Register Now - Saturday, October 28, 2017


Sofitel Hotel Beverly Hills
8555 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

The Sofitel is providing a discounted rate of $279/night for VES Summit attendees.  Reservations can be made with a credit card by calling (800) 521-7772 and asking for the Visual Effects Society (VES) Courtesy Block.

Keynote Speaker
Syd Mead
Visual Futurist and Conceptual Artist
Syd Mead is an acclaimed visual futurist and conceptual artist whose storied career spans almost six decades.  He was recognized by the Visual Effects Society’s Board of Directors as the recipient of its Visionary Award at the 14th Annual VES Awards in 2016, honored for his unique ability to create unforgettable images and advance storytelling through his futuristic design aesthetic. Mead attributes success in an astonishing range of creative activities to the premise that imagination and the idea, supersedes technique.  “There are more people in the world who make things than there are people who think of things to make.” Mead’s career began as he created characters and backgrounds for animated cinema intermission trailers just out of high school. After serving in the U.S. Army and receiving his education at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, Ford Motor Company’s Advanced Styling Studio recruited Mead.  After Ford, he took on high-profile design assignments for blue chip companies including U.S. Steel, Philips Electronics and Intercontinental Hotels.  In 1979, Mead’s projects expanded to designing for Hollywood as he began to work with most major studios. His cinema entrée was legendary, starting with the creation of the V’ger entity for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed by two cult classics - Bladerunner and Tron. Mead’s designs for robots, vehicles and other-worldly environments have also been featured in films including 2010, Short Circuit, Aliens, Time Cop, Johnny Mnemonic, Mission Impossible-3 and Elysium.  With transportation design as his first love, Mead seldom misses an opportunity to provide his unique blend of futurism and believability to designing vehicles – from concept cars, cruise ships and hypervans to interplanetary cinematic spacecrafts that transport audiences to new worlds. In the 1980’s, Mead established close working relationships with a number of major Japanese companies including Sony, Minolta, Dentsu, Dyflex, Tiger, Seibu, Mitsukoshi, Bandai, NHK and Honda as well as contributing to Japanese film projects, Yamato 2520 and Solar Crisis. In the 1990s, he supplied designs for all eight robot characters in the Turn A Gundam mobile suit series and TV show. Extensive collections of Mead’s work have been exhibited worldwide, drawing record crowds. In 1993, a digital gallery of his art became one of the first CD ROMs released in Japan and in 2004 he cooperated with the Gnomon School of Visual Effects to produce a 4-volume, “How To” DVD series entitled, Techniques of Syd Mead, which continues to be sought after by designers around the world. A documentary of his career, Visual Futurist, was released in 2007 and Mead continues an active schedule of one-man shows and presentations.
Interviewed by - Richard Winn Taylor II, DGA, VES
Director / VFX Supervisor / Designer XLNT FX Inc. United States
Richard has an extensive background in live action direction, production design, special effects, and computer generated images for theatrical films, television commercials, computer games and VR formats. In 1973 Richard joined Robert Abel and Associates, the pioneer TV commercial graphics/special effects studio, where he served six years as art director/director. He received four Clio awards for his work on the 7UP Bubbles, 7UP Uncola and Levi’s Trademark commercials. He directed promotional films and network graphics for ABC, CBS, and NBC and designed new theatrical logos for CBS and Columbia Pictures. Richard worked for Paramount Pictures on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, where he supervised the storyboarding of the special effects and designed and supervised the building of the miniatures including The Enterprise. He went on to become Creative Director at Information International Inc. (III) one of the first creators of computer-generated images for film and television. There Richard designed and directed the special effects for Looker, a Michael Crichton feature and became the co-effects director of the innovative special effects and computer-generated imagery for Walt Disney’s Tron, the film that introduced the world to computer simulation and cyberspace. In 2003 Richard became the Cinematic Director at Electronic Arts Los Angeles where he directed the cinematic sequences for Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Kane’s Wrath and Command & Conquer, Red Alert 3 and Red Alert 3 Uprising. He was nominated four times by the Academy of Interactive Media and The Visual Effects Society for Best Cinematics in a Video Game. Richard works freelance through his own company XLNT FX Inc. and presently has co-created Eymerce and is designing a new theatrical scale 3D VR format using hi-resolution LED’s to create photo-real imaging for theater, gaming and themed entertainment. Richard has been a member of the DGA for 30 years. He has been the Vice-Chair of the VES and is a current board member and a distinguished VES Fellow. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco.
Keynote Speaker
Ava DuVernay
Nominated for the Academy Award and eight Emmy Awards, winner of the BAFTA for Best Documentary and The Peabody Award, Ava DuVernay's 13TH is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2016. In 2015, DuVernay directed the historical drama Selma, which garnered four Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Her current directorial work includes the award-winning dramatic television series Queen Sugar; and the upcoming Disney feature film A Wrinkle in Time. DuVernay previously wrote, produced and directed the dramatic feature, Middle of Nowhere, which earned her the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award. In 2010, she wrote, financed, produced and directed her first narrative feature, I Will Follow. The family drama was hailed by critic Roger Ebert as "one of the best films I've seen about the loss of a loved one." DuVernay made her directorial debut with the critically acclaimed 2008 hip hop documentary, This Is The Life and has directed several network documentaries, including Venus Vs. for ESPN. She has directed significant short form work including August 28: A Day in the Life of a People, commissioned by The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Prada and Apple. ‎In 2017, DuVernay was named one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Greatest World Leaders and TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People.‎  She also distributes and amplifies the work of people of color and women directors through her film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.  
Interviewed by - Dominic Patten
Senior Editor, Legal & TV Critic at Deadline Hollywood
Dominic is the Senior Editor, Legal & TV Critic at Deadline Hollywood. As that title indicates, Patten is not only responsible for breaking news about litigious Hollywood’s major lawsuits and courtroom activities, but also offering insights on this new Golden Age of television with his video reviews and more. Additionally, with the power of the Hollywood ATM for President and would-be Presidents, Patten heads political coverage for Deadline and regularly posts stories on a wide variety of topics. He previously wrote for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, and The Globe and Mail. A frequent guest on NPR, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and CBS, Patten has been a documentary director, TV producer, national news correspondent and a newspaper editor.


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