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
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
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
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The Birth of IMAX
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