Alumni Spotlight | Richard Crudo (Film '81)

Richard CrudoWas there a specific faculty member or peer that inspired you while you were at the School of the Arts?  If so, who and how?

There are several people whom I found inspiring during my time at Columbia. Prof. Stefan Sharff, certainly one of the most unique characters I've ever met, stands out among them. He was brilliant in so many ways and even though he taught me a great deal, I often kick myself for not taking greater advantage of his knowledge and experience when I had the chance. Then there was Larry Engle and John MacGruer. They were fabulous instructors and opened things up filmmaking for me in ways I could never have anticipated.

What was your favorite or most memorable class while at the School of the Arts?

My favorite and most memorable class was one and the same: Prof. Sharff's Film Analysis. It was held on Monday nights in 515 Dodge and started with a screening, followed by a frame-by-frame deconstruction of what we had just seen. As a professional, I'm yet to approach a project without referring in some way to the lessons I learned during those gloriously informative sessions.

About Richard Crudo

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, cinematographer Richard  Crudo, ASC's lengthy resume includes such notable feature credits as American Buffalo, Outside Providence, American Pie, Down To Earth, Out Cold and Brooklyn Rules. Each was singled out in reviews for its excellence in cinematography.

In 2009 he directed the action/horror film Against the Dark for Sony Home Entertainment. During 2012, he wrote, directed and photographed the contemporary crime feature Dirty People. Additionally, he contributed photography to the first five seasons of the popular FX Network series, Justified.

Mr. Crudo is currently President of the American Society of Cinematographers (having served in the same capacity from 2003-2006 and 2013-2014). He is also a past Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is a frequent guest lecturer at universities across the United States and is a regular contributor to American Cinematographer magazine and other industry publications. He is also a leading proponent in the industry’s drive to establish standards for digital imaging workflow.

Other professional affiliations include memberships in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, the National Film Preservation Board for the Library of Congress, the International Cinematographers Guild and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. In 2007 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. In May of 2012, he was invited to become a Canon Camera Explorer of Light.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.