RENE OHASHI   ASC/CSC

 

Education: York University, Toronto [Filmmaking; BFA in 1976].

Career: 'I was raised in Toronto, but I also have a Japanese heritage. A friend who ran the high school camera club got me interested in still photography. I got a sales job in a photography store while I was still in high school. That gave me opportunities to play with all kinds of still cameras. I had a Canon 35mm system. Later, I switched to taking pictures with a Hasselblad camera. I became very fluent and comfortable with cameras, and built my own darkroom in my parent's basement. I had a neighbor, Jack van der May, who shot film for television documentaries. He had his own ARRI 16mm camera. I knocked on his door one day and asked if he would teach me the ins and outs of filmmaking. I said I would help him for free if I could go with him on jobs and observe him at work. He gave me an ARRI magazine, a changing bag and some short ends and told me to practice loading the film. Later that summer he took me on a job with him. After that, I was his assistant for about four years while I was at film school. I got my basic training in black and white and was still assisting Jack when he switched to shooting color film. We shot a lot of hockey games and other sports for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Because of my professional assisting experience, I got to shoot almost all of the student films while I was at York University. I virtually had one of the school's ARRI 16BL cameras to myself. After graduation, I bought an Aaton 16mm camera. I met a producer-director who was working for an educational network. She hired me to do second unit camera work. I got a really big break when she hired me as a cinematographer for a 26-part, half-hour educational series about aging. In 1982, I was with a Canadian mountain climbing expedition that went to the Southern Himalayas for around two months. Another time I went to Japan to film a National Geographic documentary about the Kodo drummers. That was the first time I was actually in Japan. I was basically working with a Japanese crew and needed an interpreter. That was a pretty strange feeling since my heritage is Japanese.' [From interview by Bob Fisher on the KODAK OnFilm website.]

Ph 100+ commercials dir by Boris Damast, Robert Quartly, Bill Scarlet, Larry August, Dan Hackett, Brian Belefant [for McDonald's], Geoff Ayres [for Kellogg's], Mitch Gabourie, a.o. Ph public-service announcements, e.g. 'The Disappearing' [2004, Keith Ross Leckie].

Awards: 'Gemini' Award [1986] for 'Anne of Green Gables'; 'Gemini' Award [1987; shared] for 'A Moving Picture'; CSC Award [1990] & 'Genie' Award nom [1990] for 'Millennium'; 'Gemini' Award [1994] for 'The Diviners'; 'Gemini' Award [1995] for 'Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad'; CSC Kodak New Century Award [1997] for Lifetime Achievement; CSC Award [1997] & 'Gemini' Award [1998] for 'The Arrow'; CSC Award nom [1999] for 'Jerzy Has a Dream'; ASC Award [2000] for 'The Crossing'; 'Gemini' Award [2001], ASC Award nom [2001] & CSC Award nom [2002] for 'Don Giovanni Unmasked'; CSC TV Award [2002] for 'Club Land'; CSC Award Theatrical Feature [2003] for 'They'; 'Gemini' Award [2004] & CSC TV Award nom [2004] for 'Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion'; CSC Award Theatrical Feature nom [2005] for 'Highwaymen'; CSC Award Theatrical Feature nom [2006] for 'Saint Ralph'; CSC TV Drama Award [2006] for 'Stone Cold'; CSC TV Series Award [2007] for 'Kidnapped' [ep 'Special Delivery']; 'Gemini' Award [2007] for 'Shades of Black: The Conrad Black Story'; ASC TV Award nom [2007] for 'Jesse Stone: Sea Change'; ASC TV Award nom [2009] for 'Jesse Stone: Thin Ice'.

