A team from ARRI traveled to Los Angeles to collect an AMPAS Scientific and Engineering Award that recognizes the development of the ALEXA digital camera system
On February 11, 2017, in the ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles (USA), the 89 annual Scientific and Technical Awards presentation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) took place. With its Sci-Tech Awards, the organization recognizes outstanding achievements within the motion picture industry.
This year’s prizewinners list includes the German company ARRI. The manufacturer of technology for the film industry was honored with a Scientific and Engineering Award for the forward-looking concept and innovative technology of its Super 35 format ALEXA digital camera system. This prestigious accolade is the 19 Scientific and Technical Award presented to ARRI over the course of its 100-year history.
ALEXA was introduced to the market in 2010, quickly becoming the most trusted and widely used digital camera system for professional film and television production worldwide. With highly upgradeable system architecture, ALEXA has evolved through software updates and hardware upgrades to keep pace with the industry's rapidly changing needs. For the last five years, every film to win the Academy Award® for “Best Cinematography” has been captured with ALEXA.
The Academy citation states: "With an intuitive design and appealing image reproduction, achieved through close collaboration with filmmakers, ARRI's ALEXA cameras were among the first digital cameras widely adopted by cinematographers."
Members of the project team traveled to Los Angeles to participate in the celebration and to collect the award, which takes the form of an Academy Plaque. Among them was Franz Kraus, the ARRI AG Executive Board member responsible for technology. “We thank the Academy for this major honor on our 100-year anniversary,” says Kraus. “We see this distinction as an incentive to further push our research and development to higher levels. We want to respond to changing customer demands with future-oriented, innovative solutions and to develop camera systems and technologies that support film and program makers to realize their creative dreams.”
Stephan Schenk, Managing Director – alongside Walter Trauninger – of ARRI Cine Technik GmbH & Co. Betriebs KG and responsible for the Business Unit Camera Systems, says: “We are thankful for all the feedback that we received from cinematographers and other members of the film industry globally. This helped us tremendously with constantly improving the ALEXA range over the last seven years. We are very pleased that, besides the technological aspects, our close cooperation with the industry and the resulting high market penetration have been honored by the Academy.”
Ray Feeney, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee, comments: “This year we are particularly pleased to be able to honor not only a wide range of new technologies, but also the pioneering digital cinema cameras that helped facilitate the widespread conversion to electronic image capture for motion picture production. With their outstanding, innovative work, these technologists, engineers and inventors have significantly expanded filmmakers' creative choices for moving image storytelling.”
Unlike the televised Academy Awards®, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards do not need to have been developed and introduced during the previous year. Rather, they must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the whole film industry.
Pictures: Courtesy of AMPAS (1), ARRI (3)