GSCA Achievement Awards

The GSCA 2017 Achievement Awards were presented the evening of September 26, 2017, at the DoubleTree Magnificent Mile in Chicago during the GSCA 2017 International Conference and Trade Show. IMAX Corporation sponsored the evening and also presented its Maximum Image Awards during the ceremony. Congratulations to the award recipients. All photos by James Hyder of LF Examiner for GSCA.

George Casey

Outstanding Achievement Award

George Casey

George Casey, who died on June 3, 2017, at the age of 84, was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award. Sean Casey, himself a filmmaker, accepted the award on his father’s behalf.

George Casey, producer, director, and writer of some of the most beloved and enduring giant screen documentaries, was a pioneer in the industry and has left behind an inspiring and timeless body of work. A four-time Academy Award nominee, his film The Eruption of Mount St. Helens was the first giant screen film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award.

As a partner in Graphic Films, first with Les Novros and later with Les’s son, Paul, Mr. Casey was dedicated to making groundbreaking and thoroughly researched nature-based films with a firm foundation in science. He had a special affinity for filming volcanoes, first with The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, later with Ring of Fire, which took him 13 years to make, and Forces of Nature, which won Best Film at the GSCA Achievement Awards in 2005. With movies that encompassed locations and subject matters of great diversity and importance, he opened viewers’ eyes to new experiences and cutting-edge scientific subject matters using magnificent visuals, gripping stories, and eloquent narration, which made his films truly immersive and educational.

George Casey’s films include Forces of Nature, Amazing Journeys, Search for the Great Sharks, Africa: The Serengeti, Ring of Fire, Seasons, Great Barrier Reef, Genesis, and the Academy Award-nominated films Alaska: Spirit of the Wild, The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, Probes in Space, and Planet Ocean.

Just as significant as his work, however, was his benevolent and magnanimous character. As tributes poured in after his death, the words most frequently used to describe him were “kind,” “gentleman,” “artist,” “humble,” “passion,” and “integrity.”

Sean Casey accepted the award on behalf of his father

“George embodied all that is right with the giant screen industry, not only in his films, but in his commitment to taking people where they could not go otherwise,” says GSCA Chair Gordon Stalans, Vice President-CFO, CIO, of the Tennessee Aquarium. “His tenacity to see a film project through to its completion continues to be legendary. But even more legendary was the way he treated people. When I think of George, I think about the kindness, generosity, and respect he showed all those he came in contact with.”

Mike Day, Executive Vice President at the Science Museum of Minnesota and a giant screen film executive producer, worked closely with Mr. Casey on a number of films, including Ring of Fire. In a tribute published shortly after Mr. Casey’s death, Day wrote, “George Casey was mightily dedicated to his craft, a warrior capturing in the world’s largest film format worldwide phenomena and events that audiences would never have the chance to otherwise experience in their lifetimes. He was enormously loyal to his crews, steadfast in his determination to get the shot, and as calm and witty a traveling companion as one would ever hope for. And, along with the images he labored to capture were the wonderful minimalist expressions he brought to a script. One of my favorites from the film Seasons was the sequence of summer trees transitioning to fall colors with the line, ‘leaves–disposable gatherers of sunlight.’”

Dream Big: Engineering Our World

Best Film-Short Subject (tie)

Produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films. Directed by Greg MacGillivray. Produced by Shaun MacGillivray. Pictured are Bob Harman, Barbara MacGillivray, Shauna Badheka, Meghan MacGillivray, Lori Rick, Greg MacGillivray, Jason Paul, Shaun MacGillivray, Mary Jane Dodge, Alan Markowitz, Stephen Judson, and Dona Harman.

Amazon Adventure

Best Film-Short Subject (tie)
Best Film for Lifelong Learning
Best Cinematography
Best Sound Design
Best Original Score

Produced and distributed by SK Films. Produced by Jonathan Barker, Wendy MacKeigan, Mike Slee, Yuri Sanada, Vera RP Sanada. Directed by Mike Slee. Pictured are Amber Hawtin, Peter Thillaye, Jonathan Baker, Myles Connolly, Mike Slee, and Wendy MacKeigan. Cinematography by Gerry Vasbenter (Drama), Richard Kirby (Natural History). Sound design by Peter Thillaye. Score composed by Antonio Pinto.

Dream Big: Engineering Our World

Best Visual Effects

Visual effects by Alan G. Markowitz (pictured), Mathieu Boucher, and Nick Lerum.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, An IMAX 3D Experience

Best Film-Feature Length

IMAX Corporation, Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm. Pictured are David Keighley and Gina Glen, IMAX Corporation.

Museum of Discovery and Science, Fort Lauderdale, “IMAX with Laser” Rebranding Campaign

Best Theater Marketing Campaign

Pictured are Marlene Janetos and Theresa Waldron.

MacGillivray Freeman Films, Dream Big: Engineering Our World

Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor

Pictured from the MacGillivray Freeman Films marketing team are Shauna Badheka, Lori Rick, and Mary Jane Dodge.

IMAX Melbourne, A Beautiful Planet

Best Film Launch by a Theater (tie)

Pictured are Kate Piasecka and Richard Morrison.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Extreme Weather

Best Film Launch by a Theater (tie)

No photo available

Carnegie Science Center, Dream Big: Engineering Our World

Best Educational Program

Pictured are Steve Kovac and Chad Hunter.

National Geographic Extreme Weather Webinar Series

Big Idea

Pictured are John Wickstrom and Antonietta Monteleone.

Daniel Ferguson, Cosmic Picture

Big Shoe

Pictured is Daniel Ferguson with GSCA staff Tammy Barrett and Kelly Germain. The Big Shoe award recipients are selected by GSCA staff to recognize exemplary volunteers who are not GSCA board members.

David Ripper, Bullock Texas State History Museum

Big Shoe

Pictured is David Ripper with GSCA staff Tammy Seldon and Kelly Germain. The Big Shoe award recipients are selected by GSCA staff to recognize exemplary volunteers who are not GSCA board members.

Maximum Image Awards, Presented by IMAX

Deep Sea 3D

Hall of Fame Award

The IMAX Hall of Fame Award goes to a giant screen film that is at least 10 years old and is selected by vote of the IMAX theater network.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Best IMAX Booth

Pictured is Theaters Technical Manager David Ripper.

Tech Museum of Innovation

Best IMAX Booth

Pictured here from The Tech are Michelle Duncan, John Angle, Lara Agulian, and Samantha Robinson.

BFI IMAX, London

Best IMAX Booth

No photo available

Filmstaden, Scandinavia and IMAX, Stockholm, Sweden

Best IMAX Booth

No photo available

Christopher Nolan

Chief Quality Officer Award of Distinction