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DiGiulio, Feeney Oscar feted

Duo gets honors for Sci-Tech

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences handed Edmund DiGiulio an Oscar statuette Saturday night at its Scientific & Technical Achievement Award ceremony, honoring the industry vet for a lifetime of technological contributions to the entertainment biz.

DiGiulio, who has pioneered the development of the Steadicam, received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, becoming its 16th recipient. It was the only Oscar handed out at the event.

“This is, without a doubt, the highlight of my career as it is with others who receive a lifetime achievement award. But I hope this doesn’t mean I have to retire now.”

Award marked DiGiulio’s fifth overall Sci-Tech nod, which has also included the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation.

This year, the medal was awarded to Ray Feeney for improving visual effects in the motion picture industry.

Named in honor of the late director of special projects at Warner Hollywood Studios, the Bonner kudo is awarded for outstanding service and dedication in upholding AMPAS’ high standards.

“This is a moment I will cherish always,” said Feeney, who is credited with developing one of the first motion control camera systems, the Solitaire Image Recorder and the f/x biz’s bluescreen technology.

Additionally, an Award of Commendation was given to the American Society of Cinematographers for its ongoing publication of the American Cinematographer Manual.

Actress Charlize Theron hosted the black-tie event at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. After stumbling over names, technical terms and even her own feet at one point, “Just keep drinking,” became her mantra to the audience.

The event was taped for inclusion in the 74th Academy Awards kudocast at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland on March 24, where Theron will introduce an abbreviated segment of the Sci-Tech ceremony.

Scientific and technical awards are given for devices, methods, formulas, discoveries or inventions of special and outstanding value to the arts and sciences of motion pictures and that also have a proven history of use in the motion picture industry.

Seven scientific and engineering achievement plaques were handed out to developers of the Arrilaser Film Recorder, cinema loudspeaker systems, Panavision’s macro zoom lens, RCI’s color film restoration process, the Imagica optical printer and Kodak’s panchromatic sound recording film format.

Paul and Peter Constantine were awarded a plaque for designing and developing the CELCO digital film recorder, while John Constantine was given a certificate for technical achievement for his contributions to developing the CELCO system.

Fourteen certificates for technical achievement were handed out, with recipients including developers of two Industrial Light & Magic technologies: the Creature Dynamics System, used to direct and integrate hair, clothing, skin and flesh simulation in computer animation, and the company’s Motion and Structure Recovery System, which provides analysis of camera motion and object motion.

Other certificate recipients developed underwater cameras and underwater camera housings, filtered line arrays and screen spreading compensation for cinema loudspeaker systems, camera motors, the Bulldog motion-control camera crane, the NUKE-2D compositing software, and the 3D equalizer camera tracking system.

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