Website: Rene Ohashi [agent's website]


Rene Ohashi: 'Cinematography is a way of seeing. It's like an interpretive visual journey that comes out of the written words. The story dictates to you how to present the images and how to make the aesthetic choices that will evoke an emotional response from the viewer. I've always been a believer of realism in photography, that is, heightened realism. Part of that is exploring the limits and thresholds of the photographic emulsion. Today's film stocks can capture the extremes of light and dark as well as the nuances. We cinematographers have a tremendous advantage with the current varied range of film stocks, which, in conjunction with computer imaging, can make almost anything visually and creatively possible. Once impossible shots are now conceivable. Your imagination can run completely free. It's like having an extended palette or an enhanced vocabulary. Filmmakers can find new ways of telling stories and new ways of expressing themselves.' [From the KODAK Canada website.]


 FILMS

1978

Bakery/Boulangerie [Barbara Cochrane] c; doc/6m

1979

Illusions [James Orr] c; doc/25m; following dir Claude Jutra during the shooting of 'Surfacing'

1980

Reaching Out [Rebecca Yates & Glen Salzman] c; short/32m

1982

Bon Voyage, But.../Bon voyage, mais... [Cheryl Simard] c; doc/27m; cph: Robert Fresco, Vic Sarin & Michel Thomas-d'Hoste

1982

Jen's Place [Rebecca Yates & Glen Salzman] c; short/56m

1982

Prisoners of Debt: Inside the Global Banking Crisis [Robert Collison & Peter Raymont] c; doc/58m; cph: Mark Irwin

1982

And When They Shall Ask [John Morrow] 16mm/c

1982

Thanks for the Ride [John Kent Harrison] 16mm/c; short/28m

1983

Kodo: Heartbeat Drummers of Japan [Jacques Holender] 16mm/c; doc/60m

1983

Listen to the City [Ron Mann] 16mm/c

1984

Neon: An Electric Memoir [Rudy Buttignol & Ken Ketter] c; doc/26m; cph: R. Buttignol, Chris Terry, John Walker & Mark Irwin

1984

The Umpire/L'arbitre [Paul Shapiro] 16mm/c; short/17m

1985

Blindside [Paul Lynch] c

1986

The Trumpeter [Janice Platt] c; short/24m

1986

Sweet Lorraine [Steve Gomer] c

1987

Shadow Dancing/Stage Fright [Lewis Furey] c; filmed 1987-88

1988

Millennium [Michael Anderson] c; 2uc: John Harris & (Light and Motion crew) Sam Nicholson (+ co-2ud/dir vfx); cameraman (Light and Motion crew): Barry F. Peterson; uwph (Hawaii crew): Doug Phillips; optical ph: Tim Segulin

1988

Where the Spirit Lives [Bruce Pittman] c

1989

Deep Sleep [Patricia Gruben] c

1991

John Wyre - Drawing on Sound [Niv Fichman] c; doc/26m; cph: Tobias Schliessler & David Geddes

1992

La Florida [George Mihalka] c; addph: John Berrie

1994

The War Between Us/Hakujin [Anne Wheeler] c

1994

Rent-a-Kid [Fred Gerber] c/V

1997

Family Plan [Fred Gerber] c

1997

Gold Fever [David Lickley] IMAX-70mm/c; doc/41m; filmed 1997-98

1998

Water Damage [Murray Battle] c

1998

Jerzy Has a Dream [?] ?; short/?m

2001

They [Robert Harmon] s35/c; 2uc (+ 2ud): David Crone; supplemental ph: Karl Herrmann & (dir) Rick Bota; uwph: Pauline Heaton; vfx superv: Kyle Menzies

2002

Highwaymen [Robert Harmon] s35/c; 2uc: João Fernandes; aph: Douglas Holgate

2003

Saint Ralph [Michael McGowan] c

2010

Faces in the Crowd/Faces [Julien Magnat] c; 2uc: Lawrence Daufenbach

2013

Forsaken/Redemption [Jon Cassar] c

2014

Wait Till Helen Comes [Dominic James] HD/c

 

