On February 11 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award of Merit will go to ARRI, which makes professional motion picture equipment, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques (IPM). They are winning for their jointly developed ARRILASER film recorder.
The Academy Award of Merit honors personalities who are responsible for a technical achievement that “has demonstrably contributed to improving filmmaking processes in a significant way.” Franz Kraus and Johannes Steurer from ARRI (Munich Germany) and Wolfgang Riedel from the Fraunhofer IPM (Freiburg, Germany) have each been awarded an Oscar for the design and development of the ARRILASER.
The jury declared that this laser film recorder "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." Extracts from the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation should appear during the "main" Oscar ceremony on February 26.
The ARRILASER uses three solid-state lasers. For each color channel one acousto-optical modulator modulates the laser output according to the color information of each pixel of every digital image.
Although the ARRILASER wasn't credited by any of the Best Picture or Best Cinematography nominees, the majority of films were shot with other ARRI cameras. Now the ARRILASER won’t be such a silent partner.