Meet Michael Sechrest: Academy Award Winner

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I met Michael a few years ago when we lived in the same neighborhood. Our boys played together and JC was always talking about the cool video games Colin (Michael’s son) had around his house. I didn’t really understand what Michael and his company did at the time; but I knew he was good at what thaqt was…and looks like a few people have noticed Michael and his company’s impact on the film and gaming industry! Congratulations to one of our own, Michael Sechrest and Speedtree.

SpeedTree, the virtual vegetation software that has grown to dominate the worldwide visual effects and video game industries since its introduction in 2002, has received an Academy Award® from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A Technical Achievement Award (Academy Certificate) will be presented at a ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, on February 7, 2015, to the three developers of SpeedTree: IDV co-founders Michael Sechrest and Chris King, and Senior Software Architect Greg Croft. The Scientific and Technical awards ceremony, first held in 1931, will be followed on February 22 by the globally-televised Oscars® presentation.

“The list of people who made this possible is literally in the thousands,” said Mr. Sechrest. “For more than a decade, we have received support, encouragement and invaluable insights from the best artists and engineers in the visual effects and game development industries. These customers, along with the rest of the SpeedTree team, deserve tremendous credit.”

This isn’t SpeedTree’s first brush with the Oscars. SpeedTree was featured prominently in 2009’s Avatar, which received nine Oscar nominations and three Oscar Awards. Since then, dozens more movies have added SpeedTree to their special effects, including Oscar-winning and -nominated films like The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as blockbusters like The Avengers, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3, and Maleficent.

“SpeedTree is one of countless technologies and innovations that have enriched the cinematic experience for more than a century,” observed Mr. King. “We are incredibly humbled by the Academy’s recognition of our work. We’re in amazing company.”

Watch the demo reel presented to the Academy when making the case for SpeedTree in September:The actual award will be presented at a ceremony in Beverly Hills, CA on February 7, 2015, to the three developers of SpeedTree®: IDV co-founders Michael Sechrest and Chris King, and Senior Software Architect Greg Croft. The Scientific and Technical awards ceremony will be followed on February 22 by the globally-televised Oscars® presentation.

To learn more about SpeedTree, visit their website.

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