 TELEVISION

1978

Dolls/Les poupées [Barbara Cochrane] doc/?m

1979

Head Start [Joan Reed-Olsen] 13-part doc series/16mm

1980

Clown White [Paul Shapiro] tvm/60m/16mm

1980

Introducing... Janet/Rubberface [Glen Salzman & Rebecca Yates] tvm/48m/16mm

1981

Visions [Don Thompson] 13-part doc series/16mm

1981

Rumours of Glory [Martin Lavut] doc/81m/16mm; cph: Barry Stone, Vic Sarin, Henri Fiks & Robert Fresco

1982

Gongga Shan: White Peaks Beyond the Clouds [Peter Walsh] doc/60m/16mm

1982

R.W. (Real World) [Paul Shapiro] tvm/30m/16mm

1983

The Edison Twins [13 ep dir by various] 78-part series/16mm, 1984-86; 1st season, 1984 (13 ep)

1984

Hockey Night [Paul Shapiro] tvm/16mm

1984

The Edison Twins [13 ep dir by various] 2nd season, 1984-85 (13 ep); see 1983

1984

Anne of Green Gables [Kevin Sullivan] 2-part tvm/16mm & 4-part miniseries/16mm

1985

The Edison Twins [13 ep dir by various] 3rd season, 1985 (13 ep); see 1983

1985

Miracle at Moreaux [Paul Shapiro] tvm/58m/16mm

1985

Philip Marlowe, Private Eye [ep #6 'Blackmailers Don't Shoot' dir by Allan King, #7 'Spanish Blood' dir by Robert Iscove (RI), #8 'Pickup on Noon Street' dir by RI, #9 'Guns at Cyrano's' dir by RI, # 10 'Trouble Is My Business' dir by RI & #11 'Red Wind' dir by Martin Lavut] 11-part series, 1983 (5 ep) & 1986 (6 ep); 2nd season, 1986

1986

As Is [Michael Lindsay-Hogg] tvm/16mm

1986

The Truth About Alex [Paul Shapiro] tvm/48m/16mm

1986

A Moving Picture [Jürgen Lutz] dance film/54m/16mm; cph: Emil Kolompar, Paul Mockler & Vic Sarin

1986

[The Lawrenceville Stories:] The Prodigious Hickey/The Prodigious Mr. William Hicks [Robert Iscove] tvm/60m/16mm; ep PBS-tv series 'American Playhouse'; see 1987 & 1988

1987

The Incredible Ida Early [Robert Iscove] tvm/60m

1987

Hot Paint [Sheldon Larry] tvm

1987

Taking Care of Terrific [Jim Purdy] tvm/60m/16mm

1987

[The Lawrenceville Stories:] The Return of Hickey [Allan A. Goldstein] tvm/60m/16mm; ep PBS-tv series 'American Playhouse'; see 1986 & 1988

1987

Almost Grown [pilot dir by David Chase] 13-part series, 1988-89

1987

Masterclass with Menuhin [Niv Fichman] mus doc/56m/16mm

1988

Men [6 ep dir by various] 6-part series, 1989; other ph: Neil Roach; for ABC-tv

1988

[The Lawrenceville Stories:] The Beginning of the Firm [Allan A. Goldstein] tvm/60m; ep PBS-tv series 'American Playhouse'; see 1986 & 1987

1989

Pray for Me, Paul Henderson [Brad Turner] tvm/60m/16mm; ep 'CBC's Magic Hour'

1989

Christmas in America: A Love Story [Eric Till] tvm/60m

1990

The Wonder Years [ep #47-59 & #69 dir by various] 115-part series/16mm, 1988-93; 4th season, 1990-91; other ph: Russell Carpenter & Tim Suhrstedt

1991

To Catch a Killer [Eric Till] 2-part tvm

1991

[Alexander Graham Bell:] The Sound and the Silence/The Sound and the Silence: The Alexander Graham Bell Story [John Kent Harrison] 2-part tvm

