VES Honors2023-04-26T11:41:32-07:00

VES Honorees represent a group of exceptional artists and innovators who have profoundly impacted the field of visual effects, helped shape our shared legacy, and continue to inspire future generations of VFX practitioners.


Awarded for significant and lasting contributions to the art and science of the visual effects industry by way of vision, artistry, invention and innovation.

George Lucas (2004)
Robert Zemeckis (2005)
Dennis Muren, VES (2007)
Steven Spielberg (2008)
Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall (2009)
James Cameron (2010)
Ray Harryhausen (2011)
Stan Lee (2012)
Richard Edlund, VES (2013)
John Dykstra (2014)
Sir Ridley Scott (2016)
Ken Ralston (2017)
Jon Favreau (2018)
Chris Meledandri (2019)
Martin Scorsese (2020)
Sir Peter Jackson (2021)
Lynwen Brennan (2022)
Gale Anne Hurd (2023)

Awarded for pioneering significant and lasting contributions to the art and science of the visual effects industry by way of artistry, invention and groundbreaking work.

Bob Abel (2005)
John Lasseter (2006)
Phil Tippett, VES (2009)
Ed Catmull, VES (2010)
Douglas Trumbull, VES (2012)
Joe Letteri, VES (2018)

Awarded for uniquely and consistently employing the art and science of visual effects to foster imagination and ignite future discoveries by way of artistry, invention and groundbreaking work.

Christopher Nolan (2011)
Ang Lee (2013)
Alfonso Cuarón (2014)
J. J. Abrams (2015)
Syd Mead (2016)
Victoria Alonso (2017)
Jonathan Nolan (2019)
Roland Emmerich (2020)

Awarded for significant and lasting contributions to the art and science of the visual effects industry by uniquely and consistently creating compelling and creative imagery in service to story.

David Benioff & D.B. Weiss (2019)
Sheena Duggal (2020)
Robert Legato, ASC (2021)
Guillermo del Toro (2022)

Presented with deepest gratitude and appreciation by the members of the VES and its Board of Directors.

Tom Atkin (2004)
Don Shay (2005)
Jim Morris, VES (2006)
Eric Roth (2023)

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

Ray Harryhausen (1998)
Albert Whitlock (1998)
Linwood Dunn (1998)
Peter Ellenshaw (1998)
Douglas Trumbull, VES (2002)
George Lucas (2007)
John Dykstra (2007)
George Miller (2009)
Matthew Yuricich (2010)
Patton Oswalt (2016)
Bob Burns (2017)
Jules Roman (2018)
Mike Brodersen (2019)
Ron Cobb (2020)
Don Iwerks (2020)
Greg Jein (2020)
James Cameron (2021)
Gary Demos (2021)
Pete Docter (2022)

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

Harrison Ellenshaw (2007)
Ray Harryhausen (2007)
Jim Morris, VES (2007)
Dennis Muren, VES (2007)
Bill Taylor, VES, ASC (2007)
Douglas Trumbull, VES (2009)
Jeffrey A. Okun, VES (2015)
Carl Rosendahl, VES (2015)
Don Shay (2016)
Chuck Finance (2017)
Jonathan Erland, VES (2018)
Michael Fink, VES (2019)
Debbie Denise (2020)
Thomas Haegele (2020)
Richard Hollander, VES (2020)
Eugene “Gene” P. Rizzardi, Jr. (2020)
Rita Cahill (2021)
Mike Chambers, VES (2021)
Gene Kozicki (2021)
Richard Winn Taylor II, VES (2021)
Jeff Barnes (2022)
Patricia “Rose” Duignan (2022)
Pam Hogarth (2022)
Toni Pace Carstensen (2022)
Eric Roth (2022)
David Tanaka, VES (2022)

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

Jonathan Erland, VES (2006)
Harrison Ellenshaw (2007)
Ray Feeney, VES (2008)
Bill Taylor, VES, ASC (2009)
Jim Morris, VES (2010)
Mark Stetson, VES (2011)
Carl Rosendahl, VES (2012)
Craig Barron, VES (2013)
Janet Healy (2014)
Jeffrey A. Okun, VES (2015)
Kim Lavery, VES (2016)
Toni Pace Carstensen (2017)
Gene Kozicki (2018)
Susan Thurmond O’Neal (2019)
Ray Scalice (2020)
Rita Cahill (2021)
Mike Chambers, VES (2021)
Pam Hogarth (2022)

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.

Dennis Muren, VES (2010)
Doug Trumbull, VES (2010)
Jonathan Erland, VES (2010)
Ed Catmull, VES (2012)
Richard Edlund, VES (2012)
Ray Feeney, VES (2012)
Carl Rosendahl, VES (2012)
Mark Stetson, VES (2012)
Bill Taylor, VES, ASC (2012)
Phil Tippett, VES (2012)
Richard Winn Taylor II, VES (2014)
Richard Hollander, VES (2015)
Jeffrey A. Okun, VES (2015)
Scott Squires, VES (2015)
Peter Anderson, VES, ASC (2016)
Kim Lavery, VES (2016)
Jim Morris, VES (2016)
Joe Letteri, VES (2017)
John Richardson, VES (2017)
Lynda Ellenshaw Thompson, VES (2017)
Craig Barron, VES (2018)
Joyce Cox, VES (2018)
Dan Curry, VES (2018)
Paul Debevec, VES (2018)
Michael Fink, VES (2018)
Neil Corbould, VES (2019)
Harrison Ellenshaw, VES (2019)
Susan Zwerman, VES (2019)
Warren Franklin, VES (2020)
David Johnson, VES (2020)
Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES (2020)
Ken Ralston, VES (2020)
Sebastian Sylwan, VES (2020)
Brooke Breton, VES (2021)
Mike Chambers, VES (2021)
Van Ling, VES (2021)
Nancy St. John, VES (2021)
Tony Clark, VES (2022)
Jeff Kleiser, VES (2022)
Gene Kozicki, VES (2022)
Rick Sayre, VES (2022)
David Tanaka, VES (2022)

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.

VES Hall of Fame inductees include both living legends and those being honored posthumously (noted with an *).


Mary Ellen Bute
Mary Ellen Bute*

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*

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*

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*

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*

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.


Roy Field*

Field was a visual effects supervisor and director of photography, highly regarded as a special effects legend. He is best known for his work on Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal and Superman, which earned him an Academy Special Achievement Award and BAFTA for Visual Effects for the team’s stunning use of practical, miniature and optical effects.

John P. Fulton, A.S.C.*

Fulton was an American special effects supervisor and cinematographer and created some of the most astounding visual effects of his era. His body of work includes some 250 films spanning nearly four decades, and earned Fulton three Academy Awards for Special Effects for his work on the fantasy Wonder Man, The Bridges at Toko-Ri and The Ten Commandments, in which he parted the Red Sea, among other impressive photographic effects.

Phil Kellison*

Kellison was a visual effects supervisor and designer long before that position was acknowledged in movie credits. He had an almost 40-year career that ranged from the George Pal Puppetoons to industrial films, commercials, and feature films. His specialties include stop-motion animation forced perspective, which he dubbed “Magnascope” to market the technique to the commercial TV business.

John Whitney, Sr.*

Whitney was an American animator, composer and inventor, widely considered to be one of the fathers of computer animation. He used mechanical animation techniques to create sequences for motion picture and television title sequences and commercials; the most famous was his collaboration with Saul Bass on the title sequence for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. The Academy Film Archive houses the Whitney Collection and has preserved more than a dozen films featuring his work.

Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière and Louis Jean Lumière*

The Lumière Brothers were manufacturers of photography equipment, best known for their Cinématographe motion picture system and the short films they produced between 1895 and 1905, which places them among the earliest filmmakers. In parallel with their cinema work, they experimented with color photographic processes including the Lippmann process (interference heliochromy) and their own ‘bichromated glue’ process.


Irwin Allen*

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*

An American artist, animator and designer, 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*

An American engineer and animator, best-known for her contribution of 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.*

Special-effects designer at Fantasy II Film Effects who 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.*

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.


Walt Disney
Walt Disney*

Co-Founder of The Walt Disney Company who built Disneyland and won 22 Academy Awards.

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick*

Academy, BAFTA and WGA Award-winning Director, Writer, Producer and Cinematographer.

Stan Lee
Stan Lee*

VES Lifetime Achievement Award-winning creator of iconic superhero characters and executive producer at Marvel Studios


LB Abbott
L.B. Abbott, ASC*

Multiple Emmy and Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Artist who headed Fox’s Special Effects Department from 1957 to 1970 (CLEOPATRA, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, TORA! TORA! TORA!, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, THE TOWERING INFERNO)

Richard Dr Baily

Richard “Doc” Baily*

Digital Animator and creator of abstract image construction software Spore (SOLARIS, THE GAME, FIGHT CLUB)

Saul Bass
Saul Bass*


Ray Harryhausen*

Multiple award-winning Visual Effects Stop-motion Animator, Writer and Producer (THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBADJASON AND THE ARGONAUTSCLASH OF THE TITANS)

Derek Meddings
Derek Meddings*

Special and Visual Effects Supervisor who worked in TV and on many James Bond 007 films (FIREBALL XL5, THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO, UFO, MOONRAKER, LIVE AND LET DIE, BATMAN, KRULL, GOLDENEYE)

Eileen Moran
Eileen Moran*

Multiple VES Award-winning Visual Effects Producer who did groundbreaking CG commercial work at DD, and feature work at Weta (FIGHT CLUB, LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy, KING KONG (2005), AVATAR, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES)

Gene Roddenberry
Gene Roddenberry*



HOF Robert Abel
Robert Abel*

VES and Clio Award-winning innovator in Digital and CG Visual Effects (Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

HOF Ed Catmull

Ed Catmull, VES

Multiple Academy Award-winning President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studio, VES Fellow and recipient of the VES Georges Méliès Award

Roger Corman
Roger Corman

Independent Producer and Director who helped start the careers of Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron (A Bucket of Blood, Tales of Terror, Boxcar Bertha, Battle Beyond the Stars)

Linwood Dunn
Linwood Dunn, ASC*

Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Photographer who refined the Optical Printer and was an Honorary VES member (Citizen Kane, Mighty Joe Young, The Great Race)

HOF Peter Ellenshaw
Peter Ellenshaw*

Academy Award-winning Matte Painter (Treasure Island, Darby O’Gill and The Little People, Mary Poppins)

HOF Jim Henson
Jim Henson*

Pioneering Puppeteer whose Creature Shop was the gold standard (Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth)

Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks*

Academy Award-winning Animator and Visual Effects innovator who perfected combining live-action with animation (Steamboat Willie, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Birds)

John Knoll
John Knoll

VES, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor and co-creator of Photoshop software; Chief Creative Officer at ILM and former VES Board member (The Star Wars, Star Trek and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, Avatar, Rango, Super 8, Hugo, Pacific Rim)

HOF Grant McCune
Grant McCune*

Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Artist and Modelmaker (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Battlestar Gallactica, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Ghostbusters II, Speed, Sphere, Red Planet)

HOF Georges Melies
Georges Méliès*

Illusionist and Director (Le Voyage Dans La Lune, The Voyage Across the Impossible)

HOF Syd Mead
Syd Mead*

VES Visionary Award-winning Visual Futurist and Conceptual Artist responsible for the look of seminal films including Blade Runner, Aliens and TRON

Dennis Muren, VES

Multiple Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor;  VES Fellow, Lifetime member of the Society and winner of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park)

Willis OBrien
Willis O’Brien*

Visual Effects Stop-motion Animation pioneer, Writer and Director (The Dinosaur and The Missing Link, King Kong [1933], The Lost World)

HOF Carlo Rambaldi
Carlo Rambaldi*

Multiple Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Artist (King Kong [1976], Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)

HOF Phill Tippett
Phil Tippett, VES

Multiple Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor;  VES Fellow and winner of the VES Georges Méliès Award (Jurassic Park, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Dinosaur!, Starship Troopers)

Doug Trumbull, VES*

Multiple award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor; VES Fellow and Lifetime member of the Society and winner of the VES Georges Méliès Award (Blade Runner, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

HOF Joe Viskocil
Joe Viskocil*

Academy Award-winning Special Effects Artist who specialized in miniatures and pyrotechnics (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgement Day)

HOF Petro Vlahos
Petro Vlahos*

Emmy and Academy Award-winning pioneer in blue-screen technology (Ben-Hur, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope)

HOF Albert Whitlock
Albert Whitlock*

Emmy and Academy Award-winning Matte Painter (The Birds, The Sting, The Hindenburg)

HOF Stan Winston
Stan Winston*

Multiple VES, Emmy and Academy Award-winning Practical, Prosthetic and Creature Effects artist, Director and Producer (Edward Scissorhands, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens)

HOF Matthew Yuricich
Matthew Yuricich*

Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Matte Painter (Ben-Hur, Blade Runner, Die Hard)