Evening of Saturday, October 28, 2017 – Sofitel Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA

At the conclusion of the VES Summit, we will celebrate our 2017 VES Founders Award Recipient, VES Fellows and Lifetime Members who contributed to the success of our Society and the visual effects industry as a whole.  We will also be celebrating our inaugural VES Hall of Fame inductees. Join us for the awards presentation followed by cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and networking.

Celebrate with the top leaders and decision-makers in entertainment and VFX!

2017 VES Founders Award Recipient

The VES Founders Award is awarded to any individual member of the VES who has significantly contributed to the success of the VES.

  • Toni Pace Carstensen
    VFX Producer
    Toni Pace Carstensen
    VFX Producer

    This year, the VES Board of Directors is privileged to bestow the Founders Award upon Toni Pace Carstensen for her sustained contributions to the art, science or business of visual effects and meritorious service to the Society.

    Carstensen has a passion for new worlds—one that has taken her from the Amazon to Pandora.  Her feature work as VFX producer/digital production manager includes Avatar, Minority Report and Fantasia 2000.  For theme parks she contributed to Epcot’s Mission: Space and Star Trek Voyager: Borg Encounter 4D.  While Executive Producer at View Studio Carstensen produced TV FX work for The X-Files and Outer Limits and then remastered VFX for the original Star Trek series HD release at CBS Digital.  Venturing out on her own, Carstensen started CyberGraphix, one of the first Mac-based motion graphics. She is the recipient of a Broadcast Design Gold Award for Francis Ford Coppola’s White Dwarf, a VES Award nomination for Best Supporting Visual FX – Broadcast for Pushing Daisies and three Emmy Award nominations for her early work as a radio and television news producer.

    In 1997, Carstensen helped create the VES as member 0004 and first Treasurer.  She was a Founding Member of the Executive Committee and served on the Global Board of Directors for many years, as well as being Co-Chair of the Education Committee.  She co-edited the first edition of The VES Handbook and with the Education Committee generated the idea for the VESAGE book - showcasing the personal artwork of VES members. Always thinking about the future, Carstensen created the Vision Committee in 2011, which she continues to Chair. She is currently the Treasurer on the Los Angeles Section Board of Managers. Currently Carstensen teaches and mentors the next generation of visual effects explorers at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, while working as a development/production executive for animation studio Neko Productions. She is also a member of the PGA, TEA, Women in Animation, Motion Picture Editors Guild and the Art Directors Guild.

2017 VES Lifetime Membership

Lifetime Memberships are awarded for meritorious service to the Society, the industry and for furthering the interests and values of visual effects artists around the world.

  • Chuck Finance
    VFX Producer
    Chuck Finance
    VFX Producer

    The Board of Directors is proud to designate Chuck Finance with a Lifetime Membership for meritorious service to the Society and the global industry. Chuck Finance has been a member of the VES for nearly 20 years, and a member of the VES Awards Committee for 14 years.  He was Chair of the committee in 2005 and has been one of its dedicated Co-chairs ever since.  With an unwavering commitment to the VES, Finance dedicates thousands of hours each year, in his retirement, to advance the organization.  He has overseen the interaction between the Awards Committee and hundreds of queries about the Awards process, ensuring the integrity, protocols and high standards of the VES Awards.

    Finance began his career in film by producing and directing educational and information films for companies like Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the National Science Foundation.   He made the leap into visual effects when producer Raffaella De Laurentiis hired him as visual effects coordinator on the movie Dune, one of the most VFX-heavy films up to that time.  That was back in the analog, or optical, era, before computers revolutionized the art of visual effects.  In the late 1980s he co-founded a full-service visual effects company, Perpetual Motion Pictures, where he was the general manager as well as the company’s effects producer.  Among the films Chuck worked on were Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Leviathan, Mom and Dad Save the World, The Firm, Honey I Shrunk the Kids and many others.  Following that he worked for a number of years as a freelance VFX producer and supervisor on films like George of the Jungle, The Arrival and the TV series 24. 

