HPA to give Ben Burtt the Charles S. Swartz Award

Bookmark and Share

Wed, 09/23/2009 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

The Hollywood Post Alliance has announced that Ben Burtt will receive the organization’s Charles S. Swartz Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Post Production recognizing his powerful artistic impact on the industry.  The award will be bestowed on November 12th during the Hollywood Post Alliance Awards gala at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. Burtt’s credits and accomplishments are the stuff of legend; his contributions integrally woven into a number of iconic and Oscar winning films. Showing a rare fluency across many disciplines Mr. Burtt has worked in every facet of film production for over 35 years.  With numerous credits on films such as; Star Trek WALL-E Indiana Jones franchise E.T. and numerous Star Wars episodes Burtt’s skills include directing producing sound design sound editing editing voicing and voice design in motion pictures television specialty educational and documentary.  He was the Sound Designer for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards for sound effects work and has won four Oscars. He has created globally and instantly recognized sounds like the light saber and characters like Wall-E and R2-D2.  He designed ET’s voice and wrote the Ewok Freedom song.   His contributions as director and collaborator are extensive and cover the entire range of creative filmmaking; from animation documentary television series and feature films.  Burtt’s credits include the IMAX film Special Effects for which he was nominated for directing in the Best Short Documentary category of the Academy Awards.   Last year he received the Oscar nomination for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing for Pixar-Disney’s Wall-E. In addition he voiced the main character Wall-E along with Wall-E’s robot sidekicks.  Burtt won the 2008 HPA Award for Sound Editing for the movie.  His most recent sound design earlier this year was for JJ Abram’s Star Trek.   He holds a BS in Physics from Allegheny College a Masters in Film Production from the University of Southern California and a Doctorate of Arts from Allegheny College.  Currently at work on several projects as writer director and sound designer Burtt is married to Margaret Burtt and has four children and four grandchildren. HPA Awards co-founder and committee chair Carolyn Giardina says “We are thrilled to recognize Ben Burtt with the Charles S. Swartz Award an honor that represents everything that the HPA stands for; creativity technical excellence and limitless thinking.  From R2 D2 to WALL-E Ben Burtt has helped create some of the most unforgettable characters of our generation. We are honored to present this award to him.” The Charles S. Swartz Award was created to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of post production; an industry in a state of an expanding creative palette and of dynamic transition as a result of digital technologies and societal changes.  The award was named in honor of the late Charles Swartz who led the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California from 2002 until 2006 and helped to build it into the industry’s premiere test bed for new digital cinema technologies.  In addition to a long and successful career as producer educator and consultant Mr. Swartz served on the Board of Directors of the HPA.   Leon Silverman president of the HPA says “Ben Burtt’s career and accomplishments speak to the true spirit of this award which recognizes impactful contributions. Ben Burtt’s impact to the art and craft of post-production and to our cultural legacy should be celebrated.” The Hollywood Post Alliance www.hpa.net