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Tak Miyagishima Passes Away at 83

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Tak Miyagishima accepting the Gordon E. Sawyer Award in 2005 for his lifetime of technological contributions to the industry. (Photo courtesy AMPAS).
Tak Miyagishima, one of the most esteemed design engineers in the motion picture industry, passed away, Aug. 5 surrounded by his three sons and wife after a 38-day battle with pneumonia. Miyagishima made his first mechanical drawing for Panavision in 1954, and worked there continuously for over 50 years, retiring in 2009 as senior vice president of engineering.

During Miyagishima’s tenure, Panavision and its employees received more than 20 scientific and technical awards from the Academy for the design and manufacture of motion picture equipment, especially advanced camera systems and lenses.

Miyagishima came up with many of the ideas and inventions that made Panavision successful, and even designed the iconic Panavision logo itself.

In 1999, Miyagishima received the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation for dedicated service to the Academy, and in 2004, he joined a select group of sci-tech giants whose contributions to the industry have merited the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Oscar statuette.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is planning a special evening celebrating the accomplishments of Miyagishima, Aug. 16 at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

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