By Ray Pride



August 15, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that 21 scientific and technical achievements, 16 distinct investigations, have been selected for further awards consideration.

The list is made public to allow individuals and companies with similar devices or claims of prior art the opportunity to submit achievements for review.

The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday, August 26, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

The committee has selected the following technologies for further consideration:

  • Portable, remote-controlled telescoping camera columns Prompted by MAT-TOWERCAM TWIN PEEK (MAT – Mad About Technology)
  • Drivable, high-speed vehicle platforms Prompted by THE BISCUIT JR. (Allan Padelford Camera Cars)
  • Neutral density filters that remove infrared contamination Prompted by INFRARED NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER TECHNOLOGY (Tiffen Company)
  • Lightweight, prime lens sets for high-resolution cameras Prompted by LEICA SUMMILUX-C PRIME LENS SERIES (CW Sonderoptic)
  • Optical audio transfer processes Prompted by CHACE OPTICAL SOUND PROCESSOR (Deluxe)
  • Enabling technology of digital cinema projectors Prompted by TEXAS INSTRUMENTS DLP CINEMA TECHNOLOGY (Texas Instruments)
  • Interactive blend shape modeling and manufacturing Prompted by LAIKA RAPID PROTOTYPING AND FACIAL ANIMATION TECHNOLOGY (LAIKA, Inc.) and ILM SHAPE SCULPTING SYSTEM (ILM)
  • Measurement toolsets for quality control of cinematic experience Prompted by LSS-100P (Ultra-Stereo Labs)
  • Displays providing suitable visual reference for feature film review Prompted by SONY TRIMASTER EL ORGANIC LIGHT EMITTING DIODE PICTURE MONITORS (Sony Pictures Imageworks)
  • Collaborative, enhanceable image playback and review systems Prompted by RV MEDIA PLAYER (Tweak Software)
  • High-resolution motion capture techniques for deforming objects Prompted by MOVA (MOVA) and GEOMETRY TRACKER (ILM)
  • Systems for interactive grooming and direct-manipulation of digital hair Prompted by BARBERSHOP (Weta Digital)
  • Systems for placing, grooming and resolving collisions of digital feathers Prompted by DREAMWORKS FEATHER SYSTEM (DreamWorks Animation)
  • Systems for modeling, animation and rendering of digital vegetation Prompted by SPEEDTREE (IDV)
  • Digital technologies for high-density physical destruction simulation Prompted by DROP DESTRUCTION TOOLKIT (Digital Domain) and FINITE ELEMENT DESTRUCTION MODELING (UC Berkeley) and ODIN – UNIFIED HPC MULTI-PHYSICS SIMULATION PLATFORM (Weta Digital)
  • Efficient volumetric data formats Prompted by FIELD 3D (Sony Pictures Imageworks) and VDB: HIGH-RESOLUTION SPARSE VOLUMES WITH DYNAMIC TOPOLOGY (DreamWorks Animation)

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in early December to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The 2014 Scientific and Technical Awards will be presented on Saturday, February 7, 2015.

Claims of prior art or similar technology must be submitted on the Academy’s website at  For further information, contact the Awards Administration Office at (310) 247-3000, ext. 1129, or via e-mail at

The Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.  The Oscars presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.


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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon