Engineering Emmys: Honoree Chris Cookson Says There's 'Still So Much to Do'

Sennheiser accepts Philo T. Farnsworth Award, as kudos go to companies including Aspera, Lightcraft, and YouTube.

Wendy Aylsworth, who is senior vp of technology at Warner Bros. Technical Operations, admitted that the awards committee that she chairs went behind committee member Chris Cookson’s back to vote to give him the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented Wednesday night at the Television Academy’s 65th Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel.

“I would have voted ‘no’ because I think ‘this guy hasn’t done enough yet, he’s just starting,” chuckled Cookson, who is president of Sony Pictures Technologies.

“There’s still so much to do,” said the exec, who has contributed to the digital transition in areas including cinema, cameras, and postproduction. “It's the people who make the opportunities.”

He thanked numerous colleagues, including Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton; former Sony Corp. chef Howard Stringer; and Charlie Steinberg, a longtime president of Sony Electronics (who attended the ceremony). He also gave a heartfelt thanks to the members of his family.

Also during the ceremony -- hosted by Person of Interest actress Sarah Shahi and also featuring a surprise visit from veteran actress June Lockhart -- co-CEOs Daniel and Andreas Sennheiser accepted the Philo T. Farnsworth Award on behalf of Sennheiser Electronic Corp., which was founded by their grandfather, Fritz, in 1945. The company manufactures audio technology products, including headphones, amplifiers and speakers. It received an Oscar in 1987 for its MKH 816 shotgun microphone, and in 1996 it received an Emmy Award for its advancements in RF wireless technology.

Engineering Emmys were awarded for five developments: YouTube; Aspera’s FASP transport technology; Josh C. Kline for Digital Dailies, the patented technology at the heart of DAXiZotope’s RX audio repair technology; and Lightcraft Technology’s Previzion Virtual Studio System.

Additionally, Engineering Plaques were presented to LAWO for its audio networking and routing system and to Final Draft for its screenwriting software.

Prior to joining Sony Pictures, Cookson was CTO of Warner Bros. Entertainment and president of Warner Bros. Technical Operations. Earlier, he served as vp and general manager of operations and engineering for the CBS Television Network. He also spent 10 years at the ABC Television Network, where he won an Emmy award for his work as director of the ABC and International Olympics Broadcast Centers.

Pictured above at the ceremony are (top, from left) Michelle Munson, Serban Simu, Eliot Mack, Philip Mass, Marc Madnick, Felix Krueckels, Sarah Shahi, Philipp Lawo, Herbert Lemcke, Jason Gaedtke, Steve Walter, Wendy Aylsworth. (bottom from left) Daniel Sennheiser, Andreas Sennheiser, June Lockhart, Chris Cookson, John C. Kline, and Mark Ethier.

Twitter: @CGinLA