by Mark Rabinowitz
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded its John A.
Bonner Medal of Commendation to longtime special effects maven, Pete Clark.
The award will be presented on February 28 at the Scientific and Technical
Awards Presentation at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. According to an
Academy press release, the award, named in honor of the late director of
special projects at Warner Hollywood Studios, is awarded in appreciation
for “outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of
the Academy.” The medal has been given at intervals by the Academy Board of
Governors since 1977, upon the recommendation of the Scientific and
Technical Awards Committee.
Clark began working in the industry at MGM in 1968, working on “Ice Station
Zebra” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” among others, before moving to
become director of advertising at the Mole-Richardson Company in 1967. In
1969 he moved to the Research Center of the Association of Motion Picture
and Television Producers as manager of development engineering, and stayed
until the Center closed in 1976. Since that time Clark has operated his own
motion picture technology consulting firm.
Clark has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee
since 1974, serving for many years on its Rules and Steering committees and
himself received a Scientific and Technical Award for co-developing, with
3M, Nextel simulated blood. In addition, he served as chairman of the
Visual Effects Award Executive Committee and is a founding member of the
Academy’s Visual Effects Branch. His book, “Special Effects in Motion
Pictures,” remains a definitive book on the subject.