Richard Glickman, Veteran of the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards Committee, Dies at 91

Richard B. Glickman_Center_Oscars 1964 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Katherine Moore

He designed lighting equipment, helped invent a fog machine and received the prestigious Bonner medal.

Richard Glickman, who served as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards Committee for more than 25 years, has died. He was 91.

Glickman died Feb. 18 in Sherman Oaks, Calif., his daughter, Katherine Moore, announced.

A consulting engineer and expert in the field of lighting and related technology for film, television and the stage, Glickman in 2003 was the recipient of the Academy's John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation, given "in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy."

Also that year, Glickman became a founding member of AMPAS' Science and Technology Council. And he was named a Science Fellow by the Academy in 2011 in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the art or science of motion pictures.

In 1999, Glickman donated journals, manuals and other technical materials from 1961 to 1985 that are now housed at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills.

Glickman and two colleagues were honored with an Academy technical award in 1964 for advancements in the design and application to motion picture photography of lighting units using quartz iodine lamps.

The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee annually investigates devices, processes and technologies for potential awards recognition. Serving on the committee "has been an endlessly fascinating journey and among the most enjoyable and satisfying experiences of my professional life," he said after accepting his Bonner trophy.

Glickman also wrote a column, "Tech Talk," for The Hollywood Reporter.

Born on Oct. 31, 1926, Glickman and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was a child. He attended William Burroughs Middle School and Dorsey High School, then received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA.

He enlisted at age 17 and served two years with the U.S. Army Air Corps, then returned to complete his advanced degree at UC Berkeley and UCLA in 1948.
Glickman used his engineering skills in the fields of rocket science, oil refining and gas-pilot safety before becoming chief engineer of ColorTran Industries in 1959. There, he directed innovations in lighting equipment that had a impact on news and entertainment production.

In 1971, Glickman launched his own company, Gliconen Corp., and served as a technical consultant to Robert Hagel, president of The Burbank Studios, helping to upgrade its facilities.

For New York-based Rosco Laboratories, Glickman established a global network of agents and distributors for the company's line of scenic materials and filters for production lighting. He also played a lead role in conceiving and designing a theatrical fog machine that became the industry standard.

Glickman independently developed a light meter specifically for cinematographers and designed, manufactured and marketed a line of studio electrical connectors, known as Stage Connectors, that became ubiquitous in the industry.

"It's all mechanical engineering," he once said. "The first thing you do is try to decide what it is you need to do, and then you kind of wrap things around it.… Each thing was its own solution to a problem."

Glickman also wrote and edited for the American Society of Cinematographers manual (he was a long-standing associate ASC member), presented technical papers for the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers and advocated for the inclusion of the scientific and technical community as a formal branch of the Academy.

Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Harriet; children Katherine, Paul and Simon; daughters-in-law Janetta and Julia; and grandsons Jesse, Jonah and Caleb. A memorial service is scheduled for May 12.