The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has named Herb Dow recipient of one of its most esteemed honors, the HPA Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be bestowed during the HPA Awards gala on 17 November, 2016, at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Dow’s experience stretches across five decades, from the cutting room to the most advanced technologies in the evolution of post production.
The HPA Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who is recognized for his or her service and commitment to the professional media content industry. The mission of the award is to give recognition to individuals who have, with great service, dedicated their careers to the betterment of the industry. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given at the discretion of the HPA Awards Committee. It is not bestowed every year.
In announcing the award, HPA president Seth Hallen, said, “Personally and on behalf of the HPA Board of Directors, it is my distinct honor to recognize Herb with this award. From his early days as a television editor to today as an executive helping bring editing to the cloud, he has been a dedicated post production professional for 50 years. On top of that, he is one of the most beloved individuals in our industry and has spent his entire career helping build our community in an incomparable way. He is like the connective tissue in our business, where bringing people together and having a positive impact on everyone he meets has been his life’s work. Most of all, he is a wonderful human being, always willing to help anyone who needs it. Herb represents the best of what our community is about.”
Born in Carmel, California, Mr. Dow was raised in Los Angeles and attended the University of California Los Angeles. He began his career as an apprentice editor at Desilu Studios, progressing to film editor. His credits as a film editor span 20 years and include projects for MGM, Warner Bros, Lorimar, Fox, Paramount, Columbia, Desilu and Universal. Segueing from the role of editor to that of enabling them and the technologies of postproduction, Mr. Dow is considered by many to be the “Godfather of non-linear editing,” pioneering the design and implementation of the Ediflex, one of the first and by far the most popular of the pre-digital non-linear editing systems. As Ediflex grew, Mr. Dow was instrumental in building the company to be a force in the industry. In 1986 Mr. Dow and the team at EdiFlex won a Technical Emmy Award for “Design and implementation of Electronic Editing for Filmed Programs.”
With Ediflex, Mr. Dow had fully entered the next phase of his career, focusing on forward thinking technology and the enablement of the creative process. The number of companies and individuals that he has helped is extensive, facilitating their next level of success. He helped to build Encore Non-linear into the largest Avid editing system rental business in the world. As senior vice president of Lightworks, Mr. Dow began a lasting connection with the filmmakers of the future by donating over 30 editing systems to film schools across the US. He then helped create a visual effects division at Encore Video and within 12 months, it grew to become a major force, creating the effects for such hit shows as Ally McBeal, X-Files and Charmed. He was senior vice president of the world’s largest fiber network, Media.net. Never one to be tied to convention, Mr. Dow took an entrepreneurial turn in 1998 and founded Sorrells Pickard Gourmet Peanut Butter. He is currently working with Bebop Technology to transition post production to a cloud environment. The ultimate connector, Mr. Dow is a founder of Postproductionpro.com, a LinkedIn for the post industry.
Mr. Dow is a member of American Cinema Editors, UCLA Television and Film Educational Board and F.O.C.U.S. Institute of Film Board of Advisors. He has been a Visiting Professor at UCLA Extension teaching electronic post-production and at Loyola Marymount where he taught “The Art of Film Editing.”
Leon Silverman, past president of HPA and the recipient of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, who will present this year’s award to Mr. Dow during the HPA Awards, said, “Herb Dow has not only been the face of technology that has enhanced the creative process, he has been the heart of our community as well. Over the years he has worn many hats, but his hands have consistently helped. Through his infamous “roasts” and weekly post production industry lunches, Herb has been the master of ceremonies who brought our industry together and into the digital age. I can honestly say that Herb is someone who is not just admired for his hard work, but is loved for the joy he brings to everything he does and everyone he meets. What an honor it is for me to honor him.”
Upon receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Dow said, “To have been selected for this honor means so much to me and to my family. After working as an apprentice, assistant, and finally editor, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to become part of the technical revolution that changed editing. To this day, I am blessed to work with wonderful friends and collaborators who are changing the ways creative people work. I’ve also had a wonderful partner for the past 51 years, my wife Sandy. We are blessed with three wonderful children, Mark, Dan, and Chris; and two grandchildren, Alex and Jack, with one more arriving soon. My deepest appreciation to my friends at the HPA.”
In addition to The Lifetime Achievement Award, other special awards include Engineering Excellence, The Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation, The Charles S. Swartz Award, honors in twelve creative categories – editing, visual effects, sound and color grading – will be bestowed at the gala. Earlier, Michelle Munson was named as the recipient of The Charles S. Swartz Award.