Steadicam Inventor Garrett Brown Feted at Engineering Emmys

Steadicam Inventor Garrett Brown - H 2015

The Television Academy's 67th Engineering Emmy Awards was like "looking out to a room full of Seth Rogen's character from the Steve Jobs movie," enthused Josh Brener of HBO’s Silicon Valley, who hosted the ceremony, Wednesday evening at Loews Hollywood Hotel.

Highlighting the event with a standing ovation, Garrett Brown, the inventor of the widely used Steadicam camera stabilization system, received the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award. "This is an invention that doesn't do a damn thing by itself, but works wonderfully with a gifted [camera operator]," Brown said. "I've had fabulous help and great colleagues." He recognized a few, including Haskell Wexler, Steve Tiffen and the late Ed DiGiulio.

"There's nothing you have seen [on film since Brown started inventing] that hasn't been touched by his genius," said American Society of Cinematographers president Richard Crudo, who presented the award to Brown. "We are currently going through a period of great obsession with technology in the cinematography world, but we always must remember that the tools help us express [what's in the heart]. Garrett's tools allow us to express ourselves in a direct and human way. Until he came along, we couldn't do what he showed us to do."

Also during the evening, the Philo T. Farnsworth Award was presented to broadcast equipment manufacturer Grass Valley for its impact on television technology and engineering. "Grass Valley has evolved with television," said senior vp Mike Cronk, who accepted the award on behalf of the company. "We look forward to innovating with the industry into the future."

Recipients of Engineering Emmys are Mark Franken for EdiCue; Michael Sechrest, Chris King and Greg Croft for SpeedTree; and Zhou Wang, Alan BovikHamid Sheikh and Eero Simoncelli for the structural similarity video-quality measurement algorithm.