The Motion Picture Sound Editors will include a special tribute to the late American inventor Ray Dolby, recognized around the world for developing groundbreaking audio technologies, during its 61st MPSE Golden Reel Awards February 16 in Los Angeles. Also at the ceremony George Lucas will present the 2014 MPSE Career Achievement Award to Randy Thom, director of sound design at Skywalker Sound.
Dolby's pioneering work in noise reduction and surround sound led to the development of many state-of-the-art technologies used in the film, television and recording industries. Dolby, who passed away in September, was a prolific inventor, engineer and founder of Dolby Laboratories, an environment where scientists and engineers continue to advance the science of sight and sound to make entertainment and communications more engaging. Founded in 1965, the company’s technologies are an essential part of the creative process for recording artists and filmmakers, who continue to use Dolby tools to bring their visions to life.
“Ray Dolby was a brilliant scientist whose inventions are in use every day in recording studios, sound editing suites, mix stages and cinemas worldwide,” said MPSE president Frank Morrone. “He was a giant in our industry and we take great pride is saluting his many contributions to our craft.”
Dolby is best remembered for the development of the noise reduction system that bears his name and delivered sound recordings with greater clarity and fidelity. He also developed the first commercially viable surround-sound system, which led to the widespread use of 5.1- and 7.1-channel sound systems in theaters and homes around the world. Ray Dolby holds more than 50 U.S. patents. He was also the recipient of two Academy Awards for Scientific or Technical Achievement, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and numerous other awards and honors, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Lucas has a long-running connection with Thom, both in the latter’s role at Skywalker Sound, where he has worked for more than two decades, and in his capacity as a sound editor. One of Thom’s first movie credits was Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, where he served as sound effects recordist. Thom is a two-time Academy Award-winner (The Right Stuff, The Incredibles) and a 14-time Oscar nominee.
Motion Picture Sound Editors www.mpse.org