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Academy Scientific and Technical Award

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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. 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. The Awards are presented at a formal dinner ceremony a couple weeks before the principal Academy Awards ceremony.


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.

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.

Three kinds of Scientific and Technical Awards

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

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

Award of Merit

So far, 44 achievements have been recognized by the Award of Merit. Among the organizations and milestones that have been recognized are:

  • Eastman Kodak for safety film, color negative and print film, color reversal intermediate film, and T-grain films;
  • Vistavision;
  • Matte composite cinematography;
  • Moviola;
  • Nagra sound recorder;
  • Xenon arc lamp;
  • Dolby sound;
  • Ultimatte's first software product, developed by Petro and Paul Vlahos;
  • Imax;
  • Deep Canvas; a program developed at Walt Disney Feature Animation for three-dimensional painted backgrounds
  • Maya animation software;
  • Renderman rendering software;
  • Avid technology;
  • Digidesign audio post production;
  • Kuper Motion Controls, developed by founder of Kuper Controls, Bill Tondreau, and others; and
  • Panavision and Arri film cameras;
  • CAPS digital animation technology jointly developed by Walt Disney Feature Animation and Pixar Animation Studios;
  • Henson Performance Control System animatronic puppetry technology developed by The Jim Henson Company.
  • Scientific and Engineering Award

    See footnote.


    Academy Scientific and Technical Award Wikipedia