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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® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. 

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White Plains, New York —Nov 2, 2005

Who Will SMPTE Honor This Year?

SMPTE has announced the award winners for outstanding achievement in the motion imaging industry. The Annual Honors and Awards ceremony and reception will be held Thursday, November 10, 2005 at the Hilton, New York.

This ceremony is one of the events taking place during the SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition in New York, November 9-12, 2005. For more information about the conference or to purchase tickets, please visit the SMPTE website at

Listed below are the individual award recipients and background information on each honoree.

This award is given to honor the individual by recognizing outstanding technical contributions to the progress of engineering phases of the motion picture, television, or motion imaging industries.

This year’s recipient, S. Merrill Weiss, is a consultant in electronic media technology, technology management, and management. Much of Weiss’s 38-year career has been devoted to the development of new television and advanced imaging, and communications technologies. In 1981, he produced the tests that led to the first international digital television standard. He later conceived the approach that permitted the industry transition from 8-bit to 10-bit digital video systems and enabled the widespread use of serial digital interfaces as embodied in the SMPTE Serial Digital Interface (SDI) standards. Weiss was also instrumental in instigating and developing the first standards to deal with metadata, before it was known by that name. A SMPTE Fellow, Weiss served as SMPTE Engineering Director for Television from 1996 to 1999. He has chaired seven major SMPTE Working Groups and Technology Committees, and also served as co-chair of the joint SMPTE-EBU Task Force on Harmonized Standards for the Exchange of Program Material as Bit Streams. Weiss is also active on the Advanced Television Systems Committee and also served on working parties of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Services. Weiss was the recipient of the Society’s David Sarnoff Gold Medal Award in 1995. He has published several books and well over 100 papers. He has one issued patent and one pending.

It is the purpose of this award to honor the recipient by recognizing outstanding contributions
which lead to new or unique educational programs utilizing motion pictures, television, and high-speed and instrumentation photography, or other photographic sciences. The award shall recognize developments, which result in advancing the educational process at any or all levels.

The 2005 Eastman Kodak Gold Medal Award is presented to James F. MacKay, for organizing the Kodak Worldwide Student Filmmakers program in 1990 and overseeing it for years thereafter. A visionary venture designed to nurture the next generation of filmmakers, ¬the program created an endowment fund to provide annual tuition scholarships to deserving students in perpetuity, product grants to film schools at the discretion of faculty and administration; an educational allowance program offering schools deep discounts; creation and free distribution of educational materials, and sponsorship of lecture series on college campuses. MacKay also pioneered many other educational endeavors, including an intern program at the Cannes Film Festival in partnership with the American Pavilion and a student showcase at the festival. Columbia College awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to MacKay, citing his outstanding contributions to the industry: "He led the development of Kodak's educational initiatives designed to help nurture, along with the educator, the future generation of filmmakers."

This award is given to honor the recipient by recognizing outstanding contributions in the development of color films, processing, techniques, or equipment useful in making color motion pictures for theater or television use.

The 2005 Technicolor - Herbert T. Kalmus Gold Medal is awarded to Richard C. Sehlin for his contributions and participation in every facet of the motion picture system from Capture to Display. Mr. Sehlin is the chief technical officer and Vice-President, entertainment imaging at Kodak. Sehlin’s career at Kodak spans more than three decades. He was instrumental in the development of early high-speed camera-negative film projects, as well as special applications such as the high-speed Eastman Color Negative 5295 SA. He invented and co-developed numerous other negative and print film products. Sehlin has also developed a highly capable systems organization that has continued to develop products for the motion picture industry, such as the recent Vision 2 products and Premier ECP. A SMPTE Fellow, Sehlin has written numerous articles for the Journal and has received two Journal Awards. He is also the recipient of two technical Academy Awards.

It is the purpose of this award to honor the recipient by recognizing significant technical achievements related to the production of documentary motion picture films.

The 2005 John Grierson International Gold Medal is awarded to Ken Burns, for his pioneering work in historical documentary film making using animation of still photography to bring history alive, and for the use of sound synchronized to animated stills to create a new reality. Ken Burns has been making films for more than thirty years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The historian Stephen Ambrose has said of his films, "More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source." A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time,” and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time.

