Academy begins investigation into technology

Looking at specific scientific and technical areas for awards possibility.

Karen Moltenbrey

The investigative stage has begun into 10 specific technical and scientific areas of innovation by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of the process leading up to the annual Scientific and Technical Awards. The investigations are publicized so that those with similar technology or products can alert the Academy.

This year, the SciTech Awards committee is looking into the following:

  • Post-process depth of field software
  • Mathematically lossless encoding of motion-picture camera raw files
  • Motor-stabilized motion-picture camera support systems for hand/body-supported operation
  • Interactive renderers that provide a representative approximation of final offline renders during postproduction
  • Volumetric surface reconstruction
  • Pattern-based 3D clothing creation software 
  • Layerable hierarchical 3D scene description frameworks
  • Digital image processing film restoration software utilized for theatrical rerelease and archival preservation
  • Onboard remote driving apparatus
  • Reusable cable-cutting devices for motion-picture squibs

A global committee of leading industry experts will be evaluating the ongoing evolution of motion-picture tools that empower the creators and storytellers in the industry. Companies and individuals have until Friday, July 28, at 5:00 pm PT to submit entries within the categories listed above. Following an in-depth investigation, the committee will meet in the fall and vote on its recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, who will make the final awards decisions.

The so-called SciTech Awards pay tribute to the discoveries and innovations that have contributed greatly to the advancement in the field of motion pictures. Scientific and technical achievement is awarded on three levels: Technical Achievement Award (certificate), Scientific and Engineering Award (bronze tablet), and Academy Award of Merit (Oscar statuette).

The Scientific and Technical Awards have been presented since the 4th Academy Awards in 1931, to recognize milestones in motion-picture production and exhibition. A separate dinner and ceremony honoring these recipients started with the 1977 Awards after they were revamped, and the dinner has been held yearly prior to the Academy Awards ever since. This year, the SciTech Awards dinner/presentation will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024. The Oscars will take place Sunday, March 10, 2024.