The Gold Knight: Academy holds Sci-Tech OscarsWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday night at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif., 30 were honored at the Academy’s annual Scientific and Technical Awards. The evening was filled with honoring those behind-the-scenes in the movie industry for achievements that may be beyond grasp for outsiders.
The Academy has posted pictures and videos from the Scientific and Technical Awards presentation on its website. Highlights will air during the 84th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 26.
Douglas Trumbull received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted. Trumbull, a visionary filmmaker who has worked as a designer, director, inventor and entrepreneur, will be honored for his lifetime of technical contributions and leadership in the film industry, according to an Academy press release.
Trumbull, presented with an Oscar statuette at the Sci-Tech Awards, is known as a visual effects pioneer with major contributions to films including “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Andromeda Strain,” “Silent Running,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Star Trek – The Motion Picture,” “Blade Runner” and “The Tree of Life.”
A three-time Academy Award nominees for Visual Effects, Trumbull also received a Scientific and Engineering Award in 1992 as part of the design team for the CP-65 Showscan Camera System for 65mm motion picture photography.
He is be the 23rd recipient of the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, which was established in 1981 and is presented to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.”
Visual effects technologist Jonathan Erland received the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation.
The award is voted on by the Board of Governors.
Erland joined a newly created Industrial Light & Magic to work on the visual effects for 1977′s “Star Wars.” He continued work in the growing visual effects field as director of research and development for Apogee Productions. His future innovations also earned Academy Scientific and Technical Awards.
In 2007, Erland received an Award of Commendation for “his leadership and efforts toward identifying and solving the problem of High-Speed Emulsion Stress Syndrome in motion picture film stock.”
An Academy member since 1984, Erland was instrumental in establishing Visual Effects as a separate Academy branch in 1995. He has served 11 years on the Board and many years on the Executive Committees of both the Visual Effects Branch and the Scientific and Technical Awards. He also is a founding member of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council.
Named in honor of the late director of special projects at Warner Hollywood Studios, the John A. Bonner Medal is awarded for “outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”
Other award recipients at this year’s Sci-Tech Awards were as follows, provided by the Academy:
Academy Award of Merit (Oscar Statuette)
To Franz Kraus, Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Riedel for the design and development of the ARRILASER Film Recorder.
The ARRILASER film recorder demonstrates a high level of engineering resulting in a compact, user-friendly, low-maintenance device, while at the same time maintaining outstanding speed, exposure ratings and image quality.
Technical Achievement Award (Academy Certificate)
To Andrew Clinton and Mark Elendt for the invention and integration of micro-voxels in the Mantra software.
This work allowed, for the first time, unified and efficient rendering of volumetric effects such as smoke and clouds, together with other computer graphics objects, in a micro-polygon imaging pipeline.
Scientific and Engineering Award (Academy Plaque)
To Radu Corlan, Andy Jantzen, Petru Pop and Richard Toftness for the design and engineering of the Phantom family of high-speed cameras for motion picture production.
The Phantom family of high-speed digital cameras, including the Phantom Flex and HD Gold, provide imagery at speeds and efficacy surpassing photochemical technology, while seamlessly intercutting with conventional film production.
To Dr. Jürgen Noffke for the optical design and Uwe Weber for the mechanical design of the ARRI Zeiss Master Prime Lenses for motion picture photography.
The Master Primes have achieved a full stop advance in speed over existing lenses, while maintaining state-of-the-art optical quality. This lens family was also the first to eliminate the magnification change that accompanied extreme focus shifts.
To Michael Lewis, Greg Marsden, Raigo Alas and Michael Vellekoop for the concept, design and implementation of the Pictorvision Eclipse, an electronically stabilized aerial camera platform.
The Pictorvision Eclipse system allows cinematographers to capture aerial footage at faster flying speeds with aggressive platform maneuvering.
To E.F. “Bob” Nettmann for the concept and system architecture, Michael Sayovitz for the electronic packaging and integration, Brad Fritzel for the electronic engineering, and Fred Miller for the mechanical engineering of the Stab-C Classic, Super-G and Stab-C Compact stabilizing heads.
This versatile family of 5-axis camera and lens stabilizers allows any standard motion picture camera to be fitted into the open architecture of the structure. The system can be quickly balanced and made ready for shooting platforms such as helicopters, boats, camera cars or cranes.
To John D. Lowry, Ian Cavén, Ian Godin, Kimball Thurston and Tim Connolly for the development of a unique and efficient system for the reduction of noise and other artifacts, thereby providing high-quality images required by the filmmaking process.
The “Lowry Process” uses advanced GPU-accelerated, motion estimation-based image processing tools to enhance image quality.
To FUJIFILM Corporation, Hideyuki Shirai, Dr. Katsuhisa Oozeki and Hiroshi Hirano for the design and development of the FUJIFILM black and white recording film ETERNA-RDS 4791 for use in the archival preservation of film and digital images.
Specifically designed for laser film recording and widely used in the industry today, the high-resolution FUJIFILM ETERNA-RDS 4791 film stock is an important step in protecting the heritage of the motion picture industry.
As in the past, the host for the Sci-Tech Awards was be a leading lady. Actress Milla Jovovich, known for her starring roles in “The Fifth Element” and the “Resident Evil” franchise, hosted the evening. She presented 10 awards to 30 individual recipients during the evening. Jovovich will next be seen in the feature “Resident Evil: Retribution.”
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com. Follow all of his coverage of the 84th Academy Awards there and here at ToledoFreePress.com/oscars.