soul of a two-time Academy Award winning actress who’s about to hit rock bottom. The film starred Julilanne Phillips, Jon Tenney and John C. McGinley.

Denove has organized and conducted worldwide seminars on lighting techniques in film and television. He has authored numerous articles about lighting for magazines including ICG, Video Systems, International Photographer, On Location, Video Pro and TV Technology, and he is a design consultant for Fuji Film and LTMCorporation of America.

Denove is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600) and a founding member of the Fuji Cine Club.


Home > Faculty > Deland Nuse

Deland Nuse


Deland NuseDirector and cinematographer Deland Nuse is a lecturer in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media specializing in cinematography (film/digital) and film aesthetics.

After completing his undergraduate and postgraduate work in the California State University system, Nuse did graduate work in experimental psychology (learning, cognition and perception) at the University of New Mexico, and for the next few years, worked in the mental health profession. However, a lifelong interest in film brought him to the graduate program in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University where he completed his master of arts degree in film production in 1984. He shot several short films in the San Francisco area, including such documentaries as the award-winning The Other Bridge.

After moving to Los Angeles, Nuse worked as an electrician, best boy and gaffer to learn the lighting techniques for feature film production. In 1987, he was hired to shoot his first feature, Natural Instinct. The cinematography of that film garnered positive critical attention and led to work on seven other independent features. In 2006, he received the Triple Play Award for Cinematography for the film The Showdown, at the Long Island Film/Video Expo.

In addition to teaching at UCLA TFT, Nuse has also taught at San Francisco State University, West Los Angeles College, the Los Angeles Film School and Loyola Marymount University.