Academy’s Science and Technology Adds New Members

AMTV, LOS ANGELES, CA. Dec 7 – David Pierce, Andy Serkis and Jeffrey White have accepted invitations to join the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bringing the Council’s 2021–2022 membership roster to 25.

Pierce is an archivist and film historian. As assistant chief and chief operations officer of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center at the Library of Congress, Pierce is responsible for the acquisition, conservation, documentation and digitization of the world’s largest public archives of motion pictures, television, radio and recorded sound. He is the author of The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912–1929 and co-author, with James Layton, of The Dawn of Technicolor, 1915-1935 and King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman’s Technicolor Revue. He founded the Media History Digital Library, and his articles have appeared in American Film, Film Comment, American Cinematographer and more. Pierce has been an Academy Member-at-Large since 2019.

Serkis is an award-winning actor known for his performance capture roles in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “King Kong,” the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and more. His feature film directing credits include “Breathe,” “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” Serkis is the co-founder, alongside producer Jonathan Cavendish, of The Imaginarium, a multi-platform production company linked to a performance capture studio and focused on next-generation storytelling. Serkis will next appear on screen in “The Batman,” portraying Alfred Pennyworth. He has been a member of the Academy’s Actors Branch since 2012.

White is a feature and television producer specializing in independent film and visual effects. Currently an executive producer consulting with Drafthouse Films, he has worked in the feature production department of Warner Bros. and held roles as vice president of production and producer for Winkler/Daniel Productions at Paramount Pictures, as well as president and executive producer at Pellerin Multimedia, Inc. which produced “King Kong: Peter Jackson’s Production Diaries” for Universal Pictures. White has produced independent features including “Manhood” and “Tale of the Mummy” and was a visual effects producer for “Sideways,” “Elizabethtown,” “Collateral Damage,” “Holes” and more. He has been a member of the Academy’s Producers Branch since 1982.

The Council co-chairs for 2021–2022 are Visual Effects Branch governor Craig Barron and Member-at-Large Annie Chang.

The Council’s 20 other returning members are Bill Baggelaar, Linda Borgeson, Visual Effects Branch governor Brooke Breton, Lois Burwell, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch governor Bill Corso, Sound Branch governor Teri E. Dorman, Theo Gluck, Buzz Hays, Greg Hedgepath, Leslie Iwerks, Andrea Kalas, Colette Mullenhoff, Ujwal Nirgudkar, Helena Packer, Arjun Ramamurthy, Rachel Rose, Dave Schnuelle, Leon Silverman, Jeffrey E. Taylor and Amy Vincent.

Established in 2003 by the Academy’s Board of Governors, the Science and Technology Council provides a forum for the exchange of information, promotes cooperation among diverse technological interests within the industry, sponsors publications, fosters educational activities and preserves the history of the science and technology of motion pictures.

The Academy has engaged in technical activities since its founding in 1927, primarily through cooperative research projects. At the time, projects included the standardization of screen illumination and film gate apertures, and coordination of release prints to theaters.

In 1929, the Academy formed the Producers-Technicians Joint Committee to oversee such activities as well as to establish a school to teach the theory and technique of sound recording and reproduction. In 1930, the Joint Committee merged with the Association of Motion Picture Producers Technical Bureau, which was performing a similar function.

In 1932, the group reorganized into the Research Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. By 1938, there were 36 technical committees addressing issues in the areas of sound recording and reproduction, projection, lighting, film preservation and cinematography. During World War II, the Research Council conducted a training course for Signal Corps officers, ran schools for Signal Corps and Marine Corps motion picture and still cameramen, and assigned training film projects to the studios.

The activities of the Research Council were transferred back to the Association of Motion Picture Producers in 1947, and the organization was renamed The Motion Picture Research Center, which continued to function at various levels of activity until 1976. From 1989 through 1998, the Technology Council of the Motion Picture-Television Industry operated as an independent entity to develop educational programs, encourage development of new products, and perform independent investigations and new product development through cooperative industry effort.

The Academy established the Science and Technology Council in 2003.

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