2021 VES Honors Celebration Honorees Skirball2021-10-20T13:55:48-07:00

VES Honors Celebration

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2021
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm 

Honoree Bios            Sponsorship           Registration

The VES announces the 2021 inductees into the VES Hall of Fame, VES Fellows, the newest Lifetime and Honorary members and this year’s recipients of the VES Founders Award.  All the honorees will be recognized at an exclusive, invitation-only reception on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 from 7 to 10pm. This exclusive event will be held at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049.

“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 Lisa Cooke, VES Board Chair. “We are proud to recognize those who helped shape our shared legacy and continue to inspire future generations of VFX practitioners.”

Founders Award Recipients

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

Rita Cahill

Rita Cahill is an international business and marketing/PR consultant and has worked with a number of US, Chinese, Canadian, UK and EU companies for visual effects and animation projects. Current and former clients include companies in the feature film, television, VR and game industries, as well as government and educational entities. She is also a partner in MakeBelieve Entertainment, a film development company, and serves as Executive Producer on a number of international projects.

Previously, Cahill was the VP of Marketing for Cinesite where she oversaw the marketing of four divisions of the pioneering digital studio’s services. Prior to Cinesite, Cahill was a founding Board member of the Mill Valley Film Festival/California Film Institute and remains on the Institute’s Emeritus Board of Directors. Cahill was also the Founding Consultant on the formation and establishment of the Singapore International Film Festival.  Cahill served six terms as VES Secretary, and previously served as Chair or Co-Chair of the VES Summit for eight years.

Mike-Chambers

Mike Chambers, VES

Mike Chambers is an award-winning freelance Visual Effects Producer and Independent VFX Consultant, specializing in large-scale feature film productions. He is currently working on an untitled project for Universal Pictures and most recently worked on Tenet, his fourth collaboration with esteemed writer-producer-director Christopher Nolan. Other recent credits include Greyhound, Dunkirk, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Transcendence and The Dark Knight Rises. Chambers has contributed to the visual effects efforts on numerous Academy & BAFTA award-winning films, and he has personally won three VES Awards for Best Visual Effects, on Dunkirk, Inception, and The Day After Tomorrow. He was also nominated for his work on I Am Legend and Tenet.

Chambers served six years as the Chair of the VES. He has been a member for over 20 years, serving multiple terms on the Board of Directors, and previously served on the Executive Committee as both Vice Chair and Secretary. He is also a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), and the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

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.

Brooke Breton, VES

Breton has been principally involved in a wide variety of prominent live action films, animated films, television series and theme park projects, which have received Academy, BAFTA, Emmy, Annie and VES awards and nominations and include Avatar, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Solaris, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Dick Tracy. She was instrumental in launching James Cameron’s effects house Digital Domain and the start-up of DreamWorks Animation.  A three-term VES Board member, Breton is a member of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch, Visual Effects Executive Council and Science and Technology Council and recently served as a producer for the Academy Museum. In current development under the Breton Productions banner are three feature film projects and a museum exhibition, entitled The ART of Visual Effects.

Mike-Chambers

Mike Chambers, VES

Mike Chambers is an award-winning freelance Visual Effects Producer and Independent VFX Consultant, specializing in large-scale feature film productions. He is currently working on an untitled project for Universal Pictures and most recently worked on Tenet, his fourth collaboration with esteemed writer-producer-director Christopher Nolan. Other recent credits include Greyhound, Dunkirk, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Transcendence and The Dark Knight Rises. Chambers has contributed to the visual effects efforts on numerous Academy & BAFTA award-winning films, and he has personally won three VES Awards for Best Visual Effects, on Dunkirk, Inception, and The Day After Tomorrow. He was also nominated for his work on I Am Legend and Tenet.

Chambers served six years as the Chair of the VES. He has been a member for over 20 years, serving multiple terms on the Board of Directors, and previously served on the Executive Committee as both Vice Chair and Secretary. He is also a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), and the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Van Ling, VES

As the Creative Director and VFX Supervisor for Banned from the Ranch Entertainment and later as a freelance visual effects supervisor, graphic designer, editor and digital artist, Ling’s diverse credits range from films (Twister, Men in Black, Starship Troopers, Doctor Dolittle and Titanic) to theme park attractions (Disney’s Star Tours, EPCOT’s Test Track and Disney Cruiseline’s Skyline Lounge) to designing and creating several of the THX trailers that were seen in theatres around the world.  Ling is also a pioneering producer of in-depth special features and innovative menus that helped define the possibilities of the laserdisc/DVD/Blu-ray formats, garnering multiple awards for Special Editions of The Abyss, T2, Independence Day and the first six Star Wars films on DVD. In addition to his longtime service on the VES Board and several committees, Ling is a member of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch.

