The Gordon E. Sawyer Award honors an individual whose technological contributions have made an extraordinary and lasting impact on the motion picture industry.
Gordon E. Sawyer was a three-time Oscar winner and former Head of the Sound Department at Samuel Goldwyn Studios. Sawyer, who served as a member of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee from 1936 to 1977, claimed that the lists of past awards, arranged both chronologically and by category, represented a history of the development of motion pictures. After his death, an Honorary Award (an Oscar statuette) was established in his name to recognize “an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.”
The first honoree was named in 1981; a total of 22 individuals have received the award to date. Recommendations for this award have customarily been made through the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.