1992

The Diviners [Anne Wheeler] tvm/16mm

1993

[Thicker Than Blood:] The Larry McLinden Story [Michael Dinner] tvm

1993

Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad [Don McBrearty] tvm/16mm

1994

The Vacant Lot [ep #1 dir by Robert Quartly] 6-part series, 1994; loc ph

1994

Party of Five [pilot dir by Richard Pearce] 142-part series, 1994-2000; other ph: Joe Pennella (final 3 seasons) & Charlie Lieberman

1995

Kissinger and Nixon [- Peace at Hand] [Daniel Petrie] tvm

1996

Early Edition [pilot dir by Michael Dinner, ep #11 'Christmas' dir by Daniel Attias, #12 'Frostbit' dir by Lee Bonner & #13 'Mob Wife' dir by Rick Rosenthal] 90-part series, 1996-2000; 1st season, 1996-97; other ph: Arthur Albert, Gino Crededio, John S. Bartley, Neil Roach, Joe Pennella & John Thomas

1996

The Arrow/Projet Arrow [Don McBrearty] 2-part tvm/b&w-c; efx unit ph: Tom Turnbull

1999

The Crossing [Robert Harmon] tvm; 2uc: Maris Jansons

1999

Don Giovanni Unmasked [Barbara Willis Sweete] opera/60m/s16

2000

Club Land [Saul Rubinek] tvm

2000

Wild Iris [Daniel Petrie] tvm

2003

Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion [Bruce Pittman] 2-part tvm

2004

[Jesse Stone:] Stone Cold [Robert Harmon] tvm/s16-to-HD; 2uc: Christopher Ball

2005

Above and Beyond [Sturla Gunnarsson] 2-part tvm/s16

2005

Shades of Black: The Conrad Black Story [Alex Chapple] tvm/s16

2006

Kidnapped [ep #2 'Special Delivery' dir by Michael Dinner, #3 'Sorry, Wrong Number' dir by Michael W. Watkins, #4 'Number One with a Bullet' dir by Michael Pressman, #5 'Burn, Baby, Burn' dir by Oz Scott & (cph) #6 'My Heart Belongs to Daddy' dir by Nelson McCormick] 13-part series/s35, 2006-07; other ph: Edward J. Pei (pilot) & Roy H. Wagner (+ cph #6)

2006

Jesse Stone: Sea Change [Robert Harmon] tvm/s16-to-HD; 2uc: Christopher Ball

2007

Jesse Stone: Thin Ice [Robert Harmon] tvm/s16-to-HD

2008

Eleventh Hour [ep #3 'Agro' dir by Danny Cannon (DC), #4 'Savant' dir by Terry McDonough (TM), #5 'Containment' dir by DC, #9 'Flesh' dir by David Barrett, #10 'H2O' dir by TM & #12 'Eternal' dir by Jeffrey Hunt] 18-part series, 2008-09; other ph: David Stockton & Eagle Egilsson

2010

Nikita [20 ep dir by various] 73-part series, 2010-13; 1st season/HD (Sony F35), 2010-11 (22 ep); other ph: David Stockton (pilot) & David Herrington (ep #17)

2010

InSecurity [ep #7 'Spies on Ice' dir by Robert de Lint] pilot ('B Team'; ph in 2008 by Michael Storey & Mark Dobrescu [prep]; aired in 2010) + 23-part series, 2011; 1st season, 2011 (January/March) (13 ep)

2011

Nikita [12 ep dir by various] 2nd season/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2011-12 (23 ep); see 2010

2012

Nikita [11 ep dir by various] 3rd season/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2012-13 (22 ep); see 2010

2014

Clementine [Michael Dinner] pilot; 2uc (+ c.op 'a' cam & Steadicam op): Stefan von Bjorn; for ABC-tv

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1976

Starship Invasions/Alien Encounter/War of the Aliens/Project Genocide [Ed Hunt] co-c.asst; ph: Mark Irwin

1997

Too Close to Home [Bill Corcoran; tvm] add c.op; ph: Malcolm Cross