AMERICA'S Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers will induct Helensburgh-born TV inventor John Logie Baird to its Honor Roll at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, California, on October 23.
The Roll of Honor and the list of Honorary Members include US television pioneers such as Zworykin and Farnsworth, also some very big names like Thomas Edison and Walt Disney, plus William Friese-Greene, the UK cine camera pioneer about whom a film — 'The Magic Box' — was made in 1951.
The Baird family has always felt that JLB has been rather neglected by TV historians in the USA, but Helensburgh Heritage Trust president Malcolm Baird, the inventor's son, said: "Perhaps the tide is turning."
The Society's website states:
Honorary Membership in the Society recognizes individuals who have performed eminent service in the advancement of engineering in motion pictures, television, or in the allied arts and sciences. It is the Society’s highest accolade. This year, SMPTE honors three technologists for their innovations, which have left a lasting impression on the industry.
George Lucas is best known as a writer, director, and producer responsible for iconic American films, but Lucas is also a pioneer in the adoption of new technologies for motion picture production and exhibition. Lucas founded Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in 1975, and it has gone on to produce visual effects (VFX) for nearly 300 films. Among many other innovations, ILM invented the OpenEXR file format in 2000 to support high dynamic range (HDR) imaging.
The animation studio Pixar was founded as the Graphix Group of Lucasfilm in 1979. In 1981, Lucas co-founded the sound company THX to advance the quality of theatrical sound systems. In 2002, “Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones” was the first major Hollywood feature to be captured digitally, on 24p high-definition (HD) video cameras. In his determination to push the medium of cinema with new technologies and techniques, Lucas encountered both support and skepticism.
It is now clear that his perseverance and vision were key factors in the eventual widespread adoption of digital cinematography in motion picture production. Photo Credit - Bloomberg via Getty Images
Leonardo Chiariglione is generally considered to be the driving force behind the development of the MPEG set of standards that underpin today’s many digital moving pictures applications. Chiariglione’s constant push for a simple, standardized moving pictures toolbox began in 1988 with the founding of the International Standards Organization (ISO) Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) group, and it continues to the present day.
Chiariglione has forcefully maintained focus on timely standardization, technical simplicity, and efficiency. The wide adoption of MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, in particular, is apt testimony to the contribution Chiariglione and the MPEG group has made to date.
The Honor Roll posthumously recognizes individuals who were not awarded Honorary Membership during their lifetimes but whose contributions would have been sufficient to warrant such an honor.
John Logie Baird (1888-1946) is inducted into the SMPTE Honor Roll in recognition of his lifelong contributions as a pioneer in television technology.
His accomplishments include the first live television demonstration (in 1925), the first publicly shown color television system (1928), and the first fully electronic color television picture tube. The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) began transmitting with the Baird system in 1929.
Baird continued to develop new technology including a mechanical color system in 1939 (adopted by CBS/RCA); a 500-line 3-D system in 1941; and an electronic 600-line color display in 1944. Baird lobbied for post-war standardization of his 1,000-line electronic color television system. Photo Credit - The LIFE Picture Collection, Getty Images