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Science, Technology and Engineering: Biographies 2020

Abigail Brady is a software engineer and writer. She graduated from the University of Southampton with a computer science degree in 2000. She worked for the Foundry on the Nuke compositor, where she was instrumental in broadening its adoption and moving the product into new areas of compositing such as stereoscopy and deep data. She was honored for this work by the Academy in 2018 with a Scientific and Technical Award. She is currently working at a stealth startup with former Foundry colleagues and others.

Andrea Kalas is Senior Vice President of Asset Management at Paramount Pictures, where she has overseen the preservation and restoration of over 500 films, pioneered a digital preservation system and now leads the group that makes sure Paramount’s film and television shows are formatted for distribution around the world. Before Paramount she was Head of Preservation at the British Film Institute, where she restored the early films of David Lean, oversaw the construction of an award-winning film vault, and implementation of digital preservation. She has also lead digital archiving programs at Discovery Communications and DreamWorks, SKG and preserved newsreels at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. She has been president of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, is on the Science and Technology Council of the Academy, and a proud mentor in the Academy Gold program.

Brian McLean is the Director of Rapid Prototyping at LAIKA.  He unites the complex technological elements of 3D printing with traditional animation at the studio. He first became familiar with 3D printing in 2005, while working as a classically trained sculptor and model-maker in San Francisco.  Shortly thereafter, he initiated the introduction of 3D printing on LAIKA’s inaugural feature film Coraline (2009). He continues to be instrumental in further groundbreaking developments and refinements of 3D printer technology for stop-motion at LAIKA and around the world. Mr. McLean was honored with an Annie Award for Special Achievement in Animation for his work on Coraline. In 2012, he was named one of VARIETY’s “Animation Elite.” In 2016, he received a Scientific and Technical Oscar® plaque for his innovation in the use of 3D printing in stop-motion animation and was nominated for an Academy Award® for Visual Effects for LAIKA’s Kubo and the Two Strings.

Paige Warner has worked at Industrial Light and Magic for over 20 years, blurring the line between Artist and Engineer. As a Facial Capture Supervisor she helped oversee the complex facial capture work in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and also supervised the facial capture work for the character Snoke in both Star Wars: A Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.  In 2017, Paige received a Sci-Tech Academy Award for her contributions to ILM's Facial Performance Capture System.

Upon obtaining her MS and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rachel Rose began working at ILM in the research and development department, which drives technology that aids artists in the creation of feature films.  Now an R&D supervisor, Rose has worked on a wide range of productions during her 13 years at ILM, including Rango (2011), Noah (2014), Strange Magic (2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), and, most recently, on The Mandalorian (2019), specifically driving forward the technology for the show.  Rose's work on the architecture and engineering of the BlockParty procedural rigging system garnered her a Technical Achievement Award in 2017.

Barbara Ford Grant is a consultant at Movielabs and an advisor in media and entertainment with over twenty years of experience on groundbreaking Film and TV productions, including Game of Thrones, Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland, and the Shrek franchise.   Her strong understanding of how technology can empower the artist toward more powerful methods of storytelling has led to key innovations and award-winning technologies in digital workflows for live and virtual production, computer graphics and animation.  Previously, Barbara served as SVP, Digital Production Services at HBO, overseeing studio production, post-production operations, and next-gen technologies. She held key leadership positions at Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Dreamworks Animation, where she co-engineered the first digital stereo projection system for the Shrek 4D theme park attraction.  Barbara is a member of both the Television Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  She serves as Vice Chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and as a member of the Visual Effects Society Technical Committee.  She studied Art History and Photography at the University of New Mexico.