Academy Honors Jonathan Erland, 34 Others for Scientific, Technical Contributions

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor visual effects technologist Jonathan Erland and 34 other individuals at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Feb. 10 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

Erland will receive the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for technological contributions that have brought credit to the industry. He joined the newly created Industrial Light & Magic to work on the visual effects for the 1977 film “Star Wars” and worked as director of research and development for Apogee Prods., where he received patents for a reverse bluescreen traveling matte process, the Blue-Max flux projector and a method for making front projection screens.

Erland played a key role in establishing a separate visual effects Academy branch in 1995. He received Academy’s John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation in 2012.

“This year we are happy to honor a very international group of technologists for their innovative and outstanding accomplishments,” said Ray Feeney, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “These individuals have significantly contributed to the ongoing evolution of motion pictures, and their efforts continue to empower the creativity of our industry.”

Unlike other Academy Awards to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2017. AMPAS said, “The achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.

The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements are:

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS (ACADEMY CERTIFICATES)

— Jason Smith and Jeff White for the original design, and to Rachel Rose and Mike Jutan for the architecture and engineering, of the BlockParty procedural rigging system at Industrial Light & Magic.

— Joe Mancewicz, Matt Derksen and Hans Rijpkema for the design, architecture and implementation of the Rhythm & Hues Construction Kit rigging system.

— Alex Powell for the design and engineering, to Jason Reisig for the interaction design, and to Martin Watt and Alex Wells for the high-performance execution engine of the Premo character animation system at DreamWorks Animation.

— Rob Jensen for the foundational design and continued development, to Thomas Hahn for the animation toolset, and to George ElKoura, Adam Woodbury and Dirk Van Gelder for the high-performance execution engine of the Presto Animation System at Pixar Animation Studios.

SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING AWARDS (ACADEMY PLAQUES)

— John Coyle, Brad Hurndell, Vikas Sathaye and Shane Buckham for the concept, design, engineering and implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera System.

— Jeff Lait, Mark Tucker, Cristin Barghiel and John Lynch for their contributions to the design and architecture of the Houdini visual effects and animation system.

— Bill Spitzak and Jonathan Egstad for the visionary design, development and stewardship of the Nuke compositing system.

— Abigail Brady, Jon Wadelton and Jerry Huxtable for their significant contributions to the architecture and extensibility of the Nuke compositing system.

— Leonard Chapman for the overall concept, design and development, to Stanislav Gorbatov for the electronic system design, and to David Gasparian and Souhail Issa for the mechanical design and integration of the Hydrascope telescoping camera crane systems.

ACADEMY AWARD OF MERIT (OSCAR STATUETTE)

— Mark Elendt and Side Effects Software for the creation and development of the Houdini visual effects and animation system.

GORDON E. SAWYER AWARD (OSCAR STATUETTE)

— Jonathan Erland. Presented to an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.

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