Inter-Society to honor Jerry Pierce with Ken Mason Award


Jerry Pierce, former senior VP of technology at Universal Pictures and founder/chairman of the Inter-Society’s Digital Cinema Forum (ISDCF), will receive the Inter-Society’s 2012 Ken Mason Award on April 24 at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

The Ken Mason Award, named after the Inter-Society’s founder, 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 the National Association of Theatre Owners. “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, senior VP at Dolby Laboratories.

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, Pierce 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 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, 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. He has served as its chairman, webmaster and negotiator since its inception.