Oscar 2005: Scientific and Technical Achievements

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the 17 winners of Scientific and Technical Academy Awards, which will be presented at The Beverly Hilton on Saturday, February 18.

Awards Administration Director Rich Miller said that unlike other Academy Awards, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards do not have to have been developed and introduced during 2005. “Devices are only considered by the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee if they have a proven track record of continued successful use in the film industry,” Miller said.

Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical achievements:

Gary Thieltges for the design and development of the remotely-operated, lightweight camera head known as the Sparrow Head. This well-integrated remote system enables filmmakers to remotely pan and tilt their camera from virtually any moving vehicle, giving the opportunity for unprecedented dynamic camera angles.

Frank Fletcher and Dave Sherwin for the introduction and continuing development of the Power Pod modular camera head system. The Power Pod system enables filmmakers to configure a remote controlled head to meet their own unique requirements.

Alvah Miller, Michael Sorensen and J. Walt Adamczyk for the design and development of the Aerohead motion control camera head and the J-Viz Pre-Visualization system. This remote head not only serves the needs of the live-action filmmaker, but also provides the functionality of a motion-controlled head, allowing for sophisticated tiling and pre-visualization techniques.

Scott Leva for the design and development of the Precision Stunt Airbag for Motion picture stunt falls. The Precision Stunt Airbag is designed to envelope the stunt jumper, even on off-center hits. This feature serves to enhance the safety of stunt performers in falls from up to 200 feet.

Lev Yevstratov, George Peters and Vasiliy Orlov for the development of the Ultimate Arm Camera Crane System for specialized vehicle photography.
Representing a significant evolutionary improvement in camera car technology, this remotely-controlled, gyro-stabilized and flexible camera crane offers a highly stable platform for high-speed, rough terrain action shots. Its ingenious applications of sophisticated technology solve many of the problems inherent in chase vehicle filming.

James Rodnunsky, Alex MacDonald and Mark Chapman for the development of the Cablecam 3-D volumetric suspended cable camera technologies.
The evolution of the Cablecam technology has made it possible to move a camera safely and accurately anywhere through a three-dimensional space.

Tim Drnec, Ben Britten Smith and Matt Davis for the development of the Spydercam 3-D volumetric suspended cable camera technologies.
The evolution of the Spydercam technology has made it possible to move a camera safely and accurately anywhere through a three-dimensional space.

John Platt and Demetri Terzopoulos for their pioneering work in physically-based computer-generated techniques used to simulate realistic cloth in motion pictures. Their 1987 paper, “Elastically Deformable Models,” was a milestone in computer graphics, introducing the concept of physically-based techniques to simulate moving, deforming objects.

Ed Catmull, for the original concept, and Tony DeRose and Jos Stam for their scientific and practical implementation of subdivision surfaces as a modeling technique in motion picture production. Subdivision surfaces has become a preferred modeling primitive for many types of motion picture computer graphics.

Harold Rattray, Terry Claborn, Steve Garlick, Bill Hogue and Tim Reynolds for the design, engineering and implementation of the Technicolor Real Time Answer Print System. This system provides a method by which filmmakers can preview real-time color corrections using actual film prints, reducing both the turn-around time and the number of reprints required.
Udo Schauss and Hildegard Ebbesmeier for the optical design and Nicole Wemken and Michael Anderer for the mechanical design of the Cinelux Premiere Cinema Projection Lenses.

The Cinelux Premiere Lenses incorporate an iris and aspheric elements which provide a more uniform modulation transfer function and better light transmission to the sides and corners of the theater projection screen. This reduces the traditional problems of softness in the corners, hot-spotting and varying brightness between film formats.

Scientific and Engineering Awards(Academy Plaque):

David Grober for the concept and mechanical design and Scott Lewallen for the electronic and software design of the Perfect Horizon camera stabilization head. Perfect Horizon effectively neutralizes the extraneous motion encountered in boats, camera cars, snowmobiles or other vehicles, leaving the pan/tilt head and camera stable and level with the horizon.

Anatoliy Kokush, Yuriy Popovsky and Oleksiy Zolotarov for the concept and development of the Russian Arm gyro-stabilized camera crane and the Flight Head. The Russian Arm and Flight Head opened new possibilities for filmmakers. With the ability to be mounted on the roof of almost any car, this remotely-operated crane and camera head can move smoothly in a 360˚ circle around the car, even while it is being driven at high speeds by actors, creating heretofore impossible perspectives.

Anatoliy Kokush for the concept and development of the Cascade series of motion picture cranes.
The lightweight structure of the Cascade and Traveling Cascade Cranes enables the filmmaker to achieve heights of up to 70 feet, allowing for the placement of the camera in otherwise impossible locations.

Garrett Brown for the original concept of the Skycam flying camera system the first use of 3D volumetric cable technology for motion picture cinematography. In creating the first remote controlled, cable supported flying camera system, Garrett Brown's pioneering efforts have influenced all subsequent development in this area of technology.

David Baraff, Michael Kass and Andrew Witkin for their pioneering work in physically-based computer-generated techniques used to simulate realistic cloth in motion pictures. Their 1998 paper titled “Large Steps in Cloth Simulation” was a seminal work, providing the key in demonstrating to the industry that the calculations necessary to simulate realistic, complex cloth could be achieved efficiently and robustly. Their work provided the conceptual foundation for many cloth simulation systems in use today.

Laurie Frost, Peter Hannan and Richard Loncraine for the development of the remote camera head known as the Hot-Head. In use for over a quarter of a century, the Hot-Head has brought the possibility of safe, remotely-operated shots to every filmmaker.