Don Iwerks is a former Disney executive, a Disney Legend, an Oscar winner, and co-founder of Iwerks Entertainment along with former Disney executive Stan Kinsey. He is son of legendary animator Ub Iwerks (Walt Disney's original business partner and co-creator of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit) and father of documentary film producer Leslie Iwerks.
In 1950, Iwerks joined the Disney company in the machine shop as a technician.
In 1954, Iwerks got a camera technician position for the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starring Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre. He would spend the next 30 years driving film innovations for the Disney company. Notable contributions include the first 360 film techniques, 360-degree camera, and first Circle-Vision 360 film, America the Beautiful, and developing the process for creating seamless live action shots with animated backgrounds.
In 1985, after nearly 35 years at Disney, Don left to form his own company called Iwerks Entertainment. Iwerks became a leading developer of special films, special venues, and virtual reality theaters throughout the world.
On March 23, 1998, at the 70th Academy Awards show, Don received an Oscar. He was awarded the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, which is given each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry."
On March 21, 1999, at the 71st Academy Awards show, an Oscar for Scientific and Technical Achievement was presented to Iwerks Entertainment for an innovation called the Iwerks 8/70 Linear Loop projection system.
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- Fact for the Day. "This Day in Disney History". The Walt Disney Company.
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