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Academy to Honor Douglas Trumbull With Gordon E. Sawyer Award

Film and effects pioneer will receive honorary Oscar statuette at Tech Ceremony

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Academy to Honor Douglas Trumbull With Gordon E. Sawyer Award

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted the Gordon E. Sawyer Award to visionary filmmaker Douglas Trumbull.

credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Updated January 28, 2012

No more "silent running" for Douglas Trumbull -- looks like the distinguished director and effects pioneer is being honored by the Academy. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that is, which has this year voted to give the Gordon E. Sawyer Award to Trumbull. Trumbull is a visionary filmmaker who has worked as a designer, director, inventor and entrepreneur, and the award from the Academy honors his lifetime of technical contributions and leadership in the motion picture industry.

The award, an Oscar® statuette, will be presented to Trumbull at the Scientific and Technical Awards presentation on Saturday, February 11, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Over more than four decades, Trumbull has distinguished himself as a visual effects pioneer in (primarily) the science fiction and fantasy film genre, with major contributions to such classic films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Andromeda Strain, Silent Running, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek - The Motion Picture, Blade Runner and Tree of Life.

A Distinguished Career

In the course of his work, Trumbull created, developed or improved numerous filmmaking techniques and tools. These include slit-scan photography, process photography, miniature compositing, interpositive matte painting, large-format filming, high frame rate photography and projection, synchronized multiscale filming, motion control photography, virtual reality systems, interactive motion simulators and digital cinema. He has been awarded more than a dozen related patents.

In 1975, Trumbull founded Future General Corporation, a research and special effects house that not only served as a training ground for many leading filmmakers and visual effects artists, but fostered several related companies as well.

Trumbull has earned three Academy Award® nominations for Visual Effects and received a Scientific and Engineering Award in 1992 as part of the design team for the CP-65 Showscan Camera System for 65mm motion picture photography.

About the Gordon E. Sawyer Award

Established in 1981, the Gordon E. Sawyer Award is presented to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry." Trumbull will be the 23rd recipient of the award since its inception.

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