2018

Academy Award-nominated art director, production illustrator and visual effects artist George Jenson died on May 25 at the age of 87. He was the production illustrator on RETURN OF THE JEDI, and received an Oscar nomination for visual effects for his work on 2010. Jenson began his film career in 1964 as a production illustrator/storyboard artist at 20th Century Fox Studios, working for producer Irwin Allen’s series LOST IN SPACE, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, TIME TUNNEL and LAND OF THE GIANTS. He moved to Filmation Associates as a layout artist and illustrator on the animated TV series STAR TREK, MISSION MAGIC, LASSIE