News / Arts & Entertainment

    Hollywood Sci-Tech Awards Honor Scientists, Engineers

    Left to right, Jan Sperling, Emmanuel Prevenaire, Etienne Brandt and Tony Postiau, developers of the Flying-Cam SARAH 3.0 system and recipients of a Scientific and Engineering Award, pose together at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Scientific and Technical Awards on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.
    Left to right, Jan Sperling, Emmanuel Prevenaire, Etienne Brandt and Tony Postiau, developers of the Flying-Cam SARAH 3.0 system and recipients of a Scientific and Engineering Award, pose together at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Scientific and Technical Awards on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.
    Hollywood's motion picture academy will present the Academy Awards, or Oscars, March 2, in an annual celebration that honors actors and filmmakers.  Some of the scientists and engineers who help create the movie magic have already been honored with the academy's Scientific and Technical Awards held on February 15. 

    Tony Postiau of Flying-Cam, a company based in Belgium, was honored for helping develop a small drone helicopter that carries a camera.  

    “It's a tool that makes it possible to take shots including for the cinema at close-range aerial filming. So it's really a helicopter. It's a flying camera, actually,” he said.

    The flying camera was used in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall to follow the hero from the air, as he rode a motorcycle over the rooftops of Istanbul.

    Many award winners developed digital tools that have made fantasy films realistic.  

    Ofer Alon received an Academy plaque for creating the computer program ZBrush.

    “Which is a sculpting tool that's used in motion pictures to create fantastic creatures and things that are not existing, like environments," he said. "You've seen those in many popular movies like Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and stuff like that.”

    Left to right, Robert Lanciault, Andre Gauthier, Benoit Sevigny and Yves Boudreault, designers of the FILMBOX software application and recipients of a Scientific and Engineering Award, pose together at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Scientific and Technical Awards, Feb. 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.Left to right, Robert Lanciault, Andre Gauthier, Benoit Sevigny and Yves Boudreault, designers of the FILMBOX software application and recipients of a Scientific and Engineering Award, pose together at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Scientific and Technical Awards, Feb. 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.
    x
    Left to right, Robert Lanciault, Andre Gauthier, Benoit Sevigny and Yves Boudreault, designers of the FILMBOX software application and recipients of a Scientific and Engineering Award, pose together at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Scientific and Technical Awards, Feb. 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.
    Left to right, Robert Lanciault, Andre Gauthier, Benoit Sevigny and Yves Boudreault, designers of the FILMBOX software application and recipients of a Scientific and Engineering Award, pose together at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Scientific and Technical Awards, Feb. 15, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.
    Canadians Andre Gauthier and Yves Boudreault  are part of a team that created FiLMBOX, a motion capture and animation software program that lets actors transfer their movements to a virtual character.  It has been used in many fantasy blockbusters, and the men say the team is proud to be honored.  They said developing FiLMBOX involved working six, seven days a week, 12-13 hours a day, for almost 20 years.

    Many of these technologists, like physicist Ronald Henderson of DreamWorks Animation, had no idea that they would one day work in the movie business.

    “I really didn't. I started off in aeronautical engineering at Purdue University, and then I went on to Princeton and I studied simulation and applied math, and I worked at Cal Tech in the applied math department for five years,” he said.

    Henderson was honored for creating a computer program that simulates smoke, fire and explosions.  It has been used in such films as the recent animated adventure Rise of the Guardians, and the upcoming animated comedy Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

    Peter Hillman earned a technical achievement award for his work in digital compositing, seamlessly blending video elements together with the help of computers.  He says new technology expands the range of what we see on screen.

    “The movies that I most enjoy are the ones which couldn't have been made in any other way and where it is part of the story, and possibly where you don't know," he said. "I mean, hopefully, people see The Planet of the Apes and don't realize that those weren't just very well trained monkeys, that it was all computer-generated, that there weren't really any primates in it at all.”

    Actor Michael B. Jordan and actress Kristen Bell hosted the ceremony, and both were pleased to meet the engineers and scientists who make their work easier, and less dangerous.  Bell stars in the upcoming murder mystery Veronica Mars.

    “When you have geniuses sitting at a computer somewhere in the world that are creating programs that make it look like bombs are going off, or avatars exist, it only makes you more excited to be a part of this industry because everybody is telling the story better,” Bell said.

    She says it all results in more exciting movies.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs