SMPTE® announced the group of industry leaders and innovators who will be honored at this year’s SMPTE Awards Gala. Scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24, the gala and afterparty will serve as the concluding events of the SMPTE 2019 Annual Conference (SMPTE 2019) at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. SMPTE Fellow elevations will be conferred at the SMPTE 2019 Fellows Luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
“The SMPTE Awards Gala is a significant annual event because it recognizes industry leaders of the past, present, and future,” said SMPTE President Patrick Griffis, vice president of technology in the Office of the CTO at Dolby Laboratories. “Every person who will be honored at the gala has in some way made a substantial contribution to the ongoing advancement of media and entertainment technology. It’s always exciting to share the room with such a remarkable and accomplished group of individuals.”
Awards Gala guests will receive red carpet treatment as they make their way to the reception, which will be followed by dinner and the awards presentation in the California Ballroom. Of these awards, Honorary Membership is the Society’s highest accolade. It recognizes individuals who have performed distinguished service in the advancement of engineering in motion pictures, television, or the allied arts and sciences.
This year, SMPTE will bestow two such honors. The Society will recognize Paul Kellar for being the leading inventor of a wide range of technologies and products in the areas of digital video processing, digital image storage, electronic graphics creation, still-image storage and processing, and image manipulation. SMPTE also will recognize Roderick Snell for his contributions and leadership, with more than 40 years as an author, broadcast engineer, and international consultant.
The Progress Medal is the most prestigious SMPTE award, and it recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the progress of the engineering phases of the motion-picture, television, or motion-imaging industries. SMPTE will present the 2019 Progress Medal to Cristina Gomila Torres for her leadership and ongoing contributions to the motion-picture and media industry.
The Camera Origination and Imaging Medal recognizes significant technical achievements related to inventions or advances in imaging technology, including sensors, imaging processing electronics, and the overall embodiment and application of image-capture devices. Paul K. Weimer (1914–2005) will be recognized for his career, which spanned modern electronic imaging and sensor development.
The David Sarnoff Medal, sponsored by SRI International, recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of new techniques or equipment that have improved the engineering phases of television technology, including large-venue presentations. The award will be presented to Michelle Munson for the co-invention and development of the Fast and Secure Protocol (FASP) technology for media acceleration, which has greatly affected the distribution and transmission of digital media through high-speed file transfer.
The Excellence in Education Medal, sponsored by William C. Miller and Ellen Sontag-Miller, recognizes outstanding contributions to new or unique educational programs that teach the technologies of motion pictures, television, or other imaging sciences, including emerging media technology. Elizabeth Daley will receive the award in recognition of her three decades of pioneering leadership as dean of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
The Digital Processing Medal recognizes significant technical achievements related to the development of digital processing of content for cinema, television, games, or other related media. Gary J. Sullivan will receive the award in recognition of his innovation and industry leadership in image and video compression.
The James A. Lindner Archival Technology Medal, sponsored by James A. Lindner, recognizes significant technical advancements or contributions related to the invention or development of technology, techniques, workflows, or infrastructure for the long-term storage, archive, or preservation of media content essence. The 2019 award will be presented to Ralph Sargent in recognition of his more than four decades of contributions to the preservation of motion pictures.
The Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal, sponsored by Warner Bros., recognizes outstanding contributions in the design and development of new and improved methods and/or apparatus for motion-picture sound, at any step in the process. The award will be presented to Walter Murch in recognition of the meticulous level of research and development that he brings to the science of human perception, enabling his art to take full experiential advantage of new technology.
The Workflow Systems Medal, sponsored by Leon D. Silverman, recognizes outstanding contributions related to the development and integration of workflows, such as integrated processes, end-to-end systems, or industry ecosystem innovations that enhance creativity, collaboration, and efficiency, or novel approaches to the production, postproduction, or distribution process. The award will be presented to Anne Aaron in recognition of her leadership, research, and pioneering work in the field of cloud-based video coding for streaming.
The Journal Award is presented to the author of the most outstanding paper originally published in the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal during the preceding calendar year. This year’s award will be presented to Elizabeth Pieri and Jaclyn Pytlarz for their article “Hitting the Mark — A New Color Difference Metric for HDR and WCG Imagery,” published in the April 2018 issue of the Journal.
The Journal Certificate of Merit will be presented to Kenichiro Masaoka, Kazuyuki Arai, and Yoshiro Takiguchi for their article “Realtime Measurement of Ultrahigh-Definition Camera Modulation Transfer Function,” published in the November/December 2018 issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.
The Presidential Proclamation recognizes individuals of established and outstanding status and reputation in the motion-picture, television, and motion-imaging industries worldwide. Peter A. Dare will receive the award in recognition of his longtime dedication to the Society and more than 40 years of service to the standards community.
The Excellence in Standards Award recognizes individuals or companies that have been actively involved in advancing the Society’s standards, activities, and processes. Paul Gardiner will receive this award in recognition of his long and outstanding service to the standards community. He has used his broad knowledge of technology, procedures, and global activities along with his pragmatic, common-sense approach to problem-solving to help foster the Society’s outstanding reputation among standards bodies.
The Citation for Outstanding Service to the Society, which recognizes individuals for dedicated service for the betterment of the Society over a sustained period, will be conferred upon five SMPTE Members:
Allan Schollnick, in recognition of more than 30 years of service to the Hollywood Section, including multiple terms as section manager, secretary/treasurer, and chair.
John Wesley Shike, in recognition of his efforts to recruit and engage SMPTE Student Members and young professionals.
Rick Singer, in recognition of his contributions to the production and growth of the Washington, DC, Section’s Bits by the Bay conference.
Andrew King, in recognition of his contributions to the SMPTE Australia Section, in particular, the biennial conference.
John Lock, in recognition of his contributions to the SMPTE Australia Section and his proactive approach to section management over the past five years.
The Student Paper Award recognizes the outstanding paper prepared and submitted by a Student Member. The 2019 award will be presented to Oscar Eduardo Estrada Torrejon and Nicholas Peretti, students at Rochester Institute of Technology, for their paper “Rotoscope Automation with Deep Learning,” which will be published in the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.
The Louis F. Wolf Jr. Memorial Scholarship is designed to assist students in furthering their undergraduate or graduate studies in motion pictures and television, with an emphasis on technology. The 2019 scholarship will be awarded to SMPTE Student Member Adam C. Burke, who attends Rochester Institute of Technology.
Fifteen new SMPTE Fellows will also be recognized during the Annual Awards Gala. This honor is conferred on individuals who have, through their proficiency and contributions to the motion-picture, television, or related industries, attained an outstanding rank among engineers or executives in media and entertainment. The new SMPTE Fellows are:
Peter T. Adamiak
Sean T. McCarthy
Jeffrey Charles Riedmiller
Michael Douglas Smith
James Patrick Snyder
John J. Turner
Brian A. Vessa
Tickets for the SMPTE Annual Awards Gala are limited. Those registering for SMPTE 2019 may elect to purchase tickets to the Annual Awards Gala as an add-on to their conference packages or as a stand-alone purchase.