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Takuo "Tak" Miyagishima of Panavision Passed Away

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Bill Hogan, Burbank, CADate: 06.08.2011
Panavision's Tak Miyagishima and Danish cinematographer and director Mikael Salomon in 1994. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

It is with much sadness that I share the news that Takuo "Tak" Miyagishima of Panavision died yesterday, Thursday Aug 4, 2011.

Tak was known by this nick name to everyone. Most did not even know he had a longer name. Much less pronounce it.

For more than half a century starting in 1954 Tak was one of the most esteemed design engineers in the motion picture industry. He made his first mechanical drawing for Panavision in 1954. He worked there for over 50 years and retired in 2009 as Senior Vice President of Engineering. But even in retirement Tak continued to work in Woodland Hills documenting the Panavision legacy and working with his colleagues.

A Motion Picture Academy program later this month is scheduled in honor of Tak and notes the following:

During Miyagishima’s tenure, Panavision and its employees received more than 20 scientific and technical awards from the Academy for the design and manufacture of motion picture equipment, especially advanced camera systems and lenses.

Repeatedly over the years, Panavision’s designs established benchmarks that became industry standards. Miyagishima came up with many of the ideas and inventions that made Panavision successful, and even designed the iconic Panavision logo itself. In the words of Richard Edlund, chair of the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards Committee: “Tak has been, and continues to be, a leading design engineer. His work with Panavision, in particular the technologies he has created, revolutionized the industry.”
More in 70mm reading:

The Importance of Panavision

Super Panavision 70

MGM Camera 65 & Ultra Panavision 70

Ultra Panavision 70 Lens - Adjustment and lens modifications

Ultra Panavision 70, Early lenses

"Where Eagles Dare" - 40th Anniversary 1969 - 2009

Internet link:

The Hollywood Reporter

In 1999, Miyagishima received the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation for dedicated service to the Academy; in 2004, he joined a select group of sci-tech giants whose contributions to the industry have merited the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Oscar statuette.

He will be missed by all his friends and industry colleagues.
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Updated 07-01-23