Jennifer Garner will host Scientific and Technical Oscars. The ''Alias'' star will hand out trophies two weeks before the big show to the offscreen folks behind the year's worthiest filmmaking innovations

By Gary Susman
Updated January 29, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Jennifer Garner
Credit: Jennifer Garner: Sheryl Nields

Jennifer Garner, who’s shown her prowess with gadgets as a spy on ”Alias” and an assassin in ”Daredevil,” will get to honor real-life gearheads behind the film-industry gizmos that help make her work possible. She’ll emcee the annual awards banquet for the Scientific and Technical Oscars, which will be held two weeks before the big show, on Feb. 14, at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. Don’t know if Garner’s beau and ”Alias” costar Michael Vartan will be at the Valentine’s Day banquet with her, or if he’ll be off playing hockey, which is reportedly how he spent the evening on Sunday while Garner went stag to the Golden Globes.

Among the trophy recipients will be Digidesign, the firm behind the ProTools computer workstations used by sound editors, and Bill Tandreau of Kuper Controls, who designs robotic camera arms used for precision movements in shooting special effects sequences. The Gordon E. Sawyer Award, the sci-tech branch’s career achievement honor, will go to Peter D. Parks, the microphotography pioneer who shot the IMAX 3-D film ”Bugs!”

Offsetting the high male-geek quotient, a rising starlet typically hosts the banquet — last year, it was a barefoot and bare-midriffed Kate Hudson, who had trouble keeping her top buttoned, and in 2002, it was future Best Actress nominee Charlize Theron. Garner will present a highlight reel of the evenings festivities at the Feb. 29 Academy Awards ceremony at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.