CGI pioneer Gary Demos will receive the first Oscar this year when Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors him with the Gordon E. Sawyer Award. Longtime sound editor Don Hall will be awarded a John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation. The Oscar statuette and Bonner medallion will be presented at the Scientific and Technical Awards Dinner on Feb. 18, 2006, at The Beverly Hilton.
Demos has pursued the investigation of scientific issues in the motion picture industry for more than 30 years. "He's been involved in many different scientific disciplines throughout his extended career and has always been looking to the future," said Academy president Sid Ganis.
In 1984, Demos received his first Scientific and Engineering Award (with John Whitney, Jr.) for the practical simulation of motion picture photography by means of computer-generated images. A decade later, Demos was awarded his second Scientific and Engineering Award (with Dan Cameron, David DiFrancesco, Gary Starkweather and Scott Squires) for his groundbreaking work in the field of film input scanning.
In 1995, the Academy honored him with a Technical Achievement Award (with David Ruhoff, Dan Cameron and Michelle Feraud) for his efforts in the creation of the Digital Productions Digital Film Compositing System.
Demos, along with Whitney, established the "Motion Picture Project" at Information International to produce computer-generated simulated scenes for such movies as FUTUREWORLD, LOOKER and TRON.
In 1988, Demos established DemoGraFX, a technology research and computer and visual effects consulting company where he specialized in research relative to high performance cameras and digital compression based upon the discrete cosine transform.
Demos is working in the development of new wavelet-based and optimal-filter-based moving image compression technology for high bit-depth and high dynamic range.
A member of the Academy's visual effects branch since 2003, Demos serves on the Scientific and Technical committee.
Established in 1981, the Sawyer Award is "presented to an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry." Demos will be the 19th recipient of the Award.
In a career spanning five decades, Hall has worked on more than 90 films, including THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE FRENCH CONNECTION, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and A WALK IN THE CLOUDS. Hall headed the sound editing departments at 20th Century-Fox Studios, Walt Disney Studios, Quinn-Martin Prods. and Spelling Goldberg Prods., before establishing Don Hall Prods., an independent sound editing company.
An active member of the Academy since 1964, Hall was elected to the Board of Governors in 1981 and has served four three-year terms since then. Hall has served for many years as a member of both the Sound Branch and the Scientific and Technical Awards Committees. He has chaired the Sound Editing Awards Rules Committee, and is the current chair of the Student Academy Awards Executive Committee.
Don has been ubiquitous around the Academy at anything relating to technology and especially to the art and science of motion picture sound serving on the board of governors, hosting public programs, attending committee meetings of all sorts and personally supporting the Academy Foundation's many programs," said Ganis.
Named in honor of the late director of special projects at Warner Hollywood Studios, the John A. Bonner Medal is awarded for "outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."
Segments of the Scientific and Technical Awards presentation will be broadcast during the 78th Academy Awards.