American Cinematographer Manual

The American Cinematographer Manual is a filmmaking manual published by the American Society of Cinematographers. Covering lighting, lenses, and film emulsions, it is considered “an authoritative technical reference manual for cinematographers.”[1] The manual also defines the cinematography profession.[2]

American Cinematographer Manual
American Cinematographer Manual Book Cover.jpg
10th Edition
CountryUnited States
SubjectFilmmaking, Cinematography
PublisherAmerican Cinematographer

Publishing historyEdit

The first version was published in 1935 by Jackson J. Rose [fr] as The American Cinematographer Hand Book and Reference Guide. That handbook went through nine editions (1935, '38, '39, '42, '46, '47, '50, '53, '56) before it evolved into the American Cinematographer Manual. The first edition of the Manual was published in 1960.[3] The book is now in its tenth edition (2015).

  • 1960 October, First Edition (blue cover), ed. Joseph V. Mascelli, 484 pages.
  • 1966 September, Second Edition (maroon cover), ed. Joseph V. Mascelli, 628 pages.
  • 1969, Third Edition (brown cover), ed. Arthur C. Miller and Walter Strenge, 652 pages.
  • 1973, Fourth Edition (black cover), ed. Charles G. Clarke and Walter Strenge, 658 pages.
  • 1980, Fifth Edition (black cover), ed. Charles G. Clarke, 628 pages.
  • 1986, Sixth Edition (red cover), ed. Fred H. Detmers, 440 pages.
  • 1993, Seventh Edition (green cover, paperback), ed. Dr. Rod Ryan, 618 pages.
  • 2001, Eighth Edition (blue cover), ed. Rob Hummel, 972 pages.
  • 2004, Ninth Edition (black cover), ed. Stephen H. Burum, ASC, 919 pages.
  • 2013, Tenth Edition, revised 2015 (maroon cover, paperback), ed. Michael Goi, ASC. 2 volumes: vol. 1, 504 pages; vol. 2, 582 pages.


In 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented an Award of Commendation to the American Society of Cinematographers for its ongoing publication of the American Cinematographer Manual.[4] Richard Edlund, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee, said, "Over the years, the ASC has continued to provide commentary on up-to-date technologies from leading experts in the field of cinematography."[5]


  1. ^ Kroon, Richard W. (2014). A/v a to z : an encyclopedic dictionary of media, entertainment and other audiovisual terms (Reprint ed.). Jefferson: Mcfarland. p. 38. ISBN 0786495561.
  2. ^ Frost, Jacqueline B. (2009). Cinematography for directors : a guide for creative collaboration (1st ed.). Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions. p. 11. ISBN 1932907556.
  3. ^ "ASC Through the Years". Daily Variety. October 31, 2008.
  4. ^ Graser, Marc (March 4, 2002). "Acad touts top techies". Daily Variety.
  5. ^ "Oscar watch". Daily Variety. January 30, 2002.

External linksEdit