Television Academy Honors Arri, Debevec, 7 Technologies

The 74th Engineering, Science & Technology Awards included career honors for Arri and Paul E. Debevec, Ph.D., as well as Engineering Emmys for seven innovations.

Pictured: Arri Executive Board Chairman Matthias Erb, Ph.D., accepts the Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award with Arri Inc. President Glenn Kennel at the 74th Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Awards. (© Jordan Strauss/Invision for The Television Academy/AP Images)

The Television Academy presented seven Engineering Emmy Awards and saluted Arri and Paul E. Debevec, Ph.D., for their ongoing contributions to television technology at the 74th Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 28.

The ceremony, which can be viewed on the Television Academy website, was hosted by actress Kirsten Vangsness.

Arri was presented with the Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award, which honors an agency, company or institution whose contributions over time have significantly impacted television technology and engineering. 

Arri was cited for its more than a century of designing and manufacturing camera and lighting systems as well as systemic technological solutions and service networks for the film, broadcast and media industries. The company’s portfolio includes digital cameras, lenses, camera accessories, archive technologies, lamp heads and lighting accessories. Arri also provides camera, lighting and grip packages to professional productions around the world through Arri Rental. 

“On behalf of all Arri employees, I thank the Television Academy for this tremendous honor,” said Matthias Erb, Ph.D., chairman of the Arri Executive Board. “The Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award is a very special accolade since it recognizes the entire history of our company. Since its inception, Arri has been dedicated to creating the very best tools and solutions for the global production community. This award spurs us on to continue actively shaping the future of television.” 

Paul E. Debevec, Ph.D., the director of production innovation research for Netflix and an adjunct research professor at the University of Southern California, was presented with the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors a living individual whose ongoing contributions have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering. 

Debevec’s groundbreaking work in high-dynamic-range imaging, image-based lighting and photogrammetry makes it possible to record and reproduce the light of real scenes to illuminate virtual scenes and vice versa. HDRI is a mainstay of computer graphics and, combined with image-based lighting, has enabled realistic integration of existing live-action lighting in computer-rendered images. These tools and concepts are now a standard within the VFX industry for rendering. The concepts and the innovative use of LED lighting Debevec pioneered with the Light Stage have further laid the groundwork for the use of LED lighting in virtual production. 

Engineering Emmys are presented to an individual, company or organization for developments in engineering that are either so extensive an improvement on existing methods or so innovative in nature that they materially affect the production, recording, transmission or reception of television. 

This year’s recipients are: 

Mark Hills and Marc Bakos: Cleanfeed 

Cleanfeed is a high-fidelity “conference call” software with a focus on audio production. It enables collaboration with audio-quality equivalent to all participants being together in the same studio and with low latencies for smooth interaction between talent. Cleanfeed's innovative technology has advanced workflows in the industry, including being accessible to at-home engineers and talent who use a straightforward link in their web browser to enable full-scale TV and film postproduction. 

Disguise Systems Ltd.: Disguise Platform

The Disguise platform is an advancement in image processing that incorporates elements of video playback and real-time technology to improve interaction between CG elements, digital images and environments, physical actors, props and practical sets. The combination of the Disguise platform with LED walls and camera tracking enables real lighting information on actors (and real objects), support for reflective and refractive props, more natural shot lineups and a production environment wherein creative decisions can be made quickly and with improved collaboration. Utilizing real-time 3D visualization-based software and robust hardware, the tools in the platform seamlessly integrate and direct an array of technologies, including camera tracking and real-time content engines that incorporate analog physical space into a virtual digital world. 

Industrial Light & Magic: Stagecraft

ILM StageCraft is an end-to-end virtual-production tool suite that bridges the gap between practical physical production methodologies and traditional digital postproduction VFX by providing the ability to design, scout and light environments in advance of the shoot and then capture that vision in camera during principal photography. StageCraft brings together a real-time engine, a real-time renderer, high-quality color management, physical camera equipment, LED displays, motion-capture technologies, synchronization methodologies and tailored on-set user interfaces to digitally create the illusion of 3D backgrounds for live-action sets. 

Geoffrey Crawshaw and William Brinkley: Leostream

Leostream’s remote-access and desktop connection-management software enables news and entertainment organizations to create security-conscious remote production environments that are sustainable, performant and cost-effective. Its ability to mix and manage on-premises and cloud-based hosting platforms and support for multiple high-performance display protocols ensures the productivity of editors and production engineers while simplifying IT. The ability to manage disparate technologies from a single management and access platform enables organizations to advance the state of the art of their entire hosted desktop environment with an eye on integrating new technologies as they come to market. 

Shure Incorporated: Axient Digital

The Shure Axient Digital Wireless System equips audio production teams with the wireless capabilities necessary to deliver transparent, true, artifact-free audio for television and television broadcasts with the highest-performance radio frequency, exceptional audio quality, command and control, and hardware scalability necessary to tell stories seamlessly on the most demanding sets in the world. 

Sohonet: ClearView Pivot 

Sohonet’s ClearView Pivot is a real-time remote-collaboration tool with the flexibility to connect creative users at the click of a button, allowing the user to stream color-and frame-accurate footage in 4K HDR, 12-bit color depth and 4:4:4 chroma sampling in real time with ultra-low latency. From a single web interface (and without having to set up new firewall configurations for each usage), ClearView is able to efficiently connect numerous participants for multi-point review sessions. 

Stype Cajic, Andrija Cajic, Daniel Kruselj and Ivica Antolkovic: Stype 

The Stype suite of optical/tracking tools includes the first bolt-on mechanical tracking kit for camera cranes (StypeKit) that was used to retrofit existing cranes and transform them into virtual-production cranes (complete with lens data delivered to an ethernet interface), resulting in the simplification of setup procedures and implementation of lens-calibration procedures that eliminated graphics drift and, with the introduction of auto-aiming functionality, made VR shots smoother. Additionally, its optical-camera tracking system (RedSpy) produces a point cloud marker system used to calculate the position of the camera, which, in conjunction with StypeKit’s crane tracking, satisfies the most demanding needs of live productions. 

The Engineering, Science & Technology Emmys are made possible by Television Academy sponsors Kia America, Fiji Water, Franciacorta, Justin Vineyards & Winery, Ketel One Vodka, People magazine and United Airlines. 


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