Cooke Optics was awarded an Academy Award® of Merit at the Scientific & Technical Awards ceremony on Saturday 9 February 2013, in recognition of the company’s “continuing innovation in design, development and manufacture of advanced camera lenses that have helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century”. Cooke Optics was this year’s only recipient of an Oscar® statuette at the ceremony which took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles.
Les Zellan, chairman and owner, and Robert Howard, CEO, accepted the award, accompanied by two Cooke employees based at the Leicester factory: Paul Utting, optical technician, and Jaimie Cluer, assembly technician.
Zellan commented, “It’s a tremendous honour to receive this award from the Academy, after Cooke’s 127 years’ continuous service to the motion picture industry. We have received many congratulations from friends and colleagues around the world, and are looking forward to bringing the Oscar home to Leicester to share it with our talented workforce.”
Each Cooke lens is hand crafted in the UK factory, using a combination of state-of-the-art technology, traditional 100 year old techniques and personal dexterity that come together to create the unique and famed ‘Cooke Look’.
Cooke lenses have recently been used on film projects including Zero Dark Thirty, A Good Day To Die Hard, After Earth, Hugo, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Midnight in Paris and My Week With Marilyn, and on television productions including Parade’s End, World Without End, Game Of Thrones, Downton Abbey, True Blood, The Borgias and Chicago Fire.
Greig Fraser, ACS, director of photography, who used Cooke S4 lenses on the Oscar®-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty, said, “I’ve been in love with Cookes for a long time – glass is really important to me and I’m blown away by the quality and technique that goes into making each lens. The look of any story is paramount, and Cookes give a very honest and human look to images, particularly when shooting digitally – but they are also robust enough that I can rely on them in extreme conditions. I’m delighted to see Cooke receive this accolade.”