Four engineers from a Thales subsidiary, Thales Angénieux, were awarded a “Scientific and Technical” award at the 81st Oscar ceremony for developing two zoom lenses for the cinema.
The winners, not dressed yet for the Oscar ceremony! photo credit: Angénieux
...and here they are, having got changed, making their acceptance speech while Jessica Biel looks on. Photo credit: Thales
The company, founded in 1935, invented the zoom lens, and owes part of its notoriety to NASA which used Angénieux zoom lenses to film Man's first steps on the moon in 1969. The company also makes night vision goggles and its Minie D night vision binoculars are part of the FELIN future French infantryman equipment.
The Oscar was awarded for two lenses, the Angénieux Optimo 15-40mm and 28-76mm designed for shoulder-carried cameras which were used in the French films “Secret Defense” and “Mesrine” both, coincidentally defense oriented films (the first is about the French intelligence service and the second is the true-life story of how the eponymous bandit was caught by the police).
Bruno Coumert, Dominique Cervinm Jacques Debize and Christophe Reboulet were given their award by actress Jessica Biel. So, gentlemen, you never know what surprises life in the defense industry might have for you!
The company was previously awarded this Oscar in 1964 and 1989.
Jessica Biel at the 81st Oscar Scientific and Technical Award ceremony.
Photo credit: WireImage.com, Getty Images