His top piece of advice: Try to have something to say. "There is a strategy that potential winners sometime employ, which is called 'I'm sure I'll think of something great once I get up there.' History teaches us that you will not. It simply doesn't happen," he said as the audience at the DGA theater exploded with laughter. "You will stammer; you will embarrass yourselves -- and those of us in the audience will be covering our eyes and looking down.
"Think about it a little," he added. "After all, this is a time you can get up and say something heartfelt about whatever the product was that won you the award."
His second point: This is not about gratitude. "It used to be called an acceptance speech, and now we call it a thank-you speech. That's heading in the wrong direction," Davis said. "My rule is you get three thank-yous. It means if you are going to thank a deity, you may have to drop your mom. And frankly, neither one of them really had a helluva lot to do with the project you were working on. Give them a nice call afterwards."
Davis' final point: Keep it short. "You will never in your life run into a person who says, 'I wish you had gone on for another half-hour," he said. "Short, significant ... and people will remember you with great affection."
During the evening -- which was hosted by ICG president Steven Poster and ECA committee chairman Jim Matlosz -- Emerging Cinematographer Awards were handed out to Steve Romano for "String Theory;" David Mahlman for "Numb;" Yueni Zander for "Dead Grass, Dry Roots;" Alison Kelly for "Spring of Sorrow;" Joseph Arena for "Applebox;" Gregory Wilson for "Somewhere Else;" Stefan Tarzan for "Absaroka;" and Michael Nie for "Not Your Time."
Abe Martinez (Little Candy Hearts) and Brian O'Carroll (8for Infinity) received honorable mentions.
A jury of leading cinematographers selected "Absaroka" and "String Theory" as the best films of the evening.
A screening of the ECA films will be held Oct. 2 at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
– The Hollywood Reporter