2022 VES Honors Celebration Honorees Skirball2022-10-04T17:11:50-07:00

VES Honors Celebration

Join us as we honor this year’s exceptional VFX artists and innovators
with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and networking! 

Friday, October 14, 2022
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm 

Honoree Bios            Sponsorship           Registration

Celebrate with the top talent and luminaries in entertainment and VFX! Join us as we honor leaders and trailblazers of the visual effects industry at this invitation-only evening cocktail reception and honors presentation at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Mix and mingle among 150+ VFX and entertainment leaders at this exclusive event.

Founders Award Recipient

Awarded to any individual member of the VES who has significantly contributed to the success of the VES.

Pam Hogarth

Pam Hogarth

During her more than 35 years in visual effects and high-end computer graphics, Hogarth fulfilled many roles, from marketing to industry relations. The majority of her career was dedicated to incubating and growing educational programs geared towards training people for careers in entertainment production. Hogarth also consulted for organizations and schools, coached entertainment professionals on career management and taught.

Before co-founding Eido, a training company that facilitated training for IATSE creative guilds, which was successfully sold in 2017, Hogarth was the publicist for VFX house LOOK Effects. As Industry Liaison she helped build Gnomon School of Visual Effects into the premiere school for careers in digital production. She ran Digital Media Institute (DMI) in Hollywood and helped grow the digital program at The American Film Institute (AFI). Teaching experience includes Art Directors Guild, Otis College of Art and Design, cgsociety.org, Gnomon, DMI and AFI. Hogarth has been extremely active in the Visual Effects Society, including serving eight terms on the Board of Directors, twice elected as the first female Vice Chair and former Chair of the Education Committee. She also served as Secretary of the Los Angeles Section of VES. Now retired, she is Board President for the Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard, CA and is Secretary of the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild.

VES Fellows

This title signifies that the individual is recognized for earning an outstanding reputation through sustained contributions to the art, science or business of visual effects, as well as through meritorious service to the Society and the entertainment industry at large for a period of not less than ten (10) years within the last twenty (20) years.

Tony Clark

Tony Clark, VES

An Emmy Award-winning cinematographer, Tony Clark serves as the Co-Founder and Managing Director at Rising Sun Pictures.  Off the back of Terminator and Jurassic Park, Tony’s motivation in co-founding Rising Sun Pictures was to create a visual effects company which combined his twin passions of art and technology, that could deliver VFX from anywhere in the world; in this instance, his hometown of Adelaide, South Australia. RSP’s experiences in working remotely from global production centres led to numerous innovations, including cineSpace, a film colour management solution and cineSync, which enabled the secure collaboration of synced footage across the globe. Tony was a recipient of the Academy Scientific and Technical Award for the creation of cineSync (alongside Rory McGregor, Neil Wilson and Alan Rogers).

Tony is credited with multiple VFX Supervisor credits, including Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Gravity.  Tony has been a pivotal member of Australian Boards, including a role on the South Australian Film Corporation and Royal Institute of Australia. He was recognized in 2018 with the Pearcey National IT Entrepreneur Award for his inspiring leadership, innovation, acclaim, and impact on the world stage.

Jeff Kleiser, VES

Jeff Kleiser is a Visual Effects Supervisor and CEO/Co-Founder of Synthespian Studios.  His pioneering work in computer animation has spanned the history of the medium and many of his projects have involved the creation of computer-generated humans and creatures in a wide variety of formats.  His feature film credits include TRON, Stargate, Fantastic Four, Robocop and multiple films across the X-Men franchise, and his location-based projects include creating stereoscopic superheroes for Spider-Man Ride, stereoscopic 70mm film for Santa Lights Up New York at Radio City Music Hall and the stereoscopic virtual reality series Defrost: The Virtual Series.

Jeff has presented papers at international events including the London Effects and Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH, INA Imagina, NAB, Opera Totale and the Virtual Humans Conference. He has served as an industry expert in interviews with the Los Angeles TimesThe New York Times and ABC Evening News. Kleiser served on the global board of directors of the Visual Effects Society, the board of trustees of The Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Board of Advisors to the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts.  In addition, he is a member of the CG Society Advisory Board, a Fellow of the Grid Institute, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Gene Kozicki

Gene Kozicki, VES

Gene Kozicki, a VES Founders Awards recipient and Lifetime Member, has served as a member of the Board of Directors and L.A. Section Board of Managers and was an organizer of the VES Festival for many years, as well as moderator of numerous VES panels. As chair of the VES Archives Committee, he helped secure portions of personal archives of Robert Abel, Richard Edlund, VES and others and was instrumental in organizing the VES archives and helping to secure funding to digitize many of our assets. As a VFX Historian, Kozicki is active in the archiving of information, imagery and artifacts from the visual effects industry and regularly consults with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the American Cinematheque on retrospectives and conservation.

Kozicki’s career has spanned more than three decades, from working with Robert and Dennis Skotak, who were tasked with blowing up Los Angeles for Terminator 2: Judgement Day. He joined VIFX in 1994 and then worked with Rhythm & Hues for more than a decade. He has worked on various Star Trek series and films including Titanic, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Power Rangers.

Rick Sayre

Rick Sayre, VES

Rick Sayre, who currently serves as Senior Production Scientist at Pixar Animation Studios, joined the studio in 1987 to work on experimental ultra-high resolution image processing. His film credits include Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., Ratatouille and The Good Dinosaur, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland.  Sayre has contributed to the development of a wide variety of rendering, image processing, painting, grading and compositing techniques over the years, including the creation of “Virtual White” for the SMPTE Digital Cinema standard, and he received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his work developing animation input systems for Jurassic Park. 

Sayre is a charter member of the VES and a founding member of the Bay Area Section. He served on the global and Bay Area boards of the VES as well as the early Tech Committee, along with service on AMPAS’s Visual Effects Executive Committee, Scientific and Technical Awards Steering Committee and the Science Council.

David Tanaka

David Tanaka, VES

David Tanaka is an Editor, Producer and Creative Director with experience ranging from visual effects and animation, to documentary and live action feature films, with over 25 years of contributions to the entertainment industry. For 15 years, he served at Industrial Light & Magic in VFX Production and VFX Editorial on films including Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump and Star Wars. He then went onto Pixar Animation Studios as a Special Projects Editor for 10 years. Tanaka currently holds a staff VFX Editor position with Tippett Studio and serves as an Adjunct Professor for the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

Tanaka has served three terms of Chair of the VES Bay Area Section, as well as 2nd Vice Chair on the global Board of Directors. He is also a major contributor to the VES Archives, Awards, Outreach, and Work From Home Committees.

Lifetime Members

Awarded for meritorious service to the Society, the industry and for furthering the interests and values of visual effects artists around the world.

Jeff Barnes

Jeff Barnes

Barnes is honored for meritorious service to the Society and the global industry. His impact as an entertainment and technology creative executive continues across Silicon Valley and Hollywood. As the executive Vice President of Creative Development at Light Field Lab, he drives cross-channel marketing initiatives and content creation for the company’s groundbreaking SolidLight holographic display platform. Before Light Field Lab, as Executive Director of Studio Productions at Lytro, he produced the world’s first high-resolution light field short with a hand-chosen academy award-winning team. Named one of the top 200 creative people in the world by Entertainment Weekly, Barnes previously co-founded and led entertainment and visual effects companies, including CaféFX, The Syndicate, and Sententia Entertainment. The companies he built were world-class providers of stunning, award-winning imagery for Pan’s Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man, The Aviator and Sin City. Other notable projects include HBO’s iconic “Feature Presentation” open, the Emmy award-winning John Adams and Universal Studios’ theme park ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  Barnes has also been a longtime leader of the Visual Effects Society, serving as chair and vice chair of the global Board of Directors and co-chair of the VES Summit.

Patricia Rose Duignan

Patricia “Rose” Duignan

Patricia “Rose” Duignan started working in visual effects on Star Wars. She worked her way up the production ladder from Production Assistant to Production Supervisor on Return of the Jedi. Duignan was the first Marketing Director at ILM, where she served for more than a dozen years. In addition to ILM, Duignan has contributed her marketing, sales and executive producing roles at Tippett Studio, ABC TV, Rhythm & Hues and Kerner Optical (a spinoff from ILM’s practical effects departments.) She is also the Co-Author of Ballantine’s coffee table book, ILM: Into the Digital Realm. Duignan’s greatest claim to fame is her commitment to families, illustrated by the fact that she started the ILM Daycare Center in 1990, which is still operating (with a wait list) today. She continues to play a role in uplifting women, people of color and veterans in the visual effects world through her strong service on the Visual Effects Society’s Education Committee.

Pam Hogarth

Pam Hogarth

During her more than 35 years in visual effects and high-end computer graphics, Hogarth fulfilled many roles, from marketing to industry relations. The majority of her career was dedicated to incubating and growing educational programs geared towards training people for careers in entertainment production. Hogarth also consulted for organizations and schools, coached entertainment professionals on career management and taught.

Before co-founding Eido, a training company that facilitated training for IATSE creative guilds, which was successfully sold in 2017, Hogarth was the publicist for VFX house LOOK Effects. As Industry Liaison she helped build Gnomon School of Visual Effects into the premiere school for careers in digital production. She ran Digital Media Institute (DMI) in Hollywood and helped grow the digital program at The American Film Institute (AFI). Teaching experience includes Art Directors Guild, Otis College of Art and Design, cgsociety.org, Gnomon, DMI and AFI. Hogarth has been extremely active in the Visual Effects Society, including serving eight terms on the Board of Directors, twice elected as the first female Vice Chair and former Chair of the Education Committee. She also served as Secretary of the Los Angeles Section of VES. Now retired, she is Board President for the Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard, CA and is Secretary of the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild.

Toni Pace Carstensen

Toni Pace Carstensen

Recipient of the 2017 VES Founders Award, Carstensen is a founding member of the Visual Effects Society – joining the organization as member 0004 and serving as the Society’s first Treasurer. She was a founding member of the Executive Committee and served on the global Board of Directors for many years, as well as Co-Chair of the Global Education Committee, co-editor of the first edition of the VES Handbook of Visual Effects and, with the Education Committee, generated the concept for VESAGE – a book showcasing the personal art of VES members. Carstensen serves as longtime Chair of the Vision Committee, which continues to engage with frontiers including VR/AR and holograms, and Treasurer of the Los Angeles Section. Her feature credits include VFX producer/digital production manager on Avatar, Minority Report and Fantasia 2000.

Eric Roth

Eric Roth

Under Eric’s watch, the Society grew from an organization of about 750 people, mostly situated in California, to a thriving global community with about 4,500 members in 45 countries and 14 Sections worldwide. Among his many accomplishments, the Society rolled out our award-winning VFX Voice magazine five years ago, created three editions of the VES Handbook of Visual Effects, produced 20 years of our amazing VES Awards Show, hosted our yearly VES Honors and Hall of Fame Program, delivered a robust roster of top-notch educational programming and online content, and gave rise to volunteer Committees doing vital work in service to our members and the worldwide VFX community, including creating industry-leading mental health benefits, mentoring programs, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, forward-looking technology projects, a video archive and a soon-to-be-realized VFX digital museum.

David Tanaka

David Tanaka, VES

David Tanaka, VES is an Editor, Producer and Creative Director with experience ranging from visual effects and animation, to documentary and live action feature films, with over 25 years of contributions to the entertainment industry. For 15 years, he served at Industrial Light & Magic in VFX Production and VFX Editorial on films including Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump and Star Wars. He then went onto Pixar Animation Studios as a Special Projects Editor for 10 years. Tanaka currently holds a staff VFX Editor position with Tippett Studio and serves as an Adjunct Professor for the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Tanaka has served three terms of Chair of the VES Bay Area Section, as well as 2nd Vice Chair on the global Board of Directors. He is also a major contributor to the VES Archives, Awards, Outreach, and Work From Home Committees.

Honorary Member

Awarded for exemplary contributions to the entertainment industry at large, and for furthering the interests and values of visual effects practitioners around the world.

Pete Docter

Pete Docter

Pete Docter is the Oscar®-winning director of “Monsters, Inc.,” “Up,” and “Inside Out,” and Chief Creative Officer at Pixar Animation Studios. He most recently directed Disney and Pixar’s Oscar®-winning feature film “Soul” with producer Dana Murray and co-director Kemp Powers, which is now streaming on Disney+.

Starting at Pixar in 1990 as the studio’s third animator, Docter collaborated and help develop the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar’s first full-length animated feature film, for which he also was supervising animator.  He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life,” and wrote initial story treatments for both “Toy Story 2” and “WALL•E.” Aside from directing his four films, Docter also executive produced “Monsters University” and the Academy Award®-winning “Brave.”

Docter’s interest in animation began at the age of eight when he created his first flipbook.  He studied character animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California, where he produced a variety of short films, one of which won a Student Academy Award®. Those films have since been shown in animation festivals worldwide and are featured on the “Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2.” Upon joining Pixar, he animated and directed several commercials, and has been nominated for nine Academy Awards® including Best Animated Feature-winners “Up,” “Inside Out” and “Soul,” and nominee “Monsters, Inc.,” and Best Original Screenplay for “Up,” “Inside Out” and “WALL•E.” In 2010, “Up” also was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

VES Hall of Fame

This distinction is bestowed upon a select group of professionals and pioneers who have played a significant role in advancing the field of visual effects by invention, science, contribution or avocation of the art, science, technology and/or communications.

Mary Ellen Bute

Mary Ellen Bute (1906 – 1983)

Bute was a pioneer American film animator, producer and director. She was one of the first female experimental filmmakers and was the creator of some of the first electronically generated film images. Her specialty was visual music. While working in New York City between 1934 and 1958, Bute made 14 short abstract musical films exploring the relationship of sound and image in cinema, and a second body of work focused on the relation of language and cinema through the adaptation of literary sources. Many of these were viewed in movie theaters, such as radio City Music Hall, usually preceding a prestigious film, and several of her abstract films were part of her Seeing Sound series.

Alice Guy-Blaché

Alice Guy-Blaché (1873 – 1968)

Guy-Blaché was a French pioneer filmmaker. She was one of the first filmmakers to make a narrative fiction film and the first woman to direct a film. She experimented with Gaumont’s Chronophone sync-sound system, and with color-tinting, interracial casting and special effects. As artistic director and a co-founder of Solax Studios in New York in 1912, she made the film A Fool and His Money – probably the first to have an all African-American cast. The film is now preserved at the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute for its historical and aesthetic significance. Guy-Blaché was awarded the Légion d’honneur, the highest non-military award France offers, and honored in a Cinémathèque Française ceremony.

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper (1906 – 1992)

Hopper, known as “Grandma COBOL,” was an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first linkers. Hopper was the first to devise the theory of machine-independent programming languages, and the FLOW-MATIC programming language she created using this theory was later extended to create COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today. The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper was named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC. In 2016, Hopper was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Bill Kovacs

Bill Kovacs (1949 – 2006)

Kovacs was a pioneer of commercial computer animation technology. As Vice President of R&D at Robert Abel and Associates, he co-developed the company’s animation software. Kovacs used this software, along with others, in the film Tron. He later co-founded Wavefront Technologies as Chief Technology Officer, leading the development of products such as The Advanced Visualizer as well as animated productions. Along with Richard Childers and Chris Baker, he was a key organizer of the Infinite Illusions exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute. Following his retirement from Wavefront, Kovacs co-founded Instant Effects and worked as a consultant for Electronic Arts and RezN8, serving as RezN8’s CTO from 2000 until his death. He received a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and two Clio Awards for his work on animated TV commercials.

George Pal

George Pal (1908 – 1980)

Pal was a Hungarian-American animator, film director and producer, principally associated with the fantasy and science-fiction genres. He became an American citizen after emigrating from Europe. He was nominated for Academy Awards (in the category Best Short Subjects, Cartoon) for seven consecutive years (1942–1948) and received an honorary award in 1944. As an animator, he made the Puppetoons series in the 1940s, which led to him being awarded the honorary Oscar for “the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects” known as Puppetoons.” Pal then switched to live-action filmmaking with The Great Rupert. He is best remembered as the producer of several science-fiction and fantasy films in the 1950s and 1960s, four of which were collaborations with director Byron Haskin, including The War of the Worlds. He himself directed Tom Thumb, The Time Machine and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.

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