He is an engineer, he is a camera technician, and now, he has brought home an Oscar!
Vikas Sathaye was born in 1967 in Pune. After his schooling in Mulund, he shifted to Pune to pursue his Bachelor of Engineering from VIT (Vishwakarma Institute of Technology) after which he moved to Bengaluru for his masters in instrumentation from Indian Institute of Science (IISC).
After his studies, Vikas taught in Cummins College of Engineering for Women in Pune. Thereon, he shifted to New Zealand in 2009 where his journey to the Oscars began.
He shifted to Queensland to work with Shotover Camera Systems. “One of the reasons to start this company in Queensland was the natural beauty and stunning scenery which attract a lot of film producers and directors,” Vikas told The Times of India.
Here, they designed a mount that could be fit on a helicopter and would minimise the vibrations that reach the camera, smoothening the shots.
“The camera mount gets attached to the base of a helicopter, which carries the camera and lens. Its primary function is to eliminate any vibration from reaching the camera and thus getting steady footage. The other function for the camera mount is to move the camera head in the desired direction as required by the camera operator, who sits inside the helicopter and uses a joystick to control the camera head movement,” he told TOI.
They received an Oscar 2018 award in the Scientific and Technical category “for the concept, design, engineering and implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera Systems.”
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has described this as a “six-axis stabilised aerial camera mount” which has “enhanced ability to frame shots while looking straight down.”
This camera mount is called Shotover K1 Camera System and was the brainchild of a four-member team- Vikas Sathaye, John Coyle, Bran Hurndell and Shane Buckham. It has been used in the filming of blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy, Dunkirk and Kong-Skull Island.