News / Arts & Entertainment

Movie Academy Honors Inventors, Engineers

Ian Caven (left), Ian Godin (left center), Tim Connolly (right center) and Kimball Thurston prior to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards on February 11, 2012, in Beverly Hills, California.
Ian Caven (left), Ian Godin (left center), Tim Connolly (right center) and Kimball Thurston prior to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards on February 11, 2012, in Beverly Hills, California.
Mike O'Sullivan

The Academy Awards, or Oscars, will be handed out Sunday, but the inventors and engineers who make movies possible have already been honored. This year's scientific and technical awards were presented earlier this month by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“There wouldn’t be any movies without technology.  And it’s becoming more and more amazing what technology is being invented for making movies," said Richard Edlund, who has won Oscars for visual effects in Stars Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi, and he chairs the Academy’s Sci-Tech committee.

The Academy is a professional organization of actors and filmmakers who say that making films is both an art and science. And it hands out awards for technical and scientific achievements in film.  

Academy certificates and plaques plus a few Oscars were handed out earlier this month for those achievements.

This year, an award went to Uwe Weber, honored with his late colleague Jurgen Noffke, for creating sensitive low-distortion lenses jointly produced by the ARRI and Zeiss companies.

“Yes, it’s possible to shoot in low light, candle light or so on, and this makes it very special.  You can get very natural images by that,” Weber explained.

The ARRI Zeiss lenses helped create the fantasy world in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Richard Toftness and his colleagues were honored for creating the Phantom line of high-speed digital cameras. Their cameras create incredibly slow motion on the screen, seen in many recent films, says team member Andy Jantzen.

“The latest one was Sherlock Holmes..... I was told two days ago that it was used in the Matrix film,” Jantzen said.

Richard Toftness says the cameras add texture to movies.

“We’ve been told that 95 percent of the films that use slow-motion effects use our cameras,” Toftness noted.

Bob Nettmann and his colleagues were honored for creating stabilizers for cameras and lenses for shooting from helicopters, cars, cranes and boats.  They were used in the film Mission Impossible to show Tom Cruise rappelling off a building.

“Our work is our hobby, so it’s a paying hobby. We’re stressed out at the moment because we’re building stuff for the Olympics, the London 2012 Olympics,” Nettmann said.

The team's products will help Olympic viewers get a closeup view of events.

Kimball Thurston was honored with his colleagues and late team leader John Lowry for an image-enhancing system called the Lowry Process .  It's been used to improve the look of classic films like Gone With The Wind and more recently, Avatar.

“I’m extremely honored, obviously, very excited.  A little bit nervous," Thurston said adding that he's seldom in the limelight.

Industry veteran, Jonathan Erland, was honored with a special medal for his service to the movie academy.  He says digital technology provides new ways to make and watch movies.
including on computers and mobile devices. But he likes to watch them the old-fashioned way, in a theater.

“Even though we have lots of ways to look at movies at home, the preferred way is still to go to a theater just the way we’ve been doing it for 100 years," Erland said.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”