Paul Debevec to Be Honored by Motion Picture and TV Engineers

Debevec, whose work has contributed to films such as 'Avatar,' will receive the Progress Medal at SMPTE’s annual awards ceremony.
Courtesy of SMPTE

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers will present Paul E. Debevec with its most prestigious award, the Progress Medal, at its Oct. 26 awards ceremony during the SMPTE Technical Conference & Exhibition at Loews Hollywood Hotel.

The Medal recognizes Debevec’s achievements and ongoing work in techniques for illuminating CG objects based on measurement of real-world illumination and their application in films such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, District 9 and Avatar. He's currently senior staff engineer at GoogleVR, an adjunct research professor at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies, and co-chair of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Science & Technology Council.

Also during the ceremony, Renville “Ren” H. McMann Jr. will be posthumously named to the SMPTE Honor Roll. His many innovations include the CBS Minicam Mark VI, the first handheld color TV camera; and the magnetic scan conversion techniques used by NASA to bring color TV images from the moon to viewers around the world.

SMPTE honorees include David S. Corley, who will receive the Camera Origination and Imaging Medal for his work in measurement and calibration tools; Phillip Bennett, who will be awarded the David Sarnoff Medal for broadcasting developments such as the Ampex Digital Optics digital video effects system; and Michael A. Isnardi, who gets the Digital Processing Medal for his contributions to digital video delivery systems, including video encoding.

Honorees include James M. Reilly, who receives the James A. Lindner Archival Technology Medal, sponsored by James A. Linder, for extensive image preservation work; Mark Robert Gander, who will be awarded the Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal, sponsored by Warner Bros., for his contributions to motion picture sound; Joseph Goldstone, who receives the Technicolor – Herbert T. Kalmus Medal, sponsored by Technicolor, for his work in color science, which has included contributions to the AMPAS Academy Color Encoding System and current work on digital image processing for the Alexa camera at ARRI; and Randy Ubillos, who will be awarded the Workflow Systems Medal, sponsored by Leon Silverman, for his contributions to designing low-cost editing software such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere..

During the ceremony, the Presidential Proclamation will be presented to industry vet Mark Schubin, whose work currently involves the broadcasting of Metropolitan Opera productions to cinemas and televisions. The Excellence in Standards Award will go to Johann Safar in recognition of his participation in SMPTE’s standards work, such as Time Code, for more than 30 years.

SMPTE staffer Elizabeth “Betty” Migliore will receive a Society Citation recognizing her 45 years of service to SMPTE and her contributions to the standards program.

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