SMPTE Announces Annual Awards Recipients for 2017

LOS ANGELES and WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Aug. 22, 2017 — SMPTE(R), the organization whose standards work has supported a century of advances in entertainment technology, today revealed the outstanding individuals who will be recognized with 2017 awards as part of the SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2017) in Hollywood, California.

This year, the Annual SMPTE Awards Gala will take place on Thursday, Oct. 26, and will feature a red carpet, reception, and dinner in the Hollywood Ballroom of the Loews Hollywood Hotel. In addition, Fellows elevations will be conferred at the SMPTE 2017 Fellows Luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Honorary Membership is the Society’s highest accolade. It recognizes individuals who have performed distinguished service in the advancement of engineering in motion pictures, television, or in the allied arts and sciences. Honorary Members who have passed away are named to the SMPTE Honor Roll, which also posthumously recognizes individuals who were not awarded Honorary Membership during their lifetimes but whose contributions would have been sufficient to warrant such an honor. Renville “Ren” H. McMann Jr. (1927 – 2015) will be inducted into the Honor Roll in recognition of his award-winning leadership in the development of television and imaging technology.   McMann held more than 36 patents for inventions that include the electronic video recorder, the electronic image enhancer, the color camera system, and the magnetic scan conversion techniques used by NASA to bring color television images from the moon to viewers around the world. He was the principal inventor for and a major participant in projects such as the development of the CBS Minicam Mark VI, the first handheld color TV camera. A tireless and curious engineer, McMann made many contributions to the advancement of color television signal processing and image gathering technology. Along with those contributions, his pioneering work in the field of high-definition television systems has garnered worldwide recognition.

The Progress Medal is the most prestigious SMPTE award, and it recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the progress of engineering phases of the motion picture, television, or motion-imaging industries.
SMPTE is presenting the 2017 Progress Medal to Paul E. Debevec in recognition of his achievements and ongoing work in pioneering techniques for illuminating computer-generated objects based on measurement of real-world illumination and their effective commercial application in numerous Hollywood films. Techniques from his research have been used to dramatic effect in films such as the “The Matrix” sequels, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “District 9,” “Avatar,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “Life of Pi.” Debevec is also a pioneer in high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging and co-author of the 2005 book “High Dynamic Range Imaging: Acquisition, Display, and Image-Based Lighting,” now in its second edition.

The Camera Origination and Imaging Medal recognizes significant technical achievements related to inventions or advances in imaging technology, including sensors, imaging processing electronics, and the overall embodiment and application of image capture devices. David S. Corley will receive the award for his five decades of continuous innovation in measurement and calibration tools for image acquisition, display, and color correction.

The David Sarnoff Medal recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of new techniques or equipment that have improved the engineering phases of television technology, including large-venue presentations. The award will be presented to Phillip Bennett in recognition of his significant contributions to the broadcast industry with his work in video effects, still stores, and digital standards conversion during the dawning of the digital video era. Over the years, Bennett has developed many groundbreaking products for broadcasters, including the very successful Ampex Digital Optics (ADO) digital video effects system and one of the very early digital disk recorders.

The Digital Processing Medal recognizes significant technical achievements related to the development of digital processing of content for cinema, television, games, or other related media. Michael A. Isnardi will receive the award for his contributions to the art of digital video delivery systems, including video encoding, re-encoding, and quality evaluation. Isnardi’s body of work includes one of the first advanced television systems proposals, encoder, compressed-domain watermarking the first real-time Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), Emmy(R) Award-winning MPEG Compliance Bitstreams, compressed-domain bit rate reduction, salience-based compression, and JND evaluation of JPEG 2000 for digital cinema applications. His current work includes sub-Nyquist compressed sensing and skin-tone analysis algorithms.

The James A. Lindner Archival Technology Medal, sponsored by James A. Linder, recognizes significant technical advancements or contributions related to the invention or development of technology, techniques, workflows, or infrastructure for the long-term storage, archive, or preservation of media content essence. The 2017 award will be presented to James M. Reilly for his more than three decades of contributions to image preservation and sustainable preservation practices. In 1985, Reilly founded the Image Permanence Institute, a non-profit, university-based laboratory devoted to preservation research —  the world’s largest independent laboratory with this specific scope. As its founder and director, Reilly studied the mechanisms of film deterioration and developed technology, techniques, and preservation strategies to lengthen its life in storage.

The Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal, sponsored by Warner Bros., recognizes outstanding contributions in the design and development of new and improved methods and/or apparatus for motion picture sound, at any step in the process. The award will be presented to Mark Robert Gander in recognition of his contributions to the design and development of cinema loudspeaker systems. Gander has brought a comprehensive perspective to these efforts and has been responsible for every aspect of bringing a new loudspeaker design to market, from transducer engineering through logistics of manufacture and distribution to the signature marketing of the JBL Professional cinema product line. In his four decades devoted to the highest fidelity cinema sound reproduction, Gander has influenced cinema loudspeaker design industrywide.

The Technicolor — Herbert T. Kalmus Medal, sponsored by Technicolor, Inc., recognizes outstanding contributions that reflect a commitment to the highest standards of quality and innovation in motion picture postproduction and distribution services. The award will be presented to Joseph Goldstone for his innovations in the design and implementation of hardware and software to perform the accurate analysis and characterization of photochemical film processes, including film printing, which have been used in color management systems by the motion picture industry. Goldstone’s early work involved the creation and refinement of film scanning and recording processes used for visual effects (VFX) creation at Digital Domain and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). He was a pioneer in incorporating color science theory into digital production and postproduction workflows, and he is currently working on digital image processing for the ALEXA camera systems at ARRI. Goldstone is a key contributor to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) and serves on several SMPTE Technology Committees (TCs): TC-10E DG Dynamic Metadata for Color Transforms of HDR and WCG Images, TC-32NF-40 DG HDR and WCG Signaling on Streaming Interfaces, and TC-31FS DG Constrained DPX for HDR.

The Workflow Systems Medal, sponsored by Leon Silverman, recognizes outstanding contributions related to the development and integration of workflows, such as integrated processes, end-to-end systems or industry ecosystem innovations that enhance creativity, collaboration, and efficiency, or novel approaches to the production, postproduction, or distribution process. The award will be presented to Randy Ubillos in recognition of his role in establishing the foundation of accessible and affordable digital nonlinear editing software that fundamentally shaped the industry landscape and changed the way visual stories are created and told. Ubillos’ revolutionary work with creating and designing lower-cost editing software such as Final Cut Pro(R) and Adobe(R) Premiere(R) shifted the film and television industry toward a more inclusive future, giving storytellers of diverse backgrounds and experience levels the ability to tell their stories and rise as filmmakers, technicians, engineers, and key players in every facet of media and entertainment. His work significantly enhanced and transformed the world of postproduction, popularizing and commoditizing file-based workflows while removing significant barriers to the creative editing process for millions of users worldwide.

Each year, one SMPTE Journal Award is presented to the author of the most outstanding paper originally published in the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal during the preceding calendar year. The SMPTE Journal Award will be presented to Sean T. McCarthy for the article “How Independent Are HDR, WCG, and HFR in Human Visual Perception and the Creative Process?” published in the May/June 2016 issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.
Two Journal Certificates of Merit will be presented to:

Katy C. Noland for the article “High Frame Rate Television: Sampling Theory, the Human Visual System, and Why the Nyquist–Shannon Theorem Does Not Apply,” published in the April 2016 issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.

David Long and Mark D. Fairchild for the article “Observer Metamerism Models and Multiprimary Display Systems,” published in the April 2016 issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.

The Student Paper Award recognizes the outstanding paper prepared and submitted by a Student Member. The paper receiving the Student Paper Award will be published in the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.

The 2017 award will be presented to Elizabeth DoVale, a recent graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, for her paper “High Frame Rate Psychophysics: Experimentation to Determine a JND for Frame Rate.”

Jonathan Bouchard, a student at McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada, will receive an honorable mention for his paper “Quality Control of Stereoscopic 3-D Compositing Using Half-Occlusion Geometry.”

The Presidential Proclamation recognizes individuals of established and outstanding status and reputation in the motion picture, television, and motion-imaging industries worldwide. Mark Schubin will receive the award in recognition of his five decades of contributions to the television technology industry. An internationally recognized expert with an insatiable intellectual curiosity, Schubin has worked in every aspect of television production, including design, manufacturing, lighting, sound, camera, editing, distribution, as well as talent, and his projects have spanned every continent of the globe. Today, he supports the broadcasting of Metropolitan Opera (The Met) productions to cinemas and televisions around the world. Schubin is an active SMPTE Life Fellow and a sought-after resource in educating the industry on the history and current state of motion-imaging technology.

