The Academy's Science and Technology Council presents

A Celebration of Takuo "Tak" Miyagishima with a screening of
"Empire of the Sun"

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Empire of the Sun
Empire of the SunEmpire of the SunEmpire of the SunEmpire of the Sun

Hosted by Rob Hummel

Discussion with
Science and Technology Council member Peter W. Anderson
Five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Allen Daviau
Oral historian Duane Dell'Amico
Optical designer Iain A. Neil

This special evening celebrated the life and accomplishments of Takuo "Tak" Miyagishima, one of the most esteemed design engineers in the motion picture industry. He made his first mechanical drawing for Panavision in 1954, and worked there continuously for over 50 years, retiring in 2009 as Senior Vice President of Engineering.


During Miyagishima's tenure, Panavision and its employees received more than 20 scientific and technical awards from the Academy for the design and manufacture of motion picture equipment, especially advanced camera systems and lenses.

Repeatedly over the years, Panavision's designs established benchmarks that became industry standards. Miyagishima came up with many of the ideas and inventions that made Panavision successful, and even designed the iconic Panavision logo itself. In the words of Richard Edlund, chair of the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards Committee: "Tak was a leading design engineer. His work with Panavision, in particular the technologies he created, revolutionized the industry."

In 1999, Miyagishima received the  John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation for dedicated service to the Academy; in 2004, he joined a select group of sci-tech giants whose contributions to the industry have merited the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Oscar statuette.

The evening included a discussion with Miyagishima's friends and colleagues, followed by a screening of Steven Spielberg's historical drama "Empire of the Sun," one of the first feature films to use Panavision's Primo Series of spherical prime lenses. Miyagishima, Iain Neil and Panavision received a Technical Achievement Award in 1990 for these lenses.

"Empire of the Sun" (1987), based on J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel, was adapted for the screen by Tom Stoppard and stars Christian Bale as Jim Graham, a young British plane enthusiast whose life is torn apart when he is separated from his parents after the Japanese invasion of Shanghai during World War II. Produced by Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, the film earned six Academy Award nominations.

35mm print courtesy of Warner Bros. Running time: 150 minutes.

Academy Award nominee: Art Direction (Norman Reynolds, Harry Cordwell); Cinematography (Allen Daviau); Costume Design (Bob Ringwood); Film Editing (Michael Kahn); Music – Original Score (John Williams); Sound (Robert Knudson, Don Digirolamo, John Boyd, Tony Dawe)

Rob Hummel has worked in wide-ranging roles in the entertainment industry for 32 years focusing on cinematography, post production, and visual effects. His credits include the Academy Award-winning "Raging Bull" and "The Prince of Egypt," the Academy Award-nominated "Tron," and restoration work on "Blade Runner." The editor and major contributor to the 8th edition of American Cinematographer Manual, he is a member of the Academy's Science and Technology Council and president of Group 47, LLC.

Event Information

Tuesday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Don't Show Again