Celebrating Excellence: Highlights from the 2023 HPA Awards

The 2023 HPA Awards on Nov. 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Molly O’Keeffe/Capture Imaging)

The glitz and glamour of the post-production world took center stage earlier this week at the Television Academy’s Wolf Theatre at the HPA Awards. This prestigious event, held annually, spotlights remarkable achievements in color grading, editing, sound, visual effects, and new this year as a submittable category, restoration. Let’s take a closer look at the memorable moments and deserving winners that made this year’s HPA Awards an unforgettable affair.

The HPA Awards recognized outstanding accomplishments in various film categories. Notable winners include “Oppenheimer,” clinching awards for both color grading (Kostas Theodosiou and Kristen Zimmerman from FotoKem) and editing (Jennifer Lame, ACE). “John Wick: Chapter 4” secured the sound category with accolades for Mark Stoeckinger, Andy Koyama, Casey Genton, Alan Rankin, Manfred Banach from Formosa Group. The visually stunning “Avatar: The Way of Water” triumphed in the visual effects category, thanks to the remarkable work of Chris Edgen, Nick Epstein, Wayne Stables, Pavani Rao Boddapati, Sergei Nevshupov of Wētā FX.

Other noteworthy mentions include “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” for outstanding color grading (Natasha Leonnet of Picture Shop), “House of the Dragon” (MPC & Pixomondo), and the Paramount Pictures restoration of “The Godfather” for Outstanding Achievement in Restoration.

One of the evening’s highlights was the screening of “Tribute to Post,” a poignant short film produced by HPA. Directed by Clyde Bessey of Origin Point, this cinematic piece paid homage to the heart, spirit, and challenges faced by the post-production community over the past year and its enduring collegial nature. Featuring insightful commentary from industry luminaries, including Wendy Aylsworth, Jill Bogdanowicz, Mike Brodersen, Larry Chernoff, Michael Cioni, Carolyn Giardina, Seth Hallen, Nikki Jee, Rob Legato, ASC, Loren Nielsen, Sabrina Plisco, ACE, Leon Silverman, and Mandy Walker, ASC-ACS, the film was a touching salute to the resilience of the post-production community.

The HPA Awards also acknowledged technological brilliance with the presentation of the Creativity & Innovation and Engineering Excellence Awards. Sphere, the groundbreaking venue in Las Vegas was awarded the prize for Creativity & Innovation. For Engineering Excellence, Adobe took home the honor for Adobe Premiere Pro Text-Based Editing, while Flanders Scientific and Kino Flo were celebrated for their innovations with XMP550 and Mimik 120, respectively. StypeLandXR received an Honorable Mention for its noteworthy contribution.

As always, this grand celebration of cinematic excellence was made possible through the unwavering support of HPA’s sponsors. Diamond title sponsor Blackmagic Design, dessert sponsors Warner Bros. Post Production Creative Services Worldwide and Xytech, and event sponsors Deluxe, FotoKem, and Pixelogic played pivotal roles in bringing this spectacular event to life. Supporting sponsors, including Adobe, AVID, Colorist Society, Sohonet, and The Sound Lab a Keywords Studio, added their invaluable contributions to the success of the HPA Awards.

The HPA expresses deep gratitude to industry partners, including the American Society of Cinematographers, American Cinema Editors, and Cinema Audio Society, for their collaborative efforts in recognizing excellence in craft categories. Special thanks are extended to FotoKem, Pixelogic, and Deluxe Digital Cinema for hosting the judging facilities.

For a full list of this year’s winners, visit here.

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