News / Arts & Entertainment

    Sci-Tech Oscars Honor Science of Movie-Making

    Academy President Hawk Koch arrives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Scientific and Technical Awards at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 9, 2013.Academy President Hawk Koch arrives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Scientific and Technical Awards at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 9, 2013.
    x
    Academy President Hawk Koch arrives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Scientific and Technical Awards at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 9, 2013.
    Academy President Hawk Koch arrives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Scientific and Technical Awards at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 9, 2013.
    Special effects and other cinema technology are becoming more important in helping movie-makers tell their stories.  Hollywood's motion picture academy, which will present the Oscars Sunday, February 24, has already honored the engineers and scientists behind the industry's changing technology.  

    The Oscars are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which reminds us each year that filmmaking is both an art and a science.

    The Academy's Scientific and Technical - or Sci-Tech - awards, are presented a few weeks before the Oscars.  This year, they were given out February 9. The British company Cooke Optics, which has been making cinema lenses since the early days of movies, received the Academy's highest honor, an Oscar.

    Longtime special effects creator Bill Taylor received a medal of commendation for his service to the motion picture academy. Taylor has worked on visual effects in films that include Jim Carrey's fantasy Bruce Almighty and Martin Scorsese's 1991 remake of the psychological thriller Cape Fear.

    "And Cape Fear was full of visual effects. And because Martin Scorsese is a great student, he understood how every visual effects shot on every movie ever made was done, basically, so he really fell into it," said Taylor. "And one of the greatest achievements in the history of visual effects was his Hugo, which was just last year.”

    Scorsese's fantasy-adventure Hugo won five Oscars, including one for its visual effects team.

    Ross Shain of Imagineer Systems was part of a group honored at this year's Sci-Tech awards for software that helps filmmakers create elaborate effects in post-production.  He said the company's system, called Mocha, has been used in many films, including Black Swan, a thriller about a ballet dancer, played by Natalie Portman.

    "Throughout the film she sort of evolves into a climactic scene where she becomes a swan. And feathers and different visual effects are applied to her body," he said. "And the artists basically have to motion-track the movements of the actress to apply effects to it.”

    Richard Edlund, who chairs the Academy Sci-Tech Awards committee, has won four Oscars over the years, including for Star Wars.

    He said special effects are an important part of films of all genres, not just science fiction.

    "The technologists in my opinion are just as creative as the actors and the directors on the other side of the camera because they’re the ones that produce the technology that enables the artist to create and to transmit artistic ideas to the audience,” said Edlund.

    He said there are many challenges in making a great movie, and one of the biggest challenges for the 1977 blockbuster was not technical. It was finding an actor who could deliver lines like this, and make them believable:

    He said the casting of Alec Guinness as Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi was one reason the Star Wars series was successful.  John Williams's dramatic music was another. Last but not least, he said creative effects helped director George Lucas create a classic.

    Edlund said that collaboration between art and technology remains just as important today.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    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

    African Music Treasures