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Two Legends Honored By Film Florida
Film Florida honored two Sunshine State pioneers in the film and production industry at the second annual Legends Awards on Thursday, June 7 at Stump's Supper Club in Channelside.
Late cinematographer Egon Stephan Sr. and director and camera inventor Jordan Klein were recognized for their prolific careers and their contributions to the industry.
Film Florida established the Legends Award last year to pay tribute to those who have made a significant impact on film in Florida - whether behind the scenes or in front of the camera.
Egon Stephan Sr. came to South Florida in 1957 at the request of his New York City based employer, Camera Equipment Company who later became known as F&B Ceco. When Ceco closed their Florida office, Egon decided to stay and develop his career as a cinematographer.
He became known as a specialist in aerial and underwater filming as well as a Second Unit DP on many feature films shot in the South Florida area. He was a member of IATSE, the Los Angeles Cameraman's union, won several Emmys and numerous other awards. Egon founded CineTech in 1968 with one camera and a dream. As his cinematography career started to take off, so did the rental inventory of CineTech, eventually becoming the largest equipment rental house in the Southeast.
He was instrumental to the growth of the Florida film industry, helping to form the Florida Motion Picture & TV Association (FMPTA) and the first Florida Advisory Council, which spawned the State's Film Bureau of which Egon was the direct advisor to the Governor at the time. Egon was also an avid supporter of the AICP, DGA, ASC and was instrumental in the formation and ongoing support of WOMPI. Egon Stephan and his company also enriched the Florida film community. CineVideoTech evolved as the local university for hands on training of camera and lighting technicians, many of which are still working today in all facets of the film production industry.
Egon Stephan Sr. passed away in October of 2002. He left behind a legacy of professionalism and dedication that lives on today in the company he founded, now run by his son, Egon Stephan Jr.
Jordan Klein, Sr. has been directing and filming topside and specializing in underwater and aerial cinematography for more than forty years. Klein is known around the world as a director, DP and camera operator. His work can be seen in many feature films, TV shows and commercials. He has also done a great deal of highly classified work for the US military. An International Cinematographers Guild cameraman for more than twenty-five years, Jordan's first major project was filming the underwater portion of the Flipper TV series back in 1964. His knowledge and associations throughout Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean are a vital part of his ability to get the exact shots and scenes needed for any project.
In 2002, Jordan Klein was honored with an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his pioneering efforts in the development and application of underwater camera housings for motion pictures, most notably the creation of a camera-stabilizing device called the "Makohead". Within 18 months from its inception, a working prototype had been created and within two years they had a fully functioning Makohead that is in use throughout the world today.
Film Florida hosted the 2nd Annual Legends Awards during the organization's annual meeting in June. The Tampa Bay Film Commission hosted the event. The quarterly Film Florida meeting coincided with the Tampa Bay Film Forum and the quarterly Florida Film & Entertainment Advisory Committee meeting. We have photos from the Film Forum in our Photo Seen.