Wendy Aylsworth to Receive Inter-Society’s Ken Mason Award

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Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:50 -- Nick Dager

Entertainment industry veteran Wendy Aylsworth, senior vice president, technology, Warner Bros. Technical Operations, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Inter-Society for the Enhancement of Cinema Presentation’s Ken Mason Award, honoring an individual who has made outstanding long-term contributions leading to the overall improvement of the motion picture experience.  Susie Beiersdorf, president, Inter-Society, made the announcement.

Aylsworth will receive the award at a ceremony held at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on April 21. 

In her current role at Warner Bros. Technical Operations, Aylsworth oversees the development and establishment of new technologies for Warner Bros.’ production divisions and assesses the impact of emerging technologies on content creation and distribution. Technical Operations participates in international standards and interfaces with research entities to leverage interoperable technologies into the entertainment space, recently focusing attention on the next generation of content formats and accompanying security.

“I salute the Inter-Society for selecting Wendy as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Ken Mason award,” said Dan Fellman, president, domestic distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. “She has been instrumental in raising the bar on Digital Cinema standards, both in terms of quality and interoperability, which has been invaluable to our industry. Wendy is an integral part of Warner Bros. Technology Operations and has been a mentor to many as our industry has transitioned to the digital world.”

“My heartfelt congratulations go out to Wendy, and I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of this important honor,” said Veronika Kwan-Vandenberg, president, International distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. “Wendy has been instrumental in helping the motion picture industry navigate the unprecedented transition to digital projection, and without her leadership, technical prowess and diplomacy, we would not have the consistent quality, interoperability or common format that audiences around the world expect to see in cinemas.”

“This honor is well deserved. Wendy has been a visionary and leader in guiding the transition of the industry from our analog past to the digital future,” said widely respected technology consultant Chris Cookson.  “Production, post, distribution and cinema have all benefited greatly from her contributions, both in employing new technologies at the studio and through her leadership roles in SMPTE.  I congratulate both the Society on their selection and Wendy on the honor.”

“Throughout the years I have known Wendy, she has become a prominent leader in pivotal cinema technology standards organizations,” said Doug Darrow, senior vice president, cinema business group, Dolby Laboratories. “Her dedication to establishing exciting technologies, such as digital cinema, High Frame Rate project systems, are significant milestones in industry history and the Ken Mason award is a chance to shine light on her continuous efforts in the entertainment industry as she works towards creating more innovative future cinematic experiences.”

Aylsworth is the Past President of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and is a SMPTE Fellow. Following extensive work in D-Cinema requirements and standards, she successfully enabled the rollout of High Frame Rate (HFR) projection systems for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. She serves as the Board Chair for the USC Entertainment Technology Center and also sits on the Motion Picture Laboratories board.  She is also a member of both the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with an appointment to their Science & Technology Council and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, currently acting as Chair of the Technical Emmy Committee.

Aylsworth’s career started in aerospace, designing military avionics at Lockheed and training simulators at Honeywell.  She has also worked at Disney and Warner, with expertise in theme parks and animation.

She holds an MS/MBA (Beta Gamma Sigma) in Managerial Sciences/Strategic Planning from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.