Sci-Tech Council Programming

Matt DeJohn

Discover the fascinating science and technology behind moviemaking, from the earliest cinematic experiments to the latest cutting-edge digital processes and equipment. The Science & Technology Council's Public Programs and Education Subcommittee presents intriguing events and exhibitions to teach industry professionals and the general public about how technology serves the art of motion pictures.

Recent Programs

Like Magic

Like Magic

"Like Magic" explored cinema's roots in stage magic and sleight of hand.

Like Magic

Real To Reel: The Art of Action

"Real to Reel" explores how stunt artists collaborate with creative teams and utilize emerging technologies to help create complex movie stunts that would have never before been possible.

Turning the Page

Turning the Page: Storytelling in the Digital Age

A look at how emerging technologies can influence the craft of screenwriting.

Deconstructing Pi

Deconstructing Pi

A look at breakthrough visual effects work that went into crafting the film "Life of Pi."

VFX Convergence

VFX Convergence

A cross-disciplinary look at the constantly evolving craft of visual effects.

Beyond the Infinite

Beyond the Infinite: Science Fiction After Kubrick

A LACMA Exhibition Film Series featuring Academy Film Archive prints of two Saul Bass films.

Jurassic Park

"Jurassic Park"

A special screening of "Jurassic Park" in 3D and an onstage discussion with crew members.

White Christmas

"White Christmas" (Bay Area)

Rob Hummel and Craig Barron explore the widescreen VistaVision format.

Forgotten Planet

Mysteries of the Krell: Making "Forbidden Planet" (Bay Area)

Craig Barron and Ben Burtt discuss special effects and sound design secrets.


Prime Tech: "Bram Stoker's Dracula"

A 20th anniversary screening of Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning film.


"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (Bay Area)

A 30th anniversary screening of Steven Spielberg's classic film.

The Innovative Genius of Jerry Lewis

The Innovative Genius of Jerry Lewis

The Innovative Genius of Jerry Lewis.

Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Stranger

Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Stranger

The science behind superhero movies with host Adam Weiner and the films' creative teams.

Capturing the Final Frontier

Capturing the Final Frontier

A special evening of space exploration with NASA and the Academy.

Gene Kelly: Choreography and the Camera

Gene Kelly: Choreography and the Camera

A special gala evening of film clips, stories and personal remembrances of motion picture legend Gene Kelly.

Inside the Booth

Inside the Booth - A Journey Through Projection

An in-depth look at the evolution of motion picture projection, exploring advances from early cinema through digital technology.


40 Years of Sound for Film

Chris Newman and Tom Fleischman demonstrated how the raw tracks recorded on set become the finished soundtrack.

It's A Wonderful Life

Making the Holiday Classic "It's a Wonderful Life"

Craig Barron and Ben Burtt hosted an evening exploring the technology behind a beloved holiday classic

Out of this World

Out of This World: The Science of Space Movies

Adam Weiner hosted an evening that examined the "real" physics behind many of your favorite science fiction films.

Empire of the Sum

A Celebration of Takuo "Tak" Miyagishima

This special evening celebrated the life and accomplishments of Takuo "Tak" Miyagishima, one of the most esteemed design engineers in the motion picture industry.

Forbidden Planet

Mysteries of the Krell: Making the Sci-Fi Epic "Forbidden Planet"

An evening celebrating the technology behind this 1956 sci-fi classic, hosted by Oscar winners Craig Barron and Ben Burtt.

Prime Tech Series: "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

A 30th anniversary screening featuring an onstage discussion with members of the film's crew.


Cinematography in the Digital Age

Exploring how current skills and techniques of cinematographers have evolved from traditional methodologies used when working with celluloid film.

Pat O'Neill

Optical Architect: An Evening with Pat O'Neill

An onstage conversation with experimental filmmaker and optical effects artist Pat O'Neill.


Hollywood & Vines: The Movie Magic of Tarzan (Bay Area)

Exploring some of the secrets behind the making of "Tarzan and His Mate"(1934) and "Tarzan Finds a Son!"(1939).

Where Do We Go

“Where Do We Go from Here?”

Writer-director-producer Jerry Zucker hosted an evening exploring what could be in the future for motion pictures. The program examined topics ranging from artificial intelligence to performance capture, 3D and non-traditional theatrical venues.


“Visualize This: Previs in the Making of "Star Trek" (2009)”

Previsualization (previs) in the digital age is an evolving pre-production process that incorporates 3D animation tools and virtual environments, enabling filmmakers to fully explore their creative visions by creating visual references for complicated film shots and sequences long before production begins.

Monsters in the Movies

“Monsters in the Movies”

Special effects makeup artist and on-set animatronic effects supervisor Shane Mahan took the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn stage to host an evening exploring the evolution of creature technology in feature films and the role it plays in shaping monster movies.


“Me Tarzan, You Technology: The Magic of Tarzan in the Movies”

A week-long celebration of the technology behind "Tarzan" with screenings and a temporary display highlighting the production methods used to create the classic film series.


“Out of this World: The Science of Space Movies”

This three-part program starts with a night analyzing famous scenes from "space" movies, followed by a Friday screening of Fritz Lang's 1929 silent epic "Woman in the Moon" and a Saturday screening at the Silent Movie Theatre of "Project Apollo" and "For All Mankind."

Monsters vs Aliens

“Getting Perspective III: Exploring the Craft of 3D Movie Technology”

A three-part program exploring 3D techniques for animated and live action movies.

Illuminating the Future: The Arrival of Solid State Lighting

Cinematographer Daryn Okada and panelists representing several filmmaking disciplines discussed the challenges and advantages of solid state lighting, a new type of light source with the potential to alter how movies are made and seen.

Acting in the Digital Age

Cast and crew members from "Avatar" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" discussed how acting has been impacted by performance-capture technology, digital doubles, digital makeup, photorealism, image manipulation and other developments.

The Hunt for Red October

A 20th anniversary screening of John McTiernan's Cold War thriller, featuring a newly struck 35mm print and an onstage discussion with members of the film's crew.

The Prisoner of Zenda

In commemoration of what would have been Douglas Fairbanks Jr.'s 100th birthday, Oscar-winning visual effects artist Craig Barron led an examination of the innovative photographic and sound effects used in creating 1937's "The Prisoner of Zenda."

The Sound behind the Image: Real Horrorshow!

The extraordinary role sound plays in shaping horror films will be showcased through film clips, demonstrations and discussion, including a behind-the-scenes look at how the sound effects for “Poltergeist” were created.

When Worlds Collide: The Science of Movies

Could a bus really jump over a 50-foot gap in the highway? Would Spider-Man survive an 80-story plummet without so much as a broken bone? Why did the Titanic actually sink? Adam Weiner hosted an interactive evening that examined the “real” physics behind many of your favorite action, science fiction and superhero films.

Astronaut as Filmmaker

“Astronaut as Filmmaker” explored the close-knit relationship between NASA and motion pictures. The presentation featured astronauts, including Commander Scott Altman, who recently returned from the STS-125 shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. They talked about the challenges and revelations of filming in outer space.

Costume Design in the Digital Age

Hosted by costume designer and historian Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis and visual effects supervisor and cinematographer Bill Taylor, this program featured a panel of costume designers, who discussed the challenges of designing for digital technology, and where costume design may be headed.

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