A select mix of Leica afficianados, renowned photographers, Leica dealers, and company executives were gathered at The Rose Club in the Plaza Hotel in New York City earlier this week to witness film director, writer and actor Woody Allen receive the honor of the gift of a Leica M8.2 camera with the serial number 3,555,555 from Leica CEO, Dr. Andreas Kaufmann. Noting Allen's contribution to the arts, Kaufmann explained, "The decision to honor Woody Allen, in our view, was quite clear."
Since 1925, Leica has awarded a select list of visionaries in photography, the sciences, the world of politics, and the arts with special serial numbered cameras. The list of people who have received such Leica cameras is small. Queen Elizabeth (who actually asked that the cameras she received not be numbered, and so her initials were engraved instead); photographers Alfred Eisenstat and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Leopold D. Mannes and Leo Godowsky, Jr, the co-inventors of Kodachrome film, and former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, are a few of those who have received Leicas with special serial numbers.
Allen is an avid Leica enthusiast. Upon accepting the camera, Allen explained that when he was preparing for the film "Vicky Christina Barcelona," and had to choose a camera for actress Scarlett Johansson to use (her character plays a photographer) the choice was clear, only a Leica would do. "The camera has brought great luck to the picture," he said.