Motion picture academy honours nerds of filmmaking

Forty-five men you've probably never heard of were honored with an Academy Awards ceremony of their own that recognized scientific and technical achievements in moviemaking.

The engineers behind the latest in ambient occlusion, digital intermediate processing, sub-pixel offsets and micro-positioning platforms were celebrated at a Saturday night gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and hosted by a very unscientific Elizabeth Banks.



The 36-year-old actress joked that she would "read - yet not fully understand - our journey through the scientific and technical awards."



Wearing a sparkling white gown and standing in front of four giant Oscar statues, Banks presented 15 plaques and certificates to scientists from Germany, Sweden, Austria, England, New Zealand, Hungary, Denmark, Japan and the United States.



The men were honored for developing systems to improve color on film, advancing performance-capture technology, creating new means to light actors in computer-generated scenes and building high-tech scanners used in modern filmmaking. You may have seen the results of their work in films such as King Kong, The Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man.



While the March 7 Academy Awards ceremony will be all A-list glitz and televised glam, the Sci-Tech Awards are an off-camera, low-key event, with one humble scientist after another taking the stage and nervously thanking his family and colleagues.



Double-winner Tony Sedivy, who helped develop a film scanner and a 3D hardware system, said receiving the academy honors was "the highlight of my life."



Another honoree, Richard Kirk, clutched his golden plaque with a tiny Oscar on it and said, "I only hope one day I can be as awesome as my friends and family will think I am with this."



A jazz quintet played as winners pushed away from their filet mignon and Chilean sea bass dinners to accept their awards on stage. One tried to explain the genesis of his invention to Banks, who shrugged and smiled playfully.



The star, whose credits include "Seabiscuit" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," effortlessly discussed film emulsion technology, spectral response and point-based color bleeding for indirect illuminations as she presented the awards with a lot of help from a telepromter.



Academy president Tom Sherak praised the actress for her flawless handling of the high-tech jargon - whether or not she fully understood it.



Banks called the Sci-Tech ceremony "a great reminder of everything that goes into the finished product we see in movie theaters."



"I applaud your nerd-dom," she said.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower