Los Angeles (United States), 25 Feb. The Hollywood Academy recognized this Friday with the honorary Gordon E. Sawyer award, which takes the form of a conventional Oscar, the four decades of legacy of lens and optical systems designer Iain Neil.

The professional film industry veteran was recognized at the Hollywood Academy Science and Engineering Awards, held at the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles on a day marked by heavy rain.

“Camera technology will continue to evolve, but all images will continue to depend on the lens,” the designer said as he picked up the golden statuette.

The Gordon E. Sawyer Award is given to individuals whose technological contributions have brought prestige to the motion picture industry.

Neil, who has already received 12 awards from the Hollywood Academy throughout his career, developed lenses for films such as “Titanic” (1997) or “Minority Report” (2002).


Likewise, the Science and Technology Awards were presented this year for the first time in person since 2019 with Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”) as emcee.

These awards, which recognize the most innovative breakthroughs in the industry and do not necessarily recognize milestones reached the previous year, have been diversified into nine different categories and have been awarded to twenty different professionals.

For her part, the president of the Academy, Janet Yang, opened the event and defined the nomination as “a triumphant return” for the personalities rewarded in this edition.

This year, Howard Jensen, Danny Cangemi and John Frazier received awards for developing a system used to simulate rain scenes on set.

Additionally, Mark Hills, Jim Vanns, and Matt Chambers were honored for their contributions to render farm design.

“The essence of a render farm is to manage the massive amount of imagery, data, and scale coming from the various special effects processes,” Hills explained upon accepting the award.

Among others, prizes were also awarded to Sébastien Deguy, Christophe Soum, Sylvain Paris and Nicolas Wirrmann for the creation of a new 3D imaging design system; and David Eberle, Theodore Kim, Fernando de Goes and Audrey Wong, for animation simulation software used in films like “Coco” or “Turning Red”.

Finally, a special mention was made to Ryan Laney, inventor of a facial technology which works by artificial intelligence and makes it possible to protect the identity of individuals who appear in the background during journalistic reports or in documentary formats. EFE



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