Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2010: The Complete Chronicles, Episode Three

Our chronicle of Oscar Night 2010 continues with Elizabeth Banks, who, this past February 20th, hosted the Scientific and Technological Academy Awards. Her segment, alas, was given remarkably short shrift, as, of course, were the Sci-Tech Oscar winners themselves. So, as per our traditions, this Dragonmaster's gonna name names and tell you what they did to get their awards. Pay attention, fellow nerds, as there will be a quiz later!


* Mark Wolforth and Tony Sedivy, for their contributions to the development of the Truelight real-time 3D look-up table hardware system.

* Dr. Klaus Anderle, Christian Baeker and Frank Billasch, for contributing to the LUTher 3D look-up table hardware device and color management software.

* Steve Sullivan, Kevin Wooley, Brett Allen and Colin Davidson, developers of the Imocap on-set performance motion capture system.

* Hayden Landis, Ken McGaugh and Hilmar Koch, who advanced the technique of ambient occlusion rnedering.

* Bjorn Heden, designer and mechanical engineer of the silent, double-stage planetary friction drive Heden Lens Motors.


* Per Christensen, Michael Bunnell and Christophe Hery, developers of point-based rendering for indirect illumination and ambient occlusion.

* Dr. Richard Kirk, for the overall design and development of the aforementioned Truelight real-time 3D look-up table harware device and color management software.

* Dr. Klaus Anderle, Volker Massmann, Markus Hasenzahl and Andreas Loew, developers of the Spirit 4K/2K scanning system, used in the digital intermediate motion picture process.

* Michael Cieslinski, Dr. Reimar Lenz and Bernd Brauner, developers of the ARRISCAN film scanner, which enables high-resolution, high-dynamic range, pin-registered film scanning, as used in the digital intermediate motion picture process.

* Tony Sedivy, Wolfgang Lempp, Theo Brown and Dr. John Quartel, developers of the Northlight film scanner, which enables high-resolution, pin-registered film scanning, as used in the digital intermediate motion picture process.

* Steve Chapman, Martin Tlaskal, Darrin Smart and Dr. James Logie, for helping develop the Baselight color correction system, which enables real-time digital manipulation of motion picture imagery during the digital intermediate process.

* Mark Jaszberenyi, Gyula Priskin and Tamas Perlaki, for helping develop the Lustre color correction system, which enables real-time digital manipulation of motion picture imagery during the digital intermediate process.

* Brad Walker, D. Scott Dewald, Bill Werner and Greg Pettitt, for the contributions in furthering the design and refinement of the Texas Instruments DLP Projector Technology, achieving a level of performance that enabled color-accurate digital intermediate previews of current and future motion pictures.

* Ryoji Nishimura, Masaaki Miki and Youichi Hosoya of FUJIFILM Corporation, for their design and development of FUJIFILM's ETERNA-RDI digital intermediate film, Type 8511/4511, created exclusively to reproduce motion picture digital masters.

* Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins, John Monos and Dr. Mark Sagar, who designed and engineered the Light Stage capture devices and the image-based facial rendering system developed for character re-lighting in motion pictures.

OK, my minions of the pocket-pager persuasion! Those are the lucky nerds who got their awards because the Academy thought that they made some very cool stuff. Follow their example, and maybe you'll be cool enough to be a Sci-Tech Oscar winner, too!

Speaking of cool: Travolta! He had a few words to share about Inglourious Basterds, mostly because he was tight with Quentin and wanted him to feel good about himself. Sandra Bullock took the stage next, and her segment was Best Cinematography. The Na'vi had again triumphed; Mauro Fiore had won the award! He went for the standard thank you's: cast, crew, team, family and friends, etc.

Now, it was time for things to get serious, as Demi Moore presented the 2009 Oscar Necrology, a rundown of the gifted individuals before and behind the camera who had passed away since the previous Oscar telecast. The package was accompanied live by James Taylor, singing Lennon & McCartney's "In My Life."

These newcomers to the ranks of Oscar's Immortals were:

Patrick Swayze, Monte Hale, Jean Simmons, screenwriter and Fellini associate Tullio Pinelli, director Eric Rohmer, director Ken Annakin, David Carradine, agent-producer-executive Gareth Wigan, former MGM and Columbia executive Daniel Melnick, director Howard Zieff, Dom DeLuise, Variety columnist Army Archerd, Ron Silver, Brittany Murphy, Lou Jacobi, producer Simon Channing-Williams, stage and film star Betsy Blair, Joseph Wiseman, director-cinematographer Jack Cardiff, Kathryn Grayson, Arthur Canton, Nat Boxer, screenwriter Millard Kaufman, Roy Edward Disney, screenwriter and M*A*S*H co-creator Larry Gelbart, screenwriter-playwright Horton Foote, screenwriter-producer-playwright Robert Woodruff Anderson, screenwriter-producer-novelist Budd Schulberg, Michael Jackson, Natasha Richardson, Jennifer Jones, producer David Brown, and actor and former Academy President Karl Malden.

Indeed, in our lives, we loved them all more.....

Alright, enough reflecting! We're in the middle of a bloomin' awards show here! Jennifer Lopez and Sam Worthington came to the stage next, and their segment was Best Original Score. It was a chance for this evening's telecast co-producer Adam Shankman to display his unique choreographic versatility! This he did in the form of an extreme dance number involving the nominees for Best Original Score. The show's music director this year was Marc Shaiman; conducting the Oscar Orchestra was Eliot Lawrence.

"When I was 9, and I asked my dad, 'Can I have your movie camera? The old, wind-up 8mm camera that was in your drawer?', he says, 'Sure, take it.' So I took it, and I started making movies with it and started being as creative as I could --- and never one in my life did my parents say 'What you're doing is a waste of time.' Well, I grew up, I had teachers, I had colleagues, people that I worked with all through my life who always told me 'What you're doing is not a waste of time.' So that was normal to me that it was OK to do that," mused victorious Michael Giacchino, whose haunting themes for Up lifted us there. "I know that there are kids out there who don't have that kind of support system --- so, if you're out there listening to this, listen to me: If you wanna be creative, get out there and go do it. It's not a waste of time. Do it!"

(Hey, that's why I'm Blackwolf the Dragonmaster! It's also why there are 8 people out there who did exactly the same thing I did! They are, of course, my Champions of the Imagination!)

Well, now, we're up to Visual Effects, and Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper are going to take us through that particular realm! And of course, the Na'vi ruled here too! Joe Letteri spoke for his teammates Stephen Rosenbaum, Andy Jones and Richard Baneham: "Avatar is a film about learning to see the world in new ways, and for that extraordinary inspiration, I must thank James Cameron...." Wrapping this segment of the program up was Jason Bateman with a few thoughts on Up in the Air.

Here, then, my children, endeth Part the Third. The exciting conclusion awaiteth, with Best Documentary Feature; Best Film Editing; Best Foreign Language Film --- and the evening's four REALLY BIG awards: Actor, Actress, Director and Picture! Be here!