The Academy Scientific or Technical Awards Presentation

American Cinematographer, May 1979 | Go to article overview

The Academy Scientific or Technical Awards Presentation


Class and style appropriately characterize the banquet marking a fitting presentation of the awards which represent the very lifeblood of the film industry in technical and scientific terms

For many years, the Academy Scientific or Technical Awards created a kind of embarrassment for the producers of the television presentation. Considered "too academic" to be of interest to the general viewing public (and there was a certain logic in that observation), they were hurriedly awarded on-stage during a commercial break in the telecast.

Since the technology represented by these awards is the very lifeblood of the film industry in terms of technical progress and innovation, there was understandable unhappiness on the part of the recipients of the awards. Finally, the Scientific or Technical Awards were eased out of the telecast completely and were bestowed at afternoon cocktail parties held in the spacious lobby of the Academy's posh headquarters in Beverly Hills. While showing a bit more class, this, too, proved to be a far from satisfactory solution to the problem.

Then, last year, someone in the Academy decided that the time had come to spend a bit of money to do justice to the inspired engineers and technicians who have raised the art of the motion picture to its current height of technical excellence. Two hundred guests, representing top film technicians and their ladies, were invited to a sit-down banquet in the Versailles Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton hotel.

The affair was such a crashing success that it was repeated this year on the evening of April 6 in the same room, but with the guest list swollen to almost 300 people. Also, whereas in previous years, there has been much controversy arising from the awarding of these honors, this year sweetness and light generally prevailed.

The awards were voted by the Academy Board of Governors from the recommendations made by the Scientific or Technical Awards Committee. Donald C. Rogers is chairman of the committee.

Three Academy Awards of Merit (Academy Statuette) were made. All were elevated from previous (1977) Class Il Awards (the previous nomenclature), a provision allowed by Academy rules. Paragraph 15 of the special rules for the Scientific or Technical Achievement Awards reads in part: "It shall also be within the discretion of the committee to review, on its own motion, any Academy Award conferred by the Academy Board of Governors for Scientific or Technical Achievement, to determine whether the classification of such achievement should be elevated by reason of its contribution to the arts and sciences of motion pictures subsequent to the granting of such award and to recommend elevation in classification to the Academy Board of Governors."

The following awards were voted:

ACADEMY AWARD OF MERIT

[Academy Statuette]

To Eastman Kodak Company, for the research and development of a Duplicating Color Film for Motion Pictures.

Eastman Color Intermediate 11 Film, 5243, is designed for making intermediate color positives and duplicate negatives from color negatives. The advantage of a single color material for the two intermediate stages and the application of this film to the preparation of standard size, and enlarged size duplicate negatives for contact release printing, is the unique characteristic of this film. The film has superior sharpness, tonal scale and dye stability.

To Stefan Kudelski of Nagra Magnetic Recorders, Incorporated, for the continuing research, design and development of the Nagra Production Sound Recorder for Motion Pictures.

The Nagra sound recorder is the summation of technical achievements to provide the motion picture industry with a high quality, professional, self-contained, light-weight recorder for motion picture production. …

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