Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Hands Out Its Awards

The Hollywood Sign - H 2015
Courtesy of RexUSA

With a nod to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers' (SMPTE) upcoming 2016 centennial, Canon's Laurence Thorpe got a big laugh when he exclaimed "It's not true that I joined SMPTE in 1916," during SMPTE's annual award ceremony, Thursday at Loews Hollywood Hotel.

Thorpe was one of two who were awarded Honorary Membership during the ceremony, receiving a standing ovation for a careers that spanned work at companies incuding RCA, Sony and currently Canon; and for pioneering work in areas including high definition television and digital cinematography. "It's been just incredible and every step of the way I was surrounded by a team and was standing on the shoulders of giants," he said.

Noting that his current "passion" is development of high dynamic range capabilities, Thorpe concluded, "it's been a wild ride and it's not over yet."

Also receiving a standing ovation and Honorary Membership was SMPTE past president and DuArt chairman Irwin W. Young. Looking back he remarked that "a lot of the members of the society were at competitive companies, but we shared information for the quality of the product."

SMPTE's a close-knit community, and each year the awards celebration concludes its annual conference.

Thursday's honorees included Disney vp of postproduction technology Annie Chang, who received the Workflow Systems Medal for work in areas including early DVD authoring and more recently the Interoperable Master Format.

FilmLight's Wolfgang Lempp received the Technicolor/Herbert T. Kalmus Medal Award, which was presented by Technicolor Production Services president Tim Sarnoff.

Also honored were James A. Lindner, who received the Archival Technology Medal Award; Birney Dayton, the David Sarnoff Medal Award; Stan Moote, the Digital Processing Medal; Sripal Mehta and Harold Hallikainen, the Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal Award; and David L. Long, the Kodak Educational Award.

SMPTE also recognized 15 who were elevated to the rank of Fellow. They are aforementioned Chang, Paul Chapman, Jim Houston, Peter Fasciano, Simon Fell, William T. Hayes, Larry J. HornbeckToshiaki Kojima, Sara J. Kudrle, Karl Joseph Kuhn, Kenneth Michel, Delbert R. Parks III, Michael Strein, Giles Wilson and Peter A. Wilson.

During the ceremony, the late Oscar Byram (O.B.) Hanson, who spend his career at RCA and NBC, was named to the SMPTE Honor Roll.