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ARRI Gets 17th Academy Award Of Merit

A manufacturer of motion picture cameras and lighting equipment is to be rewarded with their 17th Academy Award of Merit this time to honor one of their film recorders.
ARRI has announced that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will honor the ARRILASER film recorder in the form of an Oscar during a ceremony on February 11 in Beverly Hills.
The Academy presents the awards to individuals behind these achievements, which demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures the organisation notes.
The Oscar will be presented to Franz Kraus, Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Riedel for the design and development of the ARRILASER, which “demonstrates a high level of engineering resulting in a compact, user-friendly, low-maintenance device, while at the same time maintaining outstanding speed, exposure ratings and image quality.”
The initial concept of the ARRILASER was inspired by the development of a large-scale laser printer at the Fraunhofer Institute IPM in Freiburg. Project manager Wolfgang Riedel suggested utilizing the experience and technology gained in this previous project for the film industry, which led to a very successful partnership between the Fraunhofer Institute IPM in Freiburg and Arnold & Richter Cine Technik in Munich. This partnership of innovation and real world experience allowed Kraus, Steurer and Riedel to come up with product specifications for a laser-based, high dynamic range, high resolution film recorder. After just two years of development, the first prototypes were delivered to Digital Domain and Computer Film Company for beta testing in 1998. Today, the ARRILASER is the industry standard with over 280 units in use around the globe.
"The concept was to have technology which would satisfy Hollywood-quality demands but would be efficient and competitive to accommodate lower budget films,” explained Franz Kraus, ARRI’s Managing Director. Johannes Steurer.
Principal Engineer at ARRI’s R&D department added:"The ARRILASER made it possible to record complete feature films at a moderate price with quick recording speed so the industry could turn from shot-based visual effects production to digital production for the complete features. This enabled the digital intermediate process on a big scale.”
"While the development of the ARRILASER posed several technological challenges, our enthusiasm was inspirational for various scientists and engineers making significant contributions in their respective fields," reminisces Wolfgang Riedel of the Fraunhofer IPM.
This early foray into digital technology later paved the way for more innovation. “We are very pleased that we receive the Oscar in particular for this product because it is the first digital system ARRI ever built,” said Kraus.
"The ARRILASER has been a success in itself, but it was really the foundation to further digital projects: the ARRISCAN and the ARRIFLEX D-20. Without those products there would not have been the in-house engineering competence and the customer confidence for the successful design and marketing of the ALEXA camera."
This latest Sci-Tech honor is the 17th award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for ARRI products over the years. Portions of the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be included in the televised Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26.
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