2017 VES Fellows

The title of VES Fellow 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.

  • Lynda Ellenshaw Thompson
    Visual Effects Producer
    Lynda Ellenshaw Thompson
    Visual Effects Producer

    Lynda Thompson is a visual effects producer and consultant with over 35 years experience in the film industry. Her career has included work on such notable films as Tron, Ghostbusters, 2010, Big Trouble in Little China, Dick Tracy, and Snow White and the Huntsman. She has worked for every major studio as well as in house at visual effects facilities including Boss Film, Dream Quest Images, and Buena Vista Visual Effects. In the late 1990’s she was visual effects production executive for Walt Disney Pictures, responsible for overseeing more than 40 films over a span of three years. She subsequently returned to the freelance world, most recently serving as associate producer on The Huntsman.

    Lynda is a founding member of the Visual Effects Society, serving two terms on the Board of Directors, and has been on the VES membership committee since 2005.  She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the Producers Guild of America (PGA.)

  • John Richardson
    Special Effects Supervisor
    John Richardson
    Special Effects Supervisor

    John entered the Film Industry in 1962 at the age of sixteen, working for his father, Cliff Richardson, a pioneer of Special Effects who started in the Film Business in 1921.  Together they worked on “THE VICTORS”, “LORD JIM”, “BATTLE OF BRITAIN”, “HELP”, “CASINO ROYALE” and many others.

    John first began supervising films in 1967, working on pictures like "THE DEVILS," "STRAW DOGS," "YOUNG WINSTON" and "THE OMEN."

    Since working on "A BRIDGE TOO FAR" in 1976, John has been responsible for the Effects work on the  nine "BOND" films, "ALIENS" for James Cameron, "LADYHAWKE" for Richard Donner, "WILLOW" for George Lucas, "FAR AND AWAY" for Ron Howard and "CLIFFHANGER" for Renny Harlin doing both the Live Action and Shooting the Plane crash sequence for the film.  While permanently based in California for many years John was responsible for the Effects work on "GHOST IN THE MACHINE" for  Fox, "LOVE AFFAIR" which was Produced by Warren Beatty and Directed by Glen Gordon Carron, on which he was responsible for the Visual and  Live Action Effects and the Shooting of the Plane crash sequence. Followed by "BUSHWACKED" for Fox,  "THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT" for Castle Rock and  "BROKEN ARROW"  Directed by John Woo.  John has won an Academy Award, and a BAFTA Award  for his work on "ALIENS". US Academy nominations for "CLIFFHANGER" and “STARSHIP TROOPERS”, “HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN” and  “HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Part 1 and Part 2”, Also  BAFTA nominations for all eight of the Harry Potter films winning the BAFTA for “THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Part 2”.

    He has supervised all types of Special Effects including mechanical, physical, pyrotechnic, explosive and model effects.  He has also directed many model, action and 2nd units and is very much a "hands-on" technician.  Before starting on the Potter series John credits included the Special Effects work for Renny Harlin’s "DEEP BLUE SEA" and “FAMILY MAN” directed by Brett Ratner also the Model work on “TOMORROW NEVER DIES”, “THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH” for Michael Apted and “DIE ANOTHER DAY” for Lee Tamahori.

    John has now completed work on all eight of the Harry Potter films and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

    Along the way John has designed and built water tanks for filming, he has worked in Surface and Deep water tanks in Malta, Mexico, Holland, Pinewood,  Leavesden and California.  He has also consulted on Studio Tank and Stage construction for the Alicante Studios.

  • Joe Letteri
    Senior Visual Effects Supervisor
    Joe Letteri
    Senior Visual Effects Supervisor

    Joe Letteri's pioneering work on digital visual effects has earned him four Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects on Avatar, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and King Kong. He has also received the Academy’s Technical Achievement Award for co-developing the subsurface scattering technique that brought Gollum to life and six Visual Effects Society Awards.