The Excellence in Standards Award recognizes individuals or companies that have been actively involved in advancing the Society’s standards activities and processes. Johann Safar will receive this award in recognition of his continuous participation in SMPTE‘s standards work for more than 30 years. Safar has contributed to the development of countless standards related to the compression and formatting of multimedia content for storage on analog and digital media, as well as the development of Time Code, ancillary data formatting and mapping. He is a careful reviewer of SMPTE standards, with a focus on ensuring harmonization and compatibility of interrelated standards across multiple technology committees. Safar’s dedicated performance in the SMPTE Standards Community has resulted in a high quality of professional standards documents.

The Society Citation recognizes individuals or companies that have actively been involved in specific Society engineering or editorial functions. Elizabeth “Betty” Migliore will receive this award in recognition of her 45 years of service with SMPTE and her contributions to the standards program. A dedicated and loyal staff member, Migliore joined SMPTE in November of 1972 as secretary to the staff director of engineering. Over the years, she has been steadfast in supporting SMPTE‘s standards work as engineering assistant and standards publisher, roles in which she actively supported document preparation for the SMPTE Technology Committees. In these roles, Migliore participated in advancing SMPTE‘s standards publishing process from typewriter to CD-ROM to PDF and the digital library.

The Citation for Outstanding Service to the Society, which recognizes individuals for dedicated service for the betterment of the Society over a sustained period, will be conferred upon four SMPTE Members:
Merrick Ackermans, for his contributions to and leadership of the Atlanta Section and the Southern Region. A long-time contributor to the Atlanta Section and four-term governor of the Southern Region, Ackermans has devoted much time and effort to producing quality Section events. His extensive involvement has included participation in everything from proposing engaging topics, securing speakers, and organizing facility and audio-visual logistics to contributing his knowledge as a speaker and facilitator.

Herbert Jay Dunmore, for his contributions as Member and manager of the Washington DC SMPTE Section and as the Student Chapter advisor of the Loyola University Maryland Chapter since its founding in 2012. Dunmore has continually promoted learning between the Student Chapter and the Section through hosting an annual meeting and seminars, exposing future professionals to the creative, business, and technical realms of television production.
John Walsh, for his dedication and service to the SMPTE Australia Section over the past decade. Walsh has served on the board of the SMPTE Australia Section since 2005, taking on the additional roles of membership chair and Section meeting lead. He has also been an active member of the organizing committee for the biennial SMPTE Australia Section conferences. Walsh is a dedicated Section member, always working behind the scenes to ensure the success of the Australia Section meetings.

David Wheeler, for his many contributions to the Australia Section, especially the SMPTE Australia Conferences. Wheeler was a member of the Conference Papers Committee for the SMPTE 2013 Australia Conference and served as chair of that committee for the 2015 event with 16 sessions and 52 presentations spanning four days.

The Louis F. Wolf Jr. Memorial Scholarship is designed to assist students in furthering their undergraduate or graduate studies in motion pictures and television, with an emphasis on technology. The 2017 scholarship will be awarded to three SMPTE Student Members:

Trevor Canham, Rochester Institute of Technology

Emily Faw, Rochester Institute of Technology

Catherine Marie Meininger, Rochester Institute of Technology

Twelve new SMPTE Fellows also will be recognized during the Annual Awards Gala. The 2017 SMPTE Fellows announcement is forthcoming.

A limited number of tickets are available for the SMPTE Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, Oct. 26. Those registering for SMPTE 2017 may elect to purchase tickets to the Annual Awards Gala as an add-on to their conference packages. Further details about SMPTE 2017 are available at
The 2017 SMPTE Annual Awards Gala is supported in part by Variety.

Additional sponsorships are available. Individuals and organizations that wish to support this, or other SMPTE events, may contact Joyce Cataldo, manager of special projects, at

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About SMPTE(R)

For more than a century, the people of SMPTE (pronounced “simp-tee”) have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has received an Oscar(R) and multiple Emmy(R) Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force today. SMPTE Time Code(TM) and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars(TM) are just two examples of SMPTE‘s notable work. As it enters its second century, SMPTE is shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows.

SMPTE‘s global membership today includes more than 7,000 members: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to SMPTE‘s standards development and educational initiatives. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) connects SMPTE and its membership with the businesses and individuals who support the creation and finishing of media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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Photo Caption: SMPTE 2017 Honor Roll – Renville “Ren” H. McMann Jr. (1927 – 2015)

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Photo Caption: SMPTE 2017 Progress Medal – Paul E. Debevec

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Photo Caption: SMPTE 2017 Awards Recipients

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