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The Passing of Bill Shaw - IMAX Pioneer

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: TORONTO, Sept. 3 /CNW/ Tuesday September 3, 10:50 am ETDate: September 3, 2002
Engineers of large format motion picture systems. Left to right: Walter Siegmund & Brian O'Brien, Jr. of Todd-AO, Bill Shaw of IMAX and Dick Babish of Cinerama. May 1997. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

William C. Shaw, one of the founders of IMAX Corporation, died on Saturday, August 31 at age 73. Shaw died in a Toronto hospital after suffering complications from a heart attack.

Shaw joined Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr in 1968 to design and develop the IMAX projection system. The engineer responsible for the development of the original system, Shaw also led the engineering team which subsequently developed IMAX Dome (OMNIMAX(R)), IMAX 3D, IMAX Solido(R), IMAX Magic Carpet(R) and IMAX HD. Shaw had a number of patents to his credit relating to the development of the rolling loop mechanism fundamental to the IMAX system as well as to subsequent developments for IMAX projectors,
cameras and peripherals.

IMAX Co-CEOs Rich Gelfond and Brad Wechsler said today,

"We will miss Bill's intellect, good humor and friendship. We were always grateful for the key role he played in every aspect of the life of the Company, from the invention of the technology that started an entire industry, through to our acquisition of IMAX."

In 1985, Shaw won the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers' John Grierson Medal. In 1986, on behalf of IMAX, he accepted a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and in 1997 he attended the ceremonies in Los Angeles as IMAX accepted its Oscar(R) statuette for Scientific and Technical Achievements. In 1988, he was honored with a Gold Medal from the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario (APEO). In 1998, Shaw was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Shaw is survived by his wife Barbra, daughter Cami Kucera, son Scott Shaw, grandson Daniel Kucera, brother John Shaw and sisters Isabel Pullen and Marjorie Shaw.

More in 70mm reading:

Graeme Ferguson Passed Away

Bill Shaw about Jan Jacobsen

Wide Screen gathering

The Basics of The Rolling Loop IMAX Projector

Imax Sound System

The First 70MM IMAX Cinema in England

The Birth of IMAX

in70mm.com's IMAX Page

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Updated 10-07-21