Welcome to the Second Annual Visual Effects Society Awards. We are pleased that you could join us to celebrate the visual effects work done in the last year. With each passing year, the bar is being raised. The quality and seamlessness of the work is exponentially increasing each and every year. It is hard to imagine where visual effects will take us in the next twenty-five minutes, much less the next twenty-five years!
Although we may not know where we are going, we certainly know where we have come from and the path that has taken us here. On that journey, there have been many bumps and bruises and failures, but fortunately there have also been many stunning successes – beacons of light leading us all. From George Melies, Willis O’Brien, L.B. Abbott and Albert Whitlock to Chuck Csuri, John Whitney, Doug Trumbull, Dennis Muren and all the other visual effects artist who have been great visionaries to light the way.
There is no person on the planet who has had more influence and impact on the contemporary visual effects storytelling than George Lucas. George has his fingerprints on almost every aspect of filmmaking, utilizing visual effects to enhance the storytelling process. George has written, produced and/or directed some of the most important visual effects films of our era including five Star Wars films (the sixth is in post), and three Indiana Jones films.
What makes George so special is his commitment to evolving the process. Would visual effects be the same if George had not built ILM…we doubt it. Would the 24P camera have come into being without George…maybe, but not now. Would Pixar exist if George had not created it…who knows. George has had a hand in the development or invention of the ideas and technologies ranging from random access editing to digital projection and everything in between. The point is that George Lucas has created with his heart, mind, vision and wallet the opportunity for storytellers around the world to dream freely and know that their visions can become realities. Without George Lucas, the spectrum of choices for filmmaking and visual effects would be far more limited.
George, your personal desire to expand storytelling capabilities “outside the box” has literally built an industry and ignited untold imaginations. We are all indebted to you. You have made that which was once only in one’s imagination…a reality that can be achieved.
It is with the greatest of pleasure that the Visual Effects Society presents to you its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
Date: February 18, 2004
Location: Hollywood Palladium 6215 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028