Hollywood Post Alliance Awards spotlight industry


Come awards season, Hollywood has any number of ways to bestow honor on stars behind the screen and behind the camera. But there are fewer honors handed out to excellence that normally hides in the edit suite or behind a soundboard.

But on Nov. 6, the spotlight turns for the third time on a different set of the industry's best and brightest, as the Hollywood Post Alliance holds its third annual awards ceremony at L.A.'s Skirball Cultural Center.

"Increasingly and necessarily, content is being created in what used to be called postproduction, in editorial, DI, visual effects, sound," says HPA co-founder Leon Silverman. "This is a way for the post industry to celebrate its own and, for the rest of the industry, a way to illuminate the power of postproduction."

The awards encompass 12 categories, including outstanding achievements in color grading, audio, editing and compositing. The evening's agenda also includes the Engineering Excellence Awards, which this year honor Quantel for its Pablo stereoscopic 3-D system; FastSoft for its E Series Internet accelerator; and Panasonic for its AVC-Intra 100 video codec.

Additionally, HFP presents its first Charles S. Swartz Award this year. From 2002-06, Swartz led the Entertainment Technology Center, which became the central testing facility for the creation of Digital Cinema standards and helped establish the ETC at USC as an educational center for entertainment professionals. The award will go to Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

"As the first recipient, Elizabeth has influenced the industry in a way that is unusual for an academic institution," Silverman says. "The work she did to create and support the ETC and the Institute for Creative Technologies make her a worthy recipient of the first-ever award and an honor to Charles' memory."

The annual lifetime achievement award honors Ron Burdett, who headed up the iconic postproduction facility Sunset Digital for over 25 years and was a founding member of HPA. Burdett also played a leading role in the creation and growth of HPA's predecessor organization, the International Teleproduction Society (ITS) and was president of ITS at a critical time in the industry.

Finally, HPA's slate includes the presentation of the first Certificate Award for Thinking and Innovation (not to be confused with the Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation). "We found there were ideas, processes and techniques worthy of recognition that weren't commercially available," Silverman says. "It was a way for us to recognize that workflow innovations aren't necessarily offered by a manufacturer."

After three years of awards, Silverman says the HPA has another achievement worth recognizing -- its international reach. "We're getting submissions from all over the world," he says. "One of the distinguishing characteristics of the HPA Award is that it is open to outside the geographic Hollywood industry. We want to reach out and celebrate postproduction worldwide."