Douglas Trumbull to Receive Academy's Gordon E. Sawyer Award

Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:43pm EST

Visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull, who was already enjoying his most high-profile year in some time, has been voted the Gordon E. Sawyer Award by the Academy's Board of Governors.

Trumbull will receive the award, an Oscar statuette, at the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards presentation on February 11 at the Beverly Wilshire.

Perhaps best-known for creating the outer-space effects in Stanley Kubrick's landmark film "2001: A Space Odyssey," Trumbull also worked on films that include "The Andromeda Strain," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Star Trek - The Motion Picture" and "Blade Runner."

More recently, he worked with his friend Terrence Malick on the visual effects for "The Tree of Life," which recently made the list of 10 finalists in the Academy's visual effects category this year.

He was recently named recipient of the George Melies Award from the Visual Effects Society, which he will receive four days before the Sci-Tech Awards.

In an interview with TheWrap earlier this year, actor Bruce Dern -- who starred in the Trumbull-directed film "Silent Running" -- described Trumbull as one of the four geniuses which whom he had worked. The other three: Alfred Hitchcock, Elia Kazan and Francis Coppola.

"When he looks through the eyepiece, he sees something no one else sees," said Dern. "Magic. He sees something magical, day after day after day."

The Academy press release announcing Trumbull's award describes his career this way: "In the course of his work, Trumbull created, developed or improved numerous filmmaking techniques and tools. These include slit-scan photography, process photography, miniature compositing, interpositive matte painting, large-format filming, high frame rate photography and projection, synchronized multiscale filming, motion control photography, virtual reality systems, interactive motion simulators and digital cinema. He has been awarded more than a dozen related patents."

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