Academy Scientific and Technical Award
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The Scientific and Technical Awards are three different Honorary Awards that are given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) during the annual Academy Awards season. The Awards have been presented since the 4th Academy Awards in November 1931, to recognize original developments resulting in significant improvements in motion picture production and exhibition. The Awards are presented at a formal dinner ceremony a couple weeks before the principal Academy Awards ceremony.
These awards recognize significant milestones in the development of technology for motion pictures and are conferred by vote of the Academy Board of Governors. Potential nominations for awards are investigated by a special committee within the Academy, "The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee", which presents a written report and recommendation to the Board of Governors.
Additionally, the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation, given for "outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy", and the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, both also considered Honorary Awards, are usually also chosen by the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee and conferred at this annual presentation dinner ceremony.
Three kinds of Scientific and Technical Awards
Innovations in motion pictures technology are recognized with the following awards:
- Academy Award of Merit – an Academy statuette (an Oscar);
- Scientific and Engineering Award – an Academy bronze tablet; and
- Technical Achievement Award – an Academy certificate.
Award of Merit
So far, 44 achievements have been recognized by the Award of Merit (non-competitive). Among the organizations and milestones that have been recognized are:
- Eastman Kodak for safety film, color negative and print film, color reversal intermediate film, and T-grain films;
- Matte composite cinematography;
- Nagra sound recorder;
- Xenon arc lamp;
- Dolby sound;
- Ultimatte's first software product, developed by Petro and Paul Vlahos;
- Deep Canvas; a program developed at Walt Disney Feature Animation for three-dimensional painted backgrounds
- Maya animation software;
- Renderman rendering software;
- Avid technology;
- Digidesign audio post production;
- Kuper Motion Controls, developed by founder of Kuper Controls, Bill Tondreau, and others; and
- Panavision and Arri film cameras;
- CAPS digital animation technology jointly developed by Walt Disney Feature Animation and Pixar;
- Henson Performance Control System animatronic puppetry technology developed by The Jim Henson Company.
Scientific and Engineering Award
The Scientific and Engineering Award is given for scientific achievements that produce a definite influence on the advancement of the motion picture industry. Achievements need not have been developed and introduced during the award year.
Technical Achievement Award
- "History of the Scientific & Technical Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
- "About (Sci-Tech Awards)". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- Josh Rottenberg (February 12, 2017). "The jokes, the scene (oh, and the winners) at the film academy's Scientific and Technical Awards". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation". Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Oscars.org. Archived from the original (Web) on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Gordon E. Sawyer Award". Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Oscars.org. Archived from the original (Web) on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
- Scientific and Engineering Award (archived from the original on 2008-07-05). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences official website (archived). Retrieved 2017-02-27. "If an achievement has had a definite influence on the advancement of the industry, it may qualify for a Scientific and Engineering Award (a bronze tablet with the name of the award in raised lettering, and a representation of the Oscar statuette in bas relief to one side of the plaque). Affixed to the base is a plate engraved with a description of the achievement and the names of the contributors."
- Ultimatte Advantedge Official Website Archived 2008-03-30 at the Wayback Machine., accessed August 1, 2008; the citation for this particular Award of Merit conferred on the Vlahos brothers in the Awards Database is: "To PETRO VLAHOS and PAUL VLAHOS for the conception and development of the Ultimatte Electronic Blue Screen Compositing Process for motion pictures. [statuette]". "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 30, 2008. Retrieved 2015-03-05.
- Kuper Controls Official Website, accessed August 1, 2008; the citation in the Awards Database for this particular Award of Merit (among several Scientific and Technical Awards conferred on Tondreau and others relating to their work at Kuper Controls and elsewhere, is: "To BILL TONDREAU of Kuper Controls for his significant advancements in the field of motion control technology for motion picture visual effects. Measuring his valuable contributions to the invention and implementation of robotic camera systems in decades rather than years, his efforts have aided motion control in becoming a core technology that has supported the renaissance of visual effects. [statuette]."
- "Scientific and Engineering Award". Oscars. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2017.