Welcome to the 8th Annual VES Awards! In this room, all around you, are the most creative, inventive and innovative artists in the industry. The work being projected upon the screen tonight will blow your socks off and melt your brain cells – and it was created by individual artists – not machines, not computers, not buttons – anymore than Van Gogh’s paint brushes did his paintings or da Vinci’s pencils did his drawings. We are extremely pleased to be able to bring your focus and attention to this amazing artistry.
Our theme tonight is innovation, invention and artistry. And no one better embodies that than Mr. James Cameron, our Lifetime Achievement recipient. Jim’s work has spurred the industry of visual effects to heretofore unimagined heights –all in the service to story. From his humble beginnings as an artist for hire, to a writer, director and producer, he never has let, “It can’t be done”, block the path to fantastic imagery, achievement and storytelling –and yes, artistry and invention. As such he has grown into a leading light in many industries, spurring others to do what also “Can’t be done.”
Jim’s inspiration has changed the industry on the whole – from the groundbreaking water face in THE ABYSS, to the liquid man in TERMINATOR 2, to the emotion of the sinking TITANIC, to this entirely new world and technique of AVATAR. Indeed the world and the industry has been challenged and inspired to new heights constantly by this man and that is what we recognize here tonight.
Another innovator being honored here tonight is Ed Catmull. Dr. Catmull developed and single-handedly pursued the computer animated movie – beginning before there were computers! Tracing his career path you can see his single-mindedness and inventiveness at work – and like Cameron, he changed our world. The list of his pioneering accomplishments and inventions that have become the very tools of all visual effects artists used today and prove his worthiness of the Georges Melies Award for Pioneering. We are very honored to be able to shine the light on this man’s pioneering invention and contribution to our world.
So, without further ado, enjoy the friends and artists sitting all around you, take in the amazing works of art about to be shown on stage and remember that whatever it is that “can’t be done”… well, we do it – time and again.
Date: February 21, 2009
Location: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. Century City, CA