Christie’s principal product developer, Mike Perkins, has been awarded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award in Scientific and Engineering, along with three other recipients, for his work on the design and development of the Christie E3LH projection system, developed in partnership with Dolby Laboratories. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards honor individuals and companies whose discoveries and innovations have contributed in significant and lasting ways to motion pictures.
Dolby will receive a second Academy Award for its development of Dolby Atmos Sound.
Since launching in 2012, Dolby Atmos has revolutionized how moviegoers experience entertainment with technology that places sounds all around you, bringing listeners deeper into the stories and emotions onscreen. With over 3,100 theatrical titles in Dolby Atmos, more than 280 mixing facilities, and over 8,000 Dolby Atmos screens installed or committed across 137 countries, Dolby Atmos has reshaped sound production in cinema.
“At Dolby, we’re driven by our goals of empowering creatives and delivering unparalleled entertainment experiences,” said Jed Harmsen, head of cinema and group entertainment at Dolby Laboratories. “We are deeply honored and humbled our innovations are being recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for unlocking more immersive cinematic experiences. Our commitment to supporting storytellers remains unwavering, and we look forward to continuing to push the boundaries of entertainment in the years to come.”
These wins are two of 16 scientific and technical achievements that will be honored at the annual Scientific and Technical Awards presentation at the Academy Museum of Motion Picture in Los Angeles.
The Christie E3LH Dolby Vision Cinema Projection System is the first projector to bring both high dynamic range and wide color gamut technologies to the viewing audience. The system can be used as a single projector head or dual projector head configuration with a patented relay lens that enables 3D stereoscopic presentations with full brightness and simultaneous imaging to both eyes for an improved viewing experience. The system has been installed in more than 300 commercial and non-commercial cinema screens, including 3D color correction and review rooms in more than 15 countries.
As a pioneer in the cinema industry for more than 65 years, Christie was at the forefront of the conversion from film to digital and continued its tradition of innovation with the development of the E3LH, which started in 2012. The projection system was first available in June 2015 for the theatrical release of Tomorrowland, and its underlying technology has significantly improved the moviegoing experience: on-screen black levels jumped from the typical 2000:1 to a whopping 1,000,000:1 to make the black portions of a scene truly black and RGB pure laser illumination expanded the color gamut beyond the standard DCI color space.
Perkins will be recognized during the official awards ceremony on February 23 at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California.
“This coveted award is a testament to the skilled engineering team at Christie. I’m extremely proud of everyone’s dedication to this important project and thank them for developing this award-winning innovative cinema projection system,” said Koji Naito, chief executive officer, Christie.
Perkins led a team of engineers with expertise in projection systems, light sources, and chip sets, and worked with the team at Brass Roots Technologies, which Christie acquired in 2022.
“We’re thrilled that Mike has been recognized for his innovative work that has - and will - continue to shape the cinema industry. With over 25 years at Christie, Mike’s vision and expertise, in collaboration with the cinema team, have led to the development of technology that has truly redefined the moviegoing experience,” said Brian Claypool, executive vice president, Cinema, Christie.
This award marks the third Academy Award for Christie, having previously received two awards for technical achievements. In 1983, Christie and LaVezzi Machine Works received the award for the development of the first completely sealed, maintenance-free 35mm projector intermittent film transport device, branded the Christie Ultramittent. In 1998, Christie won its second Academy Award for the development of the ELF 1-C Endless Loop Film Transport and Storage System.