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The Industry Best Get Ready to Judge – Awards 2023

An expert-led judging program uses industry insight to promote outstanding work

Updated October 25, 2023
Award date information revised.

By Christine Purse

The HPA Awards have honored creatives and technologists since 2006, growing to become one of the most coveted and respected honors in post production. The first year, in the Skirball’s small theater, 150 people cheered on the recipients and loudly applauded the launch.  Since that time, the creative categories have evolved, entries have skyrocketed, and the gala has become a not-to-be-missed event. The Lifetime Achievement and Charles S Swartz honors have recognized giants like Ray Dolby, Ben Burtt, Rob Legato, and Leon Silverman, to name a few.  The Engineering Excellence Awards have attracted hundreds of submissions from the best technologists in the world, while groundbreaking Creativity and Innovation recipients have been recognized for important cultural and technical work.

At the very heart of this growth is a tested process that is central to the honors.  It’s time to share how these awards are determined.

  • Presented by the HPA, an industry trade organization, the HPA Awards has as one of its core values the recognition of our community’s bravura creative and technical achievements.
  • Collaborative management of the HPA Awards: The HPA Awards take, in one way or another, almost the entire year to prepare, hone, and present. The Awards committee, HPA staff and HPA Board work closely to make sure that the Awards are as topical and influential as possible. The dedicated awards committee guides the overall process, the unmatched talent and team at HPA keep it rolling, and the HPA Board, comprised of industry leaders and experts, stand by to guide and shape.
  • How are submissions judged: The highest caliber judges, working experts, are sought to review and vote on color grading, sound, editing, restoration and visual effects submissions. HPA collaborates with industry organizations like ACE and ASC to enroll talented and working judges in the creative categories. Judges are vetted and screened for conflicts of interest and judging sessions are carefully proctored.  In-person judging sessions for color grading and sound entries are conducted in state-of-the-art facilities.  Although allowing remote judging for sound and color would expand the judging pool, respect for the submitting artists’ work means no one judges color or sound on ipads, rather the work is judged in facilities. Editing and visual effects are judged online.
  • The HPA Awards have judged thousands of entries over the past 19 years and the generous expertise of our judges has defined the HPA Award as the marker of truly exceptional work.
  • Membership and sponsorship: the HPA Awards, and indeed the HPA, operate with member and sponsor support. But the awards are not sponsored by a single entity, technology, or manufacturer.
  • How are special awards chosen? The Creativity and Innovation Award was envisioned and remains a juried honor bestowed by a panel of esteemed industry experts from a variety of disciplines. Under the leadership of Hollywood Reporter Tech Editor and HPA Awards co-founder Carolyn Giardina and HPA board member Joachim Zell, the jury recognizes individuals, tools, projects, and concepts that deeply influence the course of the industry’s evolution. The Lifetime Achievement Award and the Charles S. Swartz Award are jointly determined by the HPA Awards Committee and the HPA Board of Directors. The Legacy Award, honoring inspiring leaders, mentors, influencers and those who have made consistent and valuable contributions to the industry, is determined by the Board.
  • The interplay of Board of Directors, HPA Awards Committee and HPA staff keep the awards relevant. The organization has checks and balances to keep the awards meaningful; and the perspective of the various participants keep the show evolving.

As submissions for this year’s creative categories draw to a close – and HPA Awards have again seen hundreds of entries that include the most innovative, creative and recognized projects – and as engineering judging begins, it’s clear that a huge thank you is due to all of those companies, individuals, committee members and staff who make the HPA Awards important to our community, and meaningful to its recipients.

See you on November 28th!

If you are interested in judging any category, click here to submit your credentials; and if you would like to join the HPA Awards committee, click here.  Your enthusiasm and your expertise are valued!

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