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    Ed Catmull to receive AMPAS' Gordon E. Sawyer Award

    2008 Gordon E. Sawyer Award Recipient


    Ed Catmull

    The Academy’s Board of Governors voted the Gordon E. Sawyer Award to Ed Catmull, a computer scientist, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, and president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, for his lifetime of technical contributions and leadership in the field of computer graphics for the motion picture industry.

    “Ed is one of the rare individuals who can bridge the space between science and art,” said Academy President Sid Ganis. “His vision, ingenuity and groundbreaking designs have made the impossible possible – for filmmakers and movie audiences around the world.”

    Catmull, currently president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, founded three of the leading centers of computer graphics research – the computer graphics laboratory at the New York Institute of Technology, the computer division of Lucasfilm Ltd., and Pixar Animation Studios.
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    Gordon E. Sawyer Award Recipient Ed Catmull | Science and Technology Awards | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


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    Re: Ed Catmull to receive AMPAS' Gordon E. Sawyer Award

    That's great! I remember the first and only time I met Ed... maybe it was 9 years ago now. But, I really didn't know what he did until now. It's pretty amazing.


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    Re: Ed Catmull to receive AMPAS' Gordon E. Sawyer Award

    He was easily the most impressive person I spoke to while covering the 'POTC 3' premiere at DL. He was so genuinely passionate and positive when I asked him about the the then-upcoming 'Ratatouille' it was almost disconcerting! Disney is so very fortunate to have him on their side.

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    Re: Ed Catmull to receive AMPAS' Gordon E. Sawyer Award

    Ed Catmull receives Sci Tech Award

    Founded Pixar, developed RenderMan technology

    By Carolyn Giardina
    The Holywood Reporter
    Feb 8, 2009, 12:21 AM ET


    Ed Catmull, Richard Edlund and Jessica Biel (Getty Images photo)

    Pixar president Ed Catmull received two standing ovations as he was presented the Gordon E. Sawyer Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards.

    The award, in the form of an Oscar statuette, recognized his lifetime of technical contributions to the motion picture industry.

    "It's been a great adventure, discovering new tools that have helped filmmaking and inspiring creativity with all the invention," said Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and respected computer scientist. "We don't just make a movie look good, we make each other look good."

    The Academy handed out five other awards during the SciTech ceremony Saturday at the Beverly Wilshire: three Scientific and Engineering Awards, a Technical Achievement Award and the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation, to computer scientist and motion picture technologist Mark Kimball, for his service and dedication to AMPAS.

    Accepting the Sawyer honor from host Jessica Biel, Catmull saluted colleagues past and present, including George Lucas, saying "he had the foresight to reach out and use technology at a time when it wasn't obvious to do that; he helped invigorate filmmaking." He also praised Apple CEO and Pixar co-founder Steve Jobs for his "loyalty and intelligence and the belief that something good was going to happen" and Pixar's John Lasseter for his "larger-than-life creativity and generosity."

    He called Pixar "a family of technical and creative production people who are open and very smart" and Disney his "original inspiration, where the inventive spirit is still strong."

    Catmull founded three leading computer-graphics research centers -- Pixar, the computer division of Lucasfilm and the computer-graphics laboratory at the New York Institute of Technology -- and is one of the architects of Pixar's RenderMan, a groundbreaking rendering software that helped usher in the age of computer graphics in filmmaking.

    RenderMan has contributed to all of Pixar's CG feature titles and countless animated and VFX-driven films, including "The Abyss," "Jurassic Park" and "Titanic."

    In 2000, Catmull, Rob Cook and Loren Carpenter received an Academy Award of Merit -- an Oscar statuette -- for its development.
    Ed Catmull receives Sci Tech Award

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