Written by: FFT Webmaster | February 7th, 2012
Since 1986, the Berlin International Film Festival has presented the Berlinale Camera to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks. At the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, which begins this Thursday, cinema sound pioneer Ray Dolby will be awarded the Berlinale Camera in recognition of his work as one of the most important engineers and inventors in the film industry.
Ray Dolby is one of the true revolutionaries of the film world, having contributed immeasurably to the enjoyment of films that feature the amazing acoustic experience provided by his company. By installing multiple loudspeakers and applying multi-channel technology, Dolby surround sound introduced viewers to the feeling of being fully immersed in the moment. Ray Dolby founded Dolby Laboratories in 1965 and introduced noise reduction into music and speech recordings. In the 1970s, Ray Dolby turned the company’s attention to cinema, transforming the entertainment experience. Dolby Stereo was introduced in 1975, was quickly adopted by movie theatres worldwide, with such classic films as STAR WARS (1977) and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) being the first to be released in the new Dolby sound format. This immediately became the industry standard.
Dolby Digital surround sound followed, which also later became the standard for home cinema audio with the introduction of DVD. In 1989, his work in the field was recognized with a special Oscar for his contributions to the film industry; and in 2003, an Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. Ray Dolby served as a member of Dolby’s Board of Directors from 1965 until his retirement from the Board in 2011, turning over the reins of the company to his son. The Berlinale will present Ray Dolby with the Berlinale Camera at a special ceremony on February 16.