An industry friend from the States, Don Parker, has let me know about an upcoming technical award his production tracking software has won. In fact, Shotgun Software, now part of Autodesk, has been recognised this year with two of the industry’s most prestigious honours: the Scientific and Technical Award, and a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award.
An extensible, web-based, flexible and scalable system, Shotgun has enabled the efficient management of highly complex visual effects and animation post-production workflows. By facilitating deep integration into a wide variety of facility pipelines, Shotgun has successfully tracked complex production data on large-scale motion pictures.
“It’s an honour of a lifetime,” said Parker, “along with countless number of friends in production who partnered with us along the way. When we started working on ‘production tracking’ back in the early 2000s, we had no idea The Academy even gave out awards for technology. All we knew is that our friends in production needed our help. The complexity they were tackling was enormous, and untamed, could eclipse their focus on nailing the creative in service of the story.”
Parker and his friends knew their mission was to bring teams together to do their best work while also getting them home in time for dinner. And that is what he told me back in 2009 at SIGGRAPH in New Orleans, so his story has never wavered. “So to be honoured by the Academy is truly a dream come true. Thanks to all of you who played a part in this story,” he added, on his Facebook feed this afternoon. Don Parker shouts out to Matt Daw for the core architecture, and Isaac Reuben, Colin Withers and Neil Brandt for the foundational engineering, of the Autodesk Shotgun post-production tracking system.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that 17 scientific and technical achievements represented by 55 individual award recipients, as well as two companies, will be honored in a virtual Scientific and Technical Awards presentation on Saturday, February 13, 2021. Hosted by filmmaker Nia DaCosta, the show will be available on the Oscars website starting at 1pm (PT).
The presentation also will feature a special segment hosted by Kathleen Kennedy, Oscar-nominated producer and recipient of the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. The segment highlights the groundbreaking achievements of women working in the science and technology of filmmaking.
“In a year of upheaval, some things remain constant: around the world, extremely clever people are striving to push the technology of film to new heights, and the Academy is privileged to be able to recognise and celebrate their accomplishments,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “After a lengthy investigation period, the committee, made up of a diverse group of industry experts, identified 17 different technical achievements that absolutely deserve to be honoured. We congratulate all the inventors for their contributions to our art form.”
Unlike other Academy Awards to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during a specified period of time. Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.