Iain Neil, a lens designer, will be presented with the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Oscar statuette, at the event.
At the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony on February 24 at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, eight scientific and technological accomplishments will be recognised on behalf of 19 individual award recipients.
Veteran lens designer Iain Neil will also receive the Gordon E. Sawyer Award (an Oscar statuette) at the SciTech Awards, which will be held live for the first time since 2019 in recognition of his “substantial, extensive and innovative lens designs which have had lasting impact in motion picture cinematography.” Additionally, Ryan Laney will be given a commendation prize (special plaque) for his creative use of AI-driven face technology, as shown in the documentary Welcome to Chechnya from 2020, to offer participants a digital “disguise” to conceal their identity while maintaining their facial emotion.
For their work on the Preston Cinema Systems Light Ranger 2, which also provides focus distance information, as well as for their work on the Howard Preston and Bernie Butler-Smith-designed CineTape distance measurement system for cinematography electronics, Larry Barton and Ben Wilcox will receive scientific and engineering awards (Academy plaques).
Howard Jensen, Danny Cangemi, and John Frazier will receive Technical Achievement Awards (Academy Certificates) for developing the portable 60- and 100-foot Rain Bars system used for realistic rain in motion picture production; Mark Hills and Jim Vanns will receive an award for the FQ render farm management system at VFX studio Framestore; and Matt Chambers will receive an award for his contributions to the design of the render farm management system at Sony Pictures Imageworks and Weta. Sébastien Deguy, Christophe Soum, Sylvain Paris, and Nicolas Wirrmann for the Adobe Substance 3D Designer programme, as well as David Eberle, Theodore Kim, Fernando de Goes, and Audrey Wong for the Fizt2 elastic simulation system, will also receive Technical Achievement Awards.
“This year we honour achievements spanning accomplishments from pioneering methods in practical rain effects to career-long contributions in optical design for cinematography to humanistic-driven AI techniques,” said Barbara Ford Grant, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. This excellent work has made it possible to create and broaden our understanding of how we experience motion pictures in new and exciting ways.