Lens designer to get technical Oscar

Jan. 2, 2008 at 7:21 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- David Grafton will receive the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Oscar statuette, at the Scientific and Technical Awards dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., next month.

The Sawyer Award is presented each year "to an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry."

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said its Board of Governors chose to bestow the honor on Grafton, 83, because he was a pioneering designer of lenses for optical effects printers, which at the time of their development, were adopted by nearly every visual effects facility in the motion picture industry.

Working with such special effects companies as Industrial Light & Magic and Boss Film Studios, Grafton contributed to the production of numerous feature films, including "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Blade Runner."

"David's innovative designs have enabled audiences to see the 'impossible' on movie screens, and his work has dramatically improved the quality of visual effects in the motion picture industry," academy president Sid Ganis said in a statement.

The Scientific and Technical Awards dinner is set to take place Feb. 9 at The Beverly Wilshire.

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