Academy honors scientists behind special effects

Feb 16 2014, 3:08am CST | by

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The scientists and inventors who make big-screen superheroes, spectacular explosions and other only-in-the-movies effects possible have their own Oscar ceremony.

Kristen Bell and Michael B. Jordan hosted the film academy's Scientific and Technical Awards Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, recognizing more than 50 of the most creative scientists and engineers in the movie business.

These are the men who developed the computer technology behind the bullet scene in "The Matrix" and the animation techniques in "Life of Pi." They're the visionaries who build the things the film industry needs that don't yet exist, like advanced remote helicopter cameras and the Pneumatic Car Flipper (which does what it sounds like), for which they received certificates and plaques from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

One honoree, Joshua Pines, who helped develop image-processing mathematics to standardize color, called the evening "this year's annual winter Olympics for geeks."

The two Oscar statuettes were presented among the night's 21 awards: The Gordon E. Sawyer Award to Peter W. Anderson for his contributions to 3-D technology, and an Academy Award of Merit in honor of the countless owners and operators of film-processing labs over the past century. "The Dark Knight" writer-director Christopher Nolan accepted the film lab Oscar, which will be on permanent display at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles when it opens in 2017.

Nolan described film processors as alchemists who "(turn) silver and plastic into dreams — and not just any kind of dreams, but the kind of dreams you can unspool from a reel and hold in your hand, hold up to the light and see, frozen: magic."

He also contributed to the film-versus-digital debate that other honorees nudged at during the night.

Film is "the technology that lies at the heart of filmmaking," Nolan said, "and still represents the gold standard in imaging technology."

Still, the majority of Saturday's awards honored research and inventions related to digital filmmaking.

Eric Veach was recognized for his Stanford doctoral thesis that incorporates the physics of lighting into computer graphics. Dan Piponi, part of a team who created a system to simulate smoke and fire first used in films such as "Avatar" and "Puss In Boots," joked about his unlikely road to Oscar recognition.

"Nobody told me if I wanted to get an Academy Award, I should study mathematics," he said. "But that's what I did, and here I am."

Bell said she learned new scientific concepts and vocabulary as she prepared for the show, adding she was happy to help honor the artists deep behind the scenes.

"A lot of the science and technology behind making movies seem realistic, all of those geniuses are here tonight," she said, "and I'm excited to celebrate them."

The rest of this year's Academy Awards will be presented March 2.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

___

Online:

www.oscars.org

Source: AP Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Do You Have The 'Stickability' To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?
It’s no secret that successful entrepreneurs have something special that sets them apart from just the dabblers and hobbyists, but exactly what is it that’s different? Every business venture runs into obstacles,...
 
 
The Masters Post Mortem And Prognosis Without Tiger Woods
The Masters Post Mortem And Prognosis Without Tiger Woods
null Before the Masters, I suggested the leaders of golf carefully examine this 2014 event without Tiger Woods. It would be a forecast of the future of golf without him, which is, of course, inevitable. The examination...
 
 
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Gets One Last Trailer
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Gets One Last Trailer
I suppose I should have seen this coming. I spent the last three months praising the relative restraint of the X-Men: Days of Future Past marketing campaign. Up until three weeks ago, we had only seen a single trailer,...
 
 
Bruins Tickets Have Biggest Face Price Discount For 1st Round Of NHL Playoffs
In three out of the last four season, the Bruins have faced an original six team in the first round of the playoffs. This year, they’ll face off against the Detroit Red Wings,  a team they haven’t met in the playoffs in...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Do You Have The 'Stickability' To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?
It’s no secret that successful entrepreneurs have something special that sets them apart from just the dabblers and hobbyists, but exactly what is it that’s different? Every business venture runs into obstacles,...
Read more on Business Balla
 
The Masters Post Mortem And Prognosis Without Tiger Woods
null Before the Masters, I suggested the leaders of golf carefully examine this 2014 event without Tiger Woods. It would be a forecast of the future of golf without him, which is, of course, inevitable. The examination...
Read more on Business Balla
 
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Gets One Last Trailer
I suppose I should have seen this coming. I spent the last three months praising the relative restraint of the X-Men: Days of Future Past marketing campaign. Up until three weeks ago, we had only seen a single trailer,...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Bruins Tickets Have Biggest Face Price Discount For 1st Round Of NHL Playoffs
In three out of the last four season, the Bruins have faced an original six team in the first round of the playoffs. This year, they’ll face off against the Detroit Red Wings,  a team they haven’t met in the playoffs in...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Don't Underestimate Big Data
The techniques of big data have been criticized recently in a post by Tim Harford among others. It’s quite easy to imagine the potential here has been exaggerated, and a core point about the importance of theory in a...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Even Recreational Marijuana May Be Linked To Brain Changes
Adding to earlier evidence that marijuana may be linked to lasting neurological changes, a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience today finds that even casual pot smoking may have an effect on the size and structure...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Man Pulls Submachine Gun Over 22¢ Tax: 'I'm Tax Exempt'
A Chicago man allegedly brandished a submachine gun in a store. No, he wasn’t robbing it. He just didn’t want to pay a 22-cent tax on a $1.79 two-liter bottle of soda. Taxes are annoying, especially this time of year....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Paul Walker's brothers help complete movie
Paul Walker's younger brothers will help complete his final movie, 'Fast & Furious 7.' Producers confirmed on Tuesday (04.15.14) that Caleb and Cody Walker have signed on to shoot the remaining scenes featuring the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla