Digital visual effects pioneer Gary Demos will receive this year’s Gordon E. Sawyer Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Co-founder of the “Motion Picture Project” at Information International, which produced computer generated scenes for Disney’s Tron, Demos will accept the Oscar statuette during the Feb. 18 Scientific and Technical Awards Dinner at The Beverly Hilton.
Demos has been investigating scientific issues in the motion picture industry for more than 30 years, a distinguished career that earned him a lot of Academy recognition. In 1984, he 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. His second Scientific and Engineering Award came a decade later for his groundbreaking work in the field of film input scanning (with Dan Cameron, David DiFrancesco, Gary Starkweather and Scott Squires). 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.
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.
He is now 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 and will be the 19th recipient of the Gordon E. Sawyer Award.
Clips of the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony will air during the 78th Academy Awards, which will be broadcast on ABC on March 5 at 5 p.m., from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.