The award will be presented at CinemaCon, which will be held April 23 – 26, 2012 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. CinemaCon, the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), is the largest and most important gathering of cinema owners and operators from around the world.
The Ken Mason Award, named after the Inter-Society’s founder, will be presented to Pierce during the Breakfast and Industry Awards Presentation on Tuesday, April 24 by SVP of Technicolor Curt Behlmer, on behalf of the Inter-Society. The annual award honors an individual who has made outstanding long-term contributions leading to the overall improvement of the motion picture experience. Previous recipients include: Ken Mason, Barry Reardon, Al Shapiro, Bud Stone, Ioan Allen, Mark Christiansen, Sid Ganis and Gary Weaver.
"Jerry epitomizes the purpose of the Ken Mason award – he has been an instrumental leader toward excellence in the cinema experience,” noted John Fithian, President and CEO of NATO. “His guidance of the ISDCF has enabled the significant industry collaboration to address critical digital cinema-related issues. Exhibitors are undoubtedly grateful for his tremendous service to our industry."
“From the foundation of DC28, through DCI and the ISDCF, Jerry’s singular vision has been one of the central pillars supporting today’s digital cinema technology,” said Ioan Allen, SVP Dolby Laboratories.
Jerry Pierce came to the film technology industry by way of a master’s degree in electrical engineering-laser optics at Stanford, and 14 years of engineering developments at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft and Stanford Research Institute. He joined Universal in 1995 and immediately began work developing the DVD format, as part of the Universal/Panasonic/Warner Bros./Toshiba team that moved the format from concept to launch – he and Panasonic were recognized with an Emmy award in 1999 for their efforts.
In 2000, Jerry joined the Theatrical Division of Universal Pictures and was at the ground floor of the launch of Digital Cinema. He was active within The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) DC28, where the initial industry-wide objectives were formulated. He also served as chairman of SMPTE DC28.2, the digital cinema mastering group. Following the initial SMPTE work, Pierce became a founding member of Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), and served on both the management and technical committees. He also was a board member of the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California that hosted the Digital Cinema Theater in Hollywood, where the early testing for DCI was held and many of its standards first tested. His close working relationship with NATO and the Inter-Society was recognized as one of the bridges between the organizations.
Pierce, together with Wayne Anderson and John Fithian, described and initiated the Inter-Society Digital Cinema Forum in 2006 to create a group for cross-industry open discussions on the real-world evolving practices for digital cinema. This has become the de-facto location to bring up critical technical issues for digital cinema. Jerry has served as its chairman, webmaster and negotiator since its inception. It is widely recognized as the best users forum in the industry.