Academy honors cinema-related technical achievements

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A silhouette of a camera operator shooting film. File photo.

Behind the “gee-whiz” effects that make movies memorable, there’s a lot of research and development. The Academy Awards announced Thursday the roster of technical achievements up for honors this year.

The winners of these awards don’t have names that usually come to mind when you think Hollywood. But through their technical prowess, people such as Kimball Thurston, Andy Jantzen and Hiroshi Hirano help the Brads and Angelinas shine on the big screen.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will issue plaques to the aforementioned scientists and engineers, and others, for eight developments that have contributed significant value to the movie industry. Those achievements include high-speed film cameras and noise-reduction systems, stabilizers for lenses and aerial camera platforms, and software that allows smoke and cloud effects to show up better onscreen.

Unlike the other Oscars, the scientific and technical awards aren’t limited to achievements during a specific year. The motion picture academy will present these awards to 28 people during a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Feb. 11.

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