    Joe joined Weta Digital as Visual Effects Supervisor on The Two Towers and has since led the company as its Director to become one of the world’s premiere visual effects studios.

    Joe has developed many techniques that have become standards for bringing photographic quality to digital visual effects. He specializes in the creation of realistic creatures, from the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, to Gollum, King Kong, the Na'vi in Avatar and Caesar from The Planet of the Apes.

    As Senior Visual Effects Supervisor on Avatar, Joe oversaw a programme of research and development over four years that produced shots larger and more complex than ever attempted before. This involved shooting on a virtual stage with a new camera system, along with the development of a full pipeline of tools that effectively launched a new approach to filmmaking called virtual production.

    Under Joe’s leadership, Weta Digital has continued to expand and improve these techniques through films like The Adventures of Tintin, The Hobbit trilogy and The Planet of the Apes trilogy. Joe has recently been focused on Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, War for the Planet of the Apes and the Avatar sequels.

2017 VES Honorary Membership

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

  • Bob Burns
    VFX Practitioner
    Bob Burns
    VFX Practitioner

    The Board of Directors is proud to designate Bob Burns with an Honorary Membership in the VES for his exemplary contributions to the entertainment industry and for furthering the interests and values of visual effects practitioners.

    Burns was a VFX practitioner in the 1950s and 60s, doing miniature work and makeup prosthetics.  His famed Halloween shows staged in Burbank in the 70s gave inspiration to hundreds of now-current practitioners in the VFX and makeup fields. He was a mentor and friend to many who have gone on to become legends in their own right, including Rick Baker, Dennis Muren, VES, Robert and Dennis Skotak.  More notably, he became a historian and archivist of the effects arena by amassing an extraordinary collection of film and television VFX props, miniatures, paintings and costumes, dating from the 50s to the digital age.  Filmmakers have visited his collection and had reunions with items long thought lost, while many of the younger generation have been inspired by seeing (and sometimes handling) the original items from such seminal films as The Time Machine, Destination Moon, Forbidden Planet, Alien, Aliens, Terminator 2 and many others.  He is recognized by many for his encyclopedic knowledge and preservation of these artifacts so often thrown away after production and for inspiring new generations with his wit and ability to bring VFX history alive. 

Founders & Fellows Celebration Sponsorship Opportunities

VES Founders and Fellows Celebration
Saturday, October 28, 2017 - Beverly Hills



Air one-minute video of your organization congratulating VES Founders and Fellows honorees



Distribution of your gift bag/premium item



Logo on Cocktail napkins (provided by sponsor)



Social Media post to nearly 160,000 VES followers



Your logo on signage outside cocktail reception and on screen during cocktail reception



Signage with your logo at the bar, on table tops



Full page ad in the program book



Complimentary Summit Tickets




Sponsorship commitment  & Ad Space reservation deadline:  Wednesday, October 4, 2017. Ad materials Due October 11, 2017.

If you have any questions or would like any information on VES Summit Sponsorship opportunities, please contact Nancy Ward at the VES Office (818) 981-7861 or ward@visualeffectssociety.com

Program Book

Advertise in the VES Summit Program Book:  Showcase your organization as an industry leader with a 4-color ad distributed to 200 Summit attendees

  • Full page ad:   $1,000
  • Inside front or back cover:  $2,500
  • Back cover:   $5,000

Ad Specs: 9.5w x 8.5h (Non-Bleed)  or 9.75w x 8.75h (Full Bleed with Crop marks for 9.5w x 8.5h).    Please provide high resolution PDF files with type faces embedded. If you prefer, we can also receive Adobe in Design, Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator files. 

To secure your sponsorship at this event, please contact:

Nancy Ward - Program & Development Director
818.981.7861  |  ward@VisualEffectsSociety.com