IPA News Item

VFX Pioneer Douglas Trumbull Honored with IPA’s 2011 Tesla Award

Los Angeles, CA, November 21, 2011 — Legendary filmmaker and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull will receive the Nikola Tesla Award in Recognition of Visionary Achievement in Filmmaking Technology from the International Press Academy at this year’s 16th Annual Satellite Awards™ on Sunday, Dec. 18, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Among his career highlights, Trumbull was one of the Special Photographic Effects Supervisors for “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). He went on to become the Visual Effects Supervisor for such classics as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979), and “Blade Runner” (1982), each of which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects along with his colleagues on these projects.

Trumbull directed “Silent Running” (1972), “Brainstorm” (1983), as well as “Back to the Future, The Ride” (1991), and numerous other special format films. He invented and developed the Showscan system of photographing and projecting 70mm film at 60 frames per second, projecting them onto giant screens.

Returning to familiar territory, he was tapped as Special Photographic Effects Consultant on Terrence Malick’s newest release “Tree of Life.” Starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain, “Tree of Life” features a conceptual segment on ‘man’s place in the universe’ as envisioned by the veteran VFX guru.

Trumbull said, “It is a great honor to receive this award, and very encouraging to see that the technology of the film industry is being recognized as a true paradigm shift as we transition from celluloid to digital, embracing the creative opportunity to reinvigorate the industry at all levels, and including a more immersive experience in theatres – offering something you can’t get at home”.

A self-styled inventor and entrepreneur, Trumbull received Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement (Showscan CP-65 Camera), as well as the International Monitor Award and American Society of Cinematographers’ Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of filmmaking.

He is currently involved in the evolution of directing live action production using virtual digital sets and electronic cinematography at 120 fps in 3D, with projection onto deeply curved high gain hemispheric screens at extreme brightness with the goal of reinvigorating exhibition of motion pictures, and bringing spectacular showmanship back into cinemas. (Trumbull will receive the George Melies Award in 2012 from the Visual Effects Society.)

IPA first presented the Tesla Award in 2001 to honor game-changing pioneers who continue to influence the way filmed entertainment is evolving.  As one of the remarkable innovators in the field, Trumbull joins the prestigious ranks of Tesla recipients.

Past recipients of the International Press Academy’s Nikola Tesla Award include: Roger Deakins, Rick Baker, James Cameron, Jerry Lewis, Robert A. Harris, Stan Winston, Richard Donner, Dennis Muren and George Lucas.

The International Press Academy (IPA) is among the largest and most diverse associations of professional entertainment journalists representing both domestic and foreign markets in print, television, radio, cable, new media outlets.