It is the purpose of this award to honor the recipient by recognizing outstanding contributions in the application of digital technology to the motion imaging arts and sciences. The award shall recognize developments in software, equipment, systems, or the standardization of technology involved in the acquisition, processing, or distribution of sound and images related to motion imaging.

This year’s recipient is Frederick M. Remley, for his pioneering work in chairing the IEC and SMPTE committees that created the first digital videotape recording format, Type D-1. Mr. Remley has been actively involved in the SMPTE for many years, and is highly recognized by the Society. He received the Society’s two highest honors, the Progress Medal Award, in 1990, and an Honorary Membership in 1991. Mr. Remley was also the SMPTE Vice President for Television from 1978-79, SMPTE Governor (Midwest) for more than ten years & Chair of Detroit Section for two terms, Chair of the SMPTE Board of Editors, from 1985-1995, and the Chair of many SMPTE committees in fields of video recording, television engineering, and standards preparation. Mr. Remley became a Fellow of the Society in 1967, and was the recipient of the 1995 Eastman Kodak Gold Medal Award. Mr. Remley retired from the University of Michigan in 1993, where he worked for over forty years.

This award is given to honor the individual by recognizing outstanding contributions in the design and development of new and improved methods and/or apparatus for sound-on-film motion pictures, including any step in the process.

The 2005 Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal is awarded to Robert C. Lovick for his work and contributions to the science, engineering and practice of sound on film. Prior to his retirement from Kodak, Mr. Lovick worked as a senior technical associate and was involved in high-definition television committee work in the International Standards Organization (ISO). He supervised a sound-on-film laboratory, and later a television technology laboratory and holds a number of patents in the field. Lovick graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1943 with a BSc in electrical engineering. He later worked in Naval Ordnance where he helped develop near-miss proximity fuses for greater accuracy of military ordnance. He also developed nondestructive bench testing of proximity fuses. A longtime member of SMPTE, Lovick has authored more than a dozen papers published in the Journal.

This award is presented to the author(s) of the most outstanding paper originally published in the Journal of the Society during the preceding calendar year. Papers published in the Journal are eligible only if any previous publication was by the Society.

This year’s Journal Award recipients are Matthew Cowan, Glenn Kennel, Thomas Maier, and Brad Walker, for the paper “Contrast Sensitivity Experiment to Determine the Bit Depth for Digital Cinema,” published in the September 2004 issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.

Matt Cowan is the co-founder of Entertainment Technology Consultants, an organization specializing in the science and applications of digital cinema technology. He has over 20 years experience in the development and application of new products in the media and display fields. Cowan’s comprehensive background includes development of electronic projection systems and analysis of color reproduction issues in electronic displays. He was instrumental in developing the current mastering processes used in digital cinema, which introduced the use of the digital mastering theater for color and dynamic range adjustment. Cowan has presented a number of papers at SMPTE conferences and served as chair of the SMPTE DC-28 committee on Compression and Stereoscopic Digital Cinema.

Glenn Kennel works for the DLP Cinema group of Texas Instruments in a role that includes technology and business development. His primary focus is working with the industry and digital cinema suppliers on interoperability and standardization. Kennel previously worked at Kodak, where he led the development of the Cineon digital film scanners and laser recorders and a prototype HDTV telecine, which was the foundation for the Spirit Datacine. He currently chairs the SMPTE DC-28 Color Ad Hoc Group.

Tom Maier is a research fellow in the entertainment imaging business unit of Kodak. During his 35-year career at Kodak, Maier has written computer programs to model film and digital imaging systems, developed methods to characterize and optimize the color quality of these imaging systems, and run psychometric experiments to confirm the image-quality of his computer optimizations. Maier currently serves on the SMPTE DC-28 committee on Digital Projection Systems and previously served on a number of International Commission on Illumination (CIE) committees related to color. He has a BS in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois.

Brad Walker is currently senior systems engineer in the technology development group in DLP Products at Texas Instruments (TI), where he has worked since 1988. Previously, he was lead systems engineer for the development of the DLP cinema architecture and signal processing. From 1984 to 1997 he was chief engineer and vice-president of engineering at Video Post & Transfer, where he developed the meta-speed telecine servo system. Walker holds four patents and was elected a member of the group technical staff at TI in 2000. A member of SMPTE, he serves on several SMPTE DC-28 Digital Cinema Technology committees, including the Color Ad Hoc Group. He is a also member of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

Journal Certificates of Merit will be presented to J-P. Vitton, S. M. Gerlach, M. Herz, S. D. Hill, and A. J. Masson, for the paper “Influence of Image Spread on Sound Film Performance,” published in the May/June 2004 issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.

Jean-Pierre Vitton has worked at Kodak for over 22 years. He is currently responsible for sound at the entertainment imaging division of Kodak at the Center of Technology & Services Europe, in France. During his 10 years in the Corporate Research Lab, he has written more than 20 papers in international research reviews. Vitton was responsible for technical characterizations of the improved Kodak Panchromatic Sound Recording Film 2374 and is now part of the Entertainment Imaging R&D team involved in the digital and hybrid program. He is a member of SMPTE.

Steven M. Gerlach is a senior engineer at Kodak in Rochester, NY, where he has worked in a variety of divisions for over 20 years and is currently involved with optimizing the manufacture of Eastman Color Negative (ECN) and black-and-white motion picture films. His interests are in design for manufacturability, and he works closely with the research division as new technologies are developed, then transferred to manufacturing. In 2001, Gerlach received an Academy Award for Science Technology for his work in developing the Panchromatic Sound Recording Film 2374, introduced in 1995.

Marian Herz is currently a product line market director for the Cellulose Fibers Business at Weyerhaeuser Corp., where she is responsible for designing and implementing the front end of innovation process. Before Weyerhaeuser, Herz spent 22 years at Kodak, where she held numerous positions. In her most recent role at Kodak, she was responsible for the strategy, development, and commercialization of black-and-white motion picture films and motion picture chemicals. She was also involved in the design and launch of Kodak Motion Picture Services.

Susan D. Hill has worked at Kodak for over 25 years. During her 20 years in the Kodak Research Laboratories, Hill has been responsible for designing consumer color papers and films, as well as Vision 250D color-negative film. She has led R&D teams in bringing new chemistries to vision color print film, black-and-white motion picture print film, and sound films to the marketplace. She is currently on the Kodak R&D administrative team, responsible for leading the media R&D productivity initiative, directed at workflow re-design across Kodak’s media product lines. Hill has a BS in chemical engineering.

Alan J. Masson recently retired after 35 years of service at Kodak in the U.K. and U.S. During his tenure at Kodak, Masson held numerous positions including head of motion picture training in the U.K.; technical coordinator, European Region; and director of engineering, Hollywood Region. He participated in the development of Ektachrome sound tracks and introduction of panchromatic sound recording film for multiformat digital sound tracks. Masson has presented numerous papers and presentations on sound negative film, color negative films, telecine control tools, and cyan dye sound tracks. A Fellow of SMPTE, he has served the Society in many capacities, including Chair of the Rochester and Hollywood Sections; Governor of the Hollywood Region; Editorial Director, Motion Pictures; and Chair of the Motion Picture Laboratory Services Technology (L6 ) and Film Technology (F2) committees.

The purpose of this citation is to recognize individuals for dedicated service to the Society over a sustained period of time. Particular emphasis is to be placed on service performed at the Section level, including, but not limited to, services performed at Section meetings, special Section meetings and national conferences.

This year, three recipients are being honored.

Alan J. Masson has been active in the SMPTE since 1989 and is now a Fellow of the Society. He has served as Manager, Secretary/Treasurer and Chairman in two sections. He has also served as a regional Governor and has chaired and presented at several conferences. Mr. Masson’s participation at the local and national level is an inspiration to his peers.

Tony Tin-Ming, Ngai joined SMPTE as a student member in 1974, and went on to serve as Membership Chair and Chairman of the SMPTE Hong Kong section. Tony actively promotes SMPTE with organized technical seminars, technical conferences, technology delegation and engineering workshops, including several major High Definition workshops covering HD cinematography and post production. The success of the technical seminars and conference provided opportunities for film and television engineers to become familiar with new technology. The SMPTE would like to recognize Mr. Ngai for his continuing contributions to the Society.

William J. Weber receives the citation for his continuing support to the Philadelphia Section. Over the past years, during increasing scarcity of meeting sites, Mr. Weber has made the WHYY broadcast facility available for Section meetings, and has also conducted tours of the technical facilities. Mr. Weber’s friendly willingness to lend support of his service-oriented organization and his own talents are a decided asset to the Philadelphia Section and the Society as a whole.

The Society Citation recognizes individuals or companies who have actively been involved in specific Society engineering or editorial functions.
This year’s recipients are Edgar A. Schuller, for ten years of dedicated service and leadership in directing the Archival papers and Historical Committee, and Michael A. Dolan for creativity, research skills, and tenacity in presenting important aspects of SMPTE’s rich history as the Author of the Almanac column in the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.
Edgar A. Schuller, a SMPTE Life Fellow and former New York Regional Governor, has been actively involved in Society affairs since 1952. He has served many terms as Manager of the New York Section, and has held many positions, including Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer, Program Chairman and Test Materials Advisor. He has presented numerous papers to the New York and other Sections and has organized many technical and social programs. On the national level he has served on six technology committees for an average of twenty years each, and is the co-author of two SMPTE Recommended Practices. He has chaired seven national committees, served on several other administrative committees as well as twenty years on the Board of Editors. As Chair of the National Education Committee in the 1960s, he organized East, Central, and West Education Committees and spearheaded the creation of six technical education courses at New York University and New York studios. He was also the recipient of the 1997 SMPTE Citation of Outstanding Service to the Society Award.

Michael A. Dolan is founder and president of Television Broadcast Technology, providing specialized professional encoders, test tools, and technical consulting in the field of digital television. He holds a BSEE degree from Virginia Tech '79 and has worked for and founded various leading edge computer graphics and real time systems companies since then, including early foundational work in W3C technology and analog data broadcasting. Mr. Dolan has been involved in digital television engineering for the past 7 years, including data broadcast system architecture and receiver design and compliance. He currently chairs the ATSC Data Broadcasting Specialist Group (T3/S13), and the SMPTE Technology Committee on Data Essence (D27), and is active in various other data-related television standards activities. Mr. Dolan holds several patents in computer web technology.
The Lou Wolf Memorial Scholarship is designed to help students further their undergraduate or graduate studies in motion pictures and television, with an emphasis on technology.

The Student Paper Award is meant to recognize the outstanding paper prepared and submitted by a Student Member

This year’s recipient, of both the Lou Wolf Memorial Scholarship and the SMPTE Student Paper Award is Ben Brunkhardt, a fulltime cinematographer working in Los Angeles. Over the past 12 years, while a student, Brunkhardt has served as director of photography on 21 short films and music videos, and on one feature-length film. He is the founder of Arrowhead Productions, an independent film production company, currently in pre-production of both large-format and feature films. Brunkhardt has developed a new, patent-pending post-production process for large-format-filmed motion pictures, which he calls large format negative repurposing (LFNR). It was for his paper, "Large Format Negative Repurposing (LFNR) – Method for Recomposing Large Format Media," that he received this year’s Student Paper Award. He produced and photographed the first 15/70 (IMAX) film utilizing the LFNR process, The Persistence of Dreams, a short film recreating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre. The film, as well as his new process, debuted at the 2005 Large Format Cinema Association conference in Los Angeles in April 2005. Brunkhardt is currently consulting with other producers who hope to incorporate his LFNR process into their future projects.

SMPTE Contacts:

Logo: Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
About Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers: 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® and multiple Emmy® 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™ and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars™ 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
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Directory page Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Web Site

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More SMPTE News:
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Mar 6, 2018 SMPTE Hollywood Section to Explore the History of Moving Imagery with Lenny Lipton at March Meeting
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Oct 14, 2015 SMPTE® 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2015) to Offer Rich Array of Sessions and Special Events
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Oct 16, 2013 SMPTE to Host Groundbreaking 4K Demo During SMPTE 2013 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition
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