A Beverly Hills sign. Photo by John Schreiber.
A Beverly Hills sign. Photo by John Schreiber.

Developers of filmmaking innovations such as visual effects and animation systems, aerial camera mounts and telescoping camera cranes are among those to be honored Saturday evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards.

The Academy selected 10 achievements — developed by a total of 34 people — for the annual awards, which will be presented at the Beverly Wilshire hotel.

The ceremony will also include the presentation of the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, which is an Oscar statuette, to visual effects technologist Jonathan Erland for “technological contributions that have brought credit to the industry.”

“This year we are happy to honor a very international group of technologists for their innovative and outstanding accomplishments,” said Ray Feeney, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “These individuals have significantly contributed to the ongoing evolution of motion pictures, and their efforts continue to empower the creativity of our industry.”

Here is a complete list of honorees:


— Jason Smith and Jeff White for the original design, and Rachel Rose and Mike Jutan for the architecture and engineering, of the BlockParty procedural rigging system at Industrial Light & Magic;

— Joe Mancewicz, Matt Derksen and Hans Rijpkema for the design, architecture and implementation of the Rhythm & Hues Construction Kit rigging system;

— Alex Powell for the design and engineering, Jason Reisig for the interaction design, and to Martin Watt and Alex Wells for the high-performance execution engine of the Premo character animation system at DreamWorks Animation; and

— Rob Jensen for the foundational design and continued development, Thomas Hahn for the animation toolset, and George ElKoura, Adam Woodbury and Dirk Van Gelder for the high-performance execution engine of the Presto Animation System at Pixar Animation Studios.


— John Coyle, Brad Hurndell, Vikas Sathaye and Shane Buckham for the concept, design, engineering and implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera System;

— Jeff Lait, Mark Tucker, Cristin Barghiel and John Lynch for their contributions to the design and architecture of the Houdini visual effects and animation system;

— Bill Spitzak and Jonathan Egstad for the visionary design, development and stewardship of the Nuke compositing system;

— Abigail Brady, Jon Wadelton and Jerry Huxtable for their significant contributions to the architecture and extensibility of the Nuke compositing system; and

— Leonard Chapman for the overall concept, design and development, Stanislav Gorbatov for the electronic system design, and David Gasparian and Souhail Issa for the mechanical design and integration of the Hydrascope telescoping camera crane systems.


—  Mark Elendt and Side Effects Software for the creation and development of the Houdini visual effects and animation system.


— Jonathan Erland

—City News Service

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