Nancy St. John, VES

St. John’s VFX and Computer Animation career has spanned over 38 years. Under her leadership as production side VFX producer, her VFX teams won Academy Awards for Babe and Gladiator, as well as an Academy Award nomination for I, Robot.  Her filmography includes Bill & Ted Face the Music, James & the Giant Peach, The Immortals, Men in Black 3, Total Recall, I, Robot and Ghostbusters (2016). St. John helped build groundbreaking VFX and Computer Animation facilities, including Robert Abel & Associates, Digital Productions, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Pacific Data Images, Industrial Light & Magic, Rhythm & Hues, MillFilm and Prime Focus. In addition to her service on the VES Board and Membership Committee, St. John is a member of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch and VFX Executive 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.

Rita Cahill

Rita Cahill is an international business and marketing/PR consultant and has worked with a number of US, Chinese, Canadian, UK and EU companies for visual effects and animation projects. Current and former clients include companies in the feature film, television, VR and game industries, as well as government and educational entities. She is also a partner in MakeBelieve Entertainment, a film development company, and serves as Executive Producer on a number of international projects.

Previously, Cahill was the VP of Marketing for Cinesite where she oversaw the marketing of four divisions of the pioneering digital studio’s services. Prior to Cinesite, Cahill was a founding Board member of the Mill Valley Film Festival/California Film Institute and remains on the Institute’s Emeritus Board of Directors. Cahill was also the Founding Consultant on the formation and establishment of the Singapore International Film Festival.  Cahill served six terms as VES Secretary, and previously served as Chair or Co-Chair of the VES Summit for eight years.

Mike-Chambers

Mike Chambers, VES

Mike Chambers is an award-winning freelance Visual Effects Producer and Independent VFX Consultant, specializing in large-scale feature film productions. He is currently working on an untitled project for Universal Pictures and most recently worked on Tenet, his fourth collaboration with esteemed writer-producer-director Christopher Nolan. Other recent credits include Greyhound, Dunkirk, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Transcendence and The Dark Knight Rises. Chambers has contributed to the visual effects efforts on numerous Academy & BAFTA award-winning films, and he has personally won three VES Awards for Best Visual Effects, on Dunkirk, Inception, and The Day After Tomorrow. He was also nominated for his work on I Am Legend and Tenet.

Chambers served six years as the Chair of the VES. He has been a member for over 20 years, serving multiple terms on the Board of Directors, and previously served on the Executive Committee as both Vice Chair and Secretary. He is also a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), and the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Gene Kozicki

Gene Kozicki served as a member of the Board of Directors and L.A. Section Board of Managers and was the co-founder of the VES Festival for many years. During his tenure 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 almost 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.

Richard Winn Taylor II, VES

Taylor is a VES Fellow and has served as a member of the Board of Directors. He has an extensive background in live action direction, animation, production design, special effects, and computer generated images for theatrical films, television, games, themed entertainment venues and VR, and his commercial work has garnered numerous awards, including multiple Clios. Taylor supervised the Special Effects and storyboarding of the visual effects sequences on Star Trek: The Motion Picture and he designed and supervised the building of the miniatures including the Starship Enterprise.

Taylor’s film portfolio also includes Something Wicked This Way Comes, Where the Wild Things Are, as well as video game projects The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth and The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II and he directed the innovative special effects and computer-generated imagery for TRON, one of the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.

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.

James Cameron

Cameron is an acclaimed, Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and VES award-winning filmmaker, known for his expansive vision and innovative visual effects-driven films, which have repeatedly smashed box-office records.  Cameron co-founded production company Lightstorm Entertainment and state-of-the-art effects company Digital Domain, and in 2010, was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. A recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award, Cameron received an Academy Award for Best Director for Titanic (which won 11 Oscars) and among his storied filmography, Aliens, Avatar, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and The Abyss each received Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects.  Cameron is currently at work on the much-anticipated Avatar sequels.

Gary Demos

Demos is a pioneer in the development of computer-generated images and digital image processing for use in motion pictures.  He was a founder of Digital Productions and was awarded an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Scientific and Engineering Award in 1984 along with John Whitney Jr.  “For the Practical Simulation of Motion Picture Photograph By Means of Computer-Generated Images”.  Gary also founded DemoGraFX and Image Essence LLC.  He is the recipient of the AMPAS 2005 Gordon E. Sawyer Oscar for lifetime technical achievement.  Demos is actively involved in the ASC Technology Committee and has worked on the AMPAS ACES project.  The inventor of approximately 100 patents, Demos is a SMPTE Fellow and recipient of the SMPTE Digital Processing Medal.

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.

Roy Field (1932 – 2002)

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 LabyrinthThe 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. (1902 – 1966)

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 ManThe Bridges at Toko-Ri and The Ten Commandments, in which he parted the Red Sea, among other impressive photographic effects.

Phil Kellison (1918 – 2005)

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.

Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière (1862-1954)
Louis Jean Lumière (1864 – 1948)

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.

John Whitney, Sr. (1917 – 1995)

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.

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