2020 VES Honors Celebration2020-12-09T20:34:09-08:00

2020 VES Honors Celebration – Virtual Event

Join us as we honor this year’s exceptional VFX artists and innovators!

Tuesday, December 15th
5:00 pm PST | 8:00 pm EST

Wednesday, December 16th
2:00 am CET | 12 noon AEDT | 6:30 am IST

Honoree Bios            Sponsorship

The VES announces the 2020 inductees into the VES Hall of Fame, VES Fellows, the newest Lifetime and Honorary members and this year’s recipient of the VES Founders Award.  The honorees and Hall of Fame inductees will be celebrated via an exciting virtual event that will be broadcast simultaneously on Zoom (https://bit.ly/2020HonorsCelebration) and VES Facebook Live (facebook.com/VisualEffectsSociety) at the appointed time.

“Our VES honorees represent a group of exceptional artists, innovators and professionals who have had a profound impact on the field of visual effects,” said Mike Chambers, VES Board Chair. “We are proud to recognize those who helped shape our shared legacy and continue to inspire future generations of VFX practitioners.”

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.

Irwin Allen (1916 – 1991)

Allen was an American film and television producer and director, known for his work in science fiction, then later as the “Master of Disaster” for his work in the disaster film genre.

Mary Blair (1911 – 1978)

Blair was an American artist, animator and designer and Disney Legend, prominent in producing art and animation for The Walt Disney Company and drawing concept art for ALICE IN WONDERLAND, PETER PAN and CINDERELLA and character designs for attractions including Disneyland’s It’s a Small World.

Claire Parker (1906 – 1981)

Parker was an American engineer and animator, and her best-known contribution to the history of cinema is the Pinscreen, a vertically-mounted grid of 240,000 sliding metal rods that are first manually pushed into position to create lit and shaded areas, then filmed frame by frame.

Gene Warren, Jr. (1941 – 2019)

Warren Jr., was lauded special-effects designer at Fantasy II Film Effects. He received an Academy Award and BAFTA for his work on TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY and an Emmy for THE WINDS OF WAR.

Gene Warren, Sr. (1916 – 1997)

Warren Sr., was an award-winning special-effects director.  He started his career as an animator and puppeteer, and his work was seen in dozens of films from the 1950s-70s including TOM THUMB, THE SEVEN FACES OF DR. LAO, SPARTACUS, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN and THE TIME MACHINE, which won him the Academy Award for Special Effects.

Founders Award Recipient

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

Ray Scalice

For more than 40 years, Ray Scalice has served in executive management positions with Lucasfilm Ltd, Industrial Light & Magic, Walt Disney Company and Pacific Title Digital. Currently, and with more than 80 film credits, Scalice holds the position of General Manager/Executive Producer for Pixel Magic. Scalice started his career at the Walt Disney Company in 1976 and within a year, he was promoted to finance manager of the entertainment development division, and began his ascension in pivotal executive positions.

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.

Warren Franklin, VES

Franklin is a global leader of the animation and visual effects industry. As the founder and former CEO of Rainmaker Entertainment, he helped establish Vancouver as an industry hub. Franklin was a key member of George Lucas’ creative and management team where he served as Group Vice President, managing six divisions, including Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts and Skywalker Sound. As the VP and General Manager of ILM, the company won nine Academy Awards during his tenure.

David Johnson, VES

Johnson is the award winning founder, CEO and Creative Director of Undertone FX, Inc., a studio specializing in real time visual effects for video games and VR/AR. David was the Lead Visual Effects Artist at Activision/Blizzard’s Infinity Ward Studio, creator of the CALL OF DUTY Franchise. He is a two-time VES Awards winner, advisory board member for VFX Voice, contributing author to Introduction to Game Development and THE VES HANDBOOK OF VISUAL EFFECTS and co-founder of RealTimeVFX.com.

Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES

Muswell is currently the Global Director of VFX Production for Netflix and an original member of the VES Board of Directors. With a career spanning several decades, she established her reputation as a VFX Producer and/or Supervisor for cutting-edge visual effects on a wide range of groundbreaking television series and theatrical features, as well as animation, IMAX, commercials and Stereoscopic Special Venue projects.

Ken Ralston, VES

Ralston is a VES Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and has earned five BAFTAs and five Academy Awards, including a Special Achievement Oscar for the visual effects in STAR WARS: EPISODE VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI and VFX Oscars for FORREST GUMP, DEATH BECOMES HER, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and COCOON. Ralston served as the Creative Head at Sony Pictures Imageworks, and prior to that, played a pivotal role in advancing Industrial Light & Magic’s renown over the course of 20 years.

Sebastian Sylwan, VES

Sylwan is the Chief Technology Officer – Film & Episodic TV at Technicolor.  A digital media executive with a passion for technology’s ability arouse emotion, he develops live-action immersive experiences in addition to the cameras, tools and workflows necessary for their realization.  Sylwan is the chair of the VES Technology Committee, and an active member of the Academy’s Sci-Tech Awards Committee, Previsualization Committee and the Virtual Production Committee.

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.

Debbie Denise

Executive producer Debbie Denise has been involved with the visual effects and animation industry for almost thirty years. Inspired to enter the VFX business after watching WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, she joined Industrial Light & Magic where she worked with Ken Ralston, Robert Zemeckis and Steve Starkey, producing the visual effects for DEATH BECOMES HER and FORREST GUMP. After moving to Sony Pictures Imageworks with Ralston, they continued their longstanding relationship with the filmmakers on CONTACT and CAST AWAY.

Denise has shepherded many groundbreaking films through Sony Pictures Imageworks as Executive Vice President of Production for the visual effects and animation on such films as THE AMAZING SPIDER-MANALICE IN WONDERLANDWATCHMENSUPERMAN RETURNS, Academy Award® nominated STUART LITTLEHARRY POTTERMEN IN BLACK IICLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA.

Thomas Haegele

After working as a freelance artist and Creative Director, Professor Thomas Haegele established Polygon, one of the first German production houses for professional computer animation.  He is the co-founder of FILMAKADEMIE Baden-Wuerttemberg, and was a professor for Animation and Digital Imaging for more than 25 years. He served as the Director of the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction, as well as the Deputy Managing Director of the Filmakademie, which has become synonymous with excellence in high-end animation, VFX and post-production education, consistently producing top talent to the global marketplace.  Haegele is also the founder and conference chair of FMX, Europe’s most influential Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia.

Richard Hollander, VES

Richard Hollander is a freelance visual effects supervisor, currently working on AVATAR 2 and AVATAR 3. As President of the Film Division and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor at Rhythm & Hues Studios, he presided over film production of visual effects for THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBESUPERMAN RETURNSGARFIELD300: RISE OF AN EMPIRECAT IN THE HATAND CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, among others. Prior to that he was a founding partner, Vice President and Visual Effects Supervisor at VIFX.

Hollander is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences, serving on the Sci-Tech Council and the Executive Committee for the Visual Effects branch, and has co-chaired the Digital Imaging Technology Sub-Committee. He is a founding and long serving board member of the Visual Effects Society and a VES Fellow, and is the recipient of a Scientific and Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Gene Rizzardi, Jr.

Now retired, Eugene “Gene” P. Rizzardi, Jr. is an acclaimed model shop supervisor and special effects artist, who operated his own model and prop company, Modelwerkes and Special Effects.  He started his work in the special effects department as miniature and model maker in the late 1970’s when he worked on SCARED TO DEATHMEGAFORCEV and V: THE FINAL BATTLE and THE HUGGA BUNCH, which garnered him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. Further credits include DEMOLITION MANAPOLLO 13TITANICALIEN: RESURRECTIONGODZILLAAMERICAN BEAUTY and DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS.

Rizzardi is featured in the 2011 documentary SENSE OF SCALE. He has served for many years on the VES Board of Directors and is a member of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Association of Professional Model makers.

Honorary Members

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

Ron Cobb

Ron Cobb is  an acclaimed cartoonist, artist, writer, film designer, and film director. He was the production designer on CONAN THE BARBARIAN, THE LAST STARFIGHTER and LEVIATHAN and contributed conceptual designs to STAR WARS, ALIEN, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, THE ABYSS, TOTAL RECALL (1990) and BACK TO THE FUTURE. His illustrations have been published in the books RCD-25, Mah Fellow Americans, The Cobb Book, Cobb Again and Colorvision.

Don Iwerks

Don Iwerks is a former Disney executive, Disney Legend and Co-founder of Iwerks Entertainment and a renowned developer of special venues throughout the world.  Don is the recipient of the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that honors “an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.

Greg Jein

Greg Jein is a model designer and artist whose work includes studio models, props and other artwork, including landscape miniatures, that appeared throughout the STAR TREK franchise. Jein was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Visual Effects for his work on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and 1941 and is also known for his work on AVATAR, OBLIVION and INTERSTELLAR.

Sponsors Include: