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HPA Announces Engineering Excellence Award Winners

The Hollywood Post Alliance recently announced three recipients of the Hollywood Post Alliance Engineering Excellence Awards. The recipients were made public following a lively and well-attended presentation and judging session held late last month. The Engineering Excellence Award was created to showcase and reward inventors, manufacturers, vendors and companies for outstanding product or technology application offerings. Entries had to represent a significant step forward for the postproduction industry and were open to any individual, group or company meeting the submission guidelines. Over the course of the past few years, interest in the engineering category has grown, and the HPA saw a record number of entrants this year.

The winners of the 2008 HPA Award for Engineering Excellence are:

Quantel for Pablo Stereoscopic 3D
Pablo Stereoscopic 3D is a real-time stereo 3D system that makes live action stereoscopic postproduction viable for the first time. Pablo allows both the editor and director to view both stereo streams simultaneously at full resolution and to make real-time adjustments.

Steve Owen, director of marketing for Quantel, states, “It’s a great honor to win the HPA award for our Stereo3D technology. We know 3D provides a great opportunity for everyone in our industry, and it’s great that the HPA agrees. Receiving the HPA award last year for Genetic Engineering gave a tremendous boost to the product in the market and also to the Quantel engineers who developed it. This year’s award will have the same effect and will help to drive the market forward into a new and exciting era.”

FastSoft for E Series Internet Accelerator
The E Series Internet Accelerator is a single-sided appliance that accelerates the speed of data downloads up to 30x without caching or compression.

Dan Henderson, vice president of marketing for FastSoft, says, “Winning the HPA Engineering Excellence Award is a great validation of our technology. The postproduction industry regularly feels the pain of coordinating file transfers between numerous parties with slow Internet connections and massive digital files. We’re pleased to have been recognized as a leading product that removes that technology coordination headache.”

Panasonic for AVC-Intra 100 Video Codec
AVC-Intra 100 is a file-based HD video codec that can achieve the compression ratio required to encode full-resolution 10-bit HD video at 100Mb/s. It is suitable for portable field acquisition as well as making master archives.

Michael Bergeron, chief technologist at Panasonic, notes, “Panasonic is pleased that our peers at the HPA have acknowledged the accomplishments of our AVC-Intra development team. For some time, our customers and technology partners have been asking for a 10-bit, full-raster, intra-frame HD codec capable of operating in field acquisition equipment as well as in desktop hardware and software. We have been able to meet these challenging industry requirements so soon—at an unprecedented 100Mb/s with the AVC-Intra codec—as a result of the hard work of our talented engineers and an organizational commitment to continuously advance technology.”

HPA Statement
In announcing the awards, HPA president Leon Silverman says, “The creativity we celebrate in the HPA Awards comes in many forms. It is sometimes easy to see the creative hand and impact on screen, but the creative impact of what brings content to screens is not always understood or celebrated. The tools, technology and infrastructure of our increasingly technically complex industry helps to push the boundaries of creative expression. These Engineering Excellence Awards recipients have all demonstrated a profound insight into how technology so elegantly and transparently fuels creativity and continues to allow the postproduction industry to demonstrate the deep value it adds to content creation.”

HPA Awards Take Place Nov. 6 in Los Angeles
The HPA Awards, which will be held on the evening of Nov. 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, recognize the outstanding contributions of postproduction professionals working behind the scenes in a number of categories. Those categories include color grading, audio, visual effects compositing and editorial for television, feature films and spots.

In addition to the Engineering Excellence Awards, two additional special awards will be given during the awards ceremony. Elizabeth Daley, dean of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, will receive the first Charles S. Swartz Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Postproduction. Ron Burdett, longtime postproduction leader, will receive the HPA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tickets for the gala event are on sale at www.hpaawards.net. Complete information is available online or by calling the HPA at 213-614-0860 or writing info@hpaawards.net.

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