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The Scientific and Technical Awards are three different Honorary Awards that are given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) during the annual Academy Awards season.[1][2] The Awards have been presented since the 4th Academy Awards in November 1931, to recognize original developments resulting in significant improvements in motion picture production and exhibition.[2] The Awards are presented at a formal dinner ceremony a couple weeks before the principal Academy Awards ceremony.[2]

These awards recognize significant milestones in the development of technology for motion pictures and are conferred by vote of the Academy Board of Governors. Potential nominations for awards are investigated by a special committee within the Academy, "The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee", which presents a written report and recommendation to the Board of Governors.[3]

Additionally, the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation, given for "outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy", and the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, both also considered Honorary Awards, are usually also chosen by the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee and conferred at this annual presentation dinner ceremony.[4][5]

Three kinds of Scientific and Technical Awards

Innovations in motion pictures technology are recognized with the following awards:

  1. Academy Award of Merit[1] – an Academy statuette (an Oscar);
  2. Scientific and Engineering Award[1] – an Academy bronze tablet;[6] and
  3. Technical Achievement Award[1] – an Academy certificate.

Award of Merit

From the 4th Academy Awards in 1931 through the 50th Academy Awards in 1978 the award was originally called the "Class I Scientific and Technical Award." The award is non-competitive. Winners receive an Oscar statuette.[1] As of 2018, 50 achievements have been recognized with an Award of Merit.

Sci-Tech Award of Merit Recipients [7]
Year Recipient(s)
1930/1931 (4th)
1936 (9th)
  • To Douglas Shearer and the MGM Studio Sound Department "for the development of a practical two-way horn system and a biased Class A push-pull recording system"
1937 (10th)
1940 (13th)
1949 (22nd)
  • To Eastman Kodak Company "for the development and introduction of an improved safety base motion picture film"
1952 (25th)
  • To Eastman Kodak Company for the introduction of Eastman color negative and Eastman color print film
  • To Ansco Film Division of General Aniline and Film Corporation for the introduction of Ansco color negative and Ansco color print film
1953 (26th)
  • To Professor Henri Chretien and Earl Sponable, Sol Halprin, Lorin Grignon, Herbert Bragg, and Carl Faulkner of 20th Century Fox-Studios "for creating, developing, and engineering the equipment, processes, and techniques known as CinemaScope"
  • To Fred Waller "for designing and developing the multiple photographic and projection systems which culminated in Cinerama"
1954 (27th)
1955 (28th)
  • To the National Carbon Co. "for the development and production of a high efficiency yellow flame carbon for motion picture color photography"
1957 (30th)
  • To the Todd-AO Corp. and Westrex Corp. "for developing a method of producing and exhibiting wide-film motion pictures known as the Todd-AO system"
  • To the Motion Picture Research Council "for the design and development of a high efficiency projection screen for drive-in theaters"
1964 (37th)
1968 (41st)
  • To Philip V. Palmquist of Minnesota Mining and Manufacture Co., to Herbert Meyer of the Motion Picture and Television Research Center, and to Charles D. Staffell of the Rank Organization "for the development of a successful embodiment of the reflex background projection system for composite cinematography"
  • To Eastman Kodak Company "for the development and introduction of a color reversal intermediate film for motion pictures"
1977 (50th)
1978 (51st)
1979 (52nd)
  • To Mark Serrurier "for the progressive development of the Moviola from the 1924 invention of his father, Iwan Serrurier, to the present Series 20 sophisticated film editing equipment"
1980 (53rd)
  • To Linwood G. Dunn, Cecil D. Love, and AcmeTool and Manufacturing Company "for the concept, engineering, and development of the Acme-Dunn Optical Printer for motion picture special effects"
1981 (54th)
  • To Fuji Film Photo Company, Ltd. "for the research, development, and introduction of a new Ultra-high-speed color negative film for motion pictures"
1982 (55th)
1983 (56th)
  • To Kurt Larche of Osram GmbH "for the research and development of xenon short-arc discharge lamps for motion picture projection"
1987 (60th)
  • To Bernard Kuhl, and Werner Block, and to the Osram GmbH Research and Development Department "for the invention and continuing improvement of the Osram HMI light source for motion picture photography"
1988 (61st)
1990 (63rd)
  • To Eastman Kodak Company "for the development of T-Grain technology and the introduction of EXR color negative films which utilize this technology"
1992 (65th)
  • To Chadwell O’Connor of the O'Connor Engineering Laboratories "for the concept and engineering of the fluid-damped camera head for motion picture photography"
1993 (66th)
  • To Panavision for the Auto Panatar anamorphic photographic lens
  • To Manfred G. Michelson of Technical Film Systems, Incorporated, "for the design and development of the first sprocket-driven film transport system for color print film processors which permits transport speeds in excess of 600 feet per minute"
1994 (67th)
  • To Petro Vlahos and Paul Vlahos "for the conception and development of the Ultimatte Electronic Blue Screen Compositing Process for motion pictures
  • To the Eastman Kodak Company for the development of the Eastman EXR Color Intermediate Film 5244"
1996 (69th)
  • To IMAX Corporation "for the method of filming and exhibiting high-fidelity, large-format, wide-angle motion pictures"
1997 (70th)
  • To Gunnar P. Michelson "for the engineering and development of an improved, electronic, high-speed, precision light valve for use in motion picture printing machines"
1998 (71st)
  • To Avid Technology, Inc., "for the concept, system design, and engineering of the Avid Film Composer for motion picture editing"
2000 (73rd)
2002 (75th)
  • To Alias/Wavefront "for the development of a 3D animation, dynamics, modeling, and rendering production tool known as Maya"
  • To Arnold & Richter Cine Technik and Panavision, Inc., "for their continuing development and innovation in the design and manufacturing of advanced camera systems specifically designed for the motion picture entertainment industry"
2003 (76th)
  • To Digidesign "for the design, development, and implementation of the ProTools digital audio workstation"
  • To Bill Tondreau of Kuper Controls "for his significant advancements in the field of motion picture control technology for motion picture visual effects"
2004 (77th)
  • To Horst Burbulla "for the invention and continuing development of the Technocrane telescoping camera crane"
  • To Jean-Marie Lavalou, Alain Masseron, and David Samuelson "for the engineering and development of the Louma Camera Crane and remote system for motion picture production"
2007 (80th)
  • To the Eastman Kodak Company "for the development of photographic emulsion technologies incorporated into the Kodak Vision2 family of color negative films"
2011 (84th)
  • To Franz Kraus. Johannes Steurer, and Wolfgang Riedel "for the design and development of the ARRILASER film recorder"
2012 (85th)
  • To Cooke Optics Limited "for their continuing innovation in the design, development and manufacture of advanced camera lenses that have helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century."
2013 (86th)
  • To all those who built and operated film laboratories, "for over a century of service to the motion picture industry"
2014 (87th)
2017 (90th)
  • To Mark Elendt and SideFX Software for the creation and development of the Houdini visual effects and animation system

Scientific and Engineering Award

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2022)

The Scientific and Engineering Award is given for scientific achievements that produce a definite influence on the advancement of the motion picture industry. Achievements need not have been developed and introduced during the award year.

Scientific and Engineering Award Recipients
Year Recipient(s)
2005 (78th)[9]
  • To Anatoliy Kokush for the concept and development of the Cascade series of motion picture cranes.
  • To Anatoliy Kokush, Oleksiy Zolotarov for the concept and development of the Russian Arm gyro-stabilized camera crane and the Flight Head.
  • To David Baraff, Michael Kass, Andy Witkin for their pioneering work in physically-based computer-generated techniques used to simulate realistic cloth in motion pictures.
  • To Garrett Brown for the original concept of the Skycam flying camera system - the first use of 3D volumetric cable technology for motion picture cinematography.
  • To Laurie Frost, Peter Hannan for the development of the remote camera head known as the Hot-Head.
  • To (unknown person(s)), for the concept and mechanical design (Grober) and for the electronic and software design (Lewallen) of the Perfect Horizon camera stabilization head.

Technical Achievement Award

Main article: Academy Award for Technical Achievement

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "History of the Scientific & Technical Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2017-12-02. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  2. ^ a b c "About (Sci-Tech Awards)". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2017-12-02. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  3. ^ Josh Rottenberg (February 12, 2017). "The jokes, the scene (oh, and the winners) at the film academy's Scientific and Technical Awards". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 20, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  4. ^ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation". Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Archived from the original (Web) on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  5. ^ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Gordon E. Sawyer Award". Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Archived from the original (Web) on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  6. ^ Scientific and Engineering Award (archived from the original on 2008-07-05). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences official website (archived). Retrieved 2017-02-27. "If an achievement has had a definite influence on the advancement of the industry, it may qualify for a Scientific and Engineering Award (a bronze tablet with the name of the award in raised lettering, and a representation of the Oscar statuette in bas relief to one side of the plaque). Affixed to the base is a plate engraved with a description of the achievement and the names of the contributors."
  7. ^ "AMPAS database". Archived from the original on 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2015-03-05.
  8. ^ And the Oscar goes to... Archived 2019-05-31 at the Wayback Machine, IEEE Spectrum, 2 April 2001.
  9. ^ "The Official Academy Awards Database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 4 December 2022.