William Booth, resident feature writer in L.A. for the Washington Post, lurked at Saturday night's Scientific and Technical Awards given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Beverly Wilshire. Jessica Alba did some presenting and quipped that without the work of the artists and special effects wizards, her new movie "Fantastic Four" would just be, well, "Four." Booth describes the vibe as "international nerd:"
The winners represent countries such as Germany, Japan, Spain and the United States. They are also almost exclusively male. Many are young. Some are slightly nervous, though no one does a Sally Field (but one inventor admits, "I never thought I could win an Academy Award, because I am only a computer scientist").
Sebastian Cramer, upon winning for his Skater Dolly, confesses he finds his invention "looks so sexy. If I can have it, I would want it." Who wouldn't want, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, a small, portable camera dolly that allows for movement in restricted spaces? (During Alba's intro, the big screen showed the Skater Dolly at work, filming a bowl of fruit.)
Speaking of Alba, who was a good sport throughout, Duncan Brinsmead, of the Maya Fluid Effects System, gets off the best line of the night when he says, "For a computer geek like me to be hearing Jessica Alba talking about stable semi-Lagrangian fluid flow is just great."
Also: In an interview in the new Elle, Alba rips into gossip blogger Perez Hilton, saying his ongoing diatribes about her began when she refused him some photo he wanted a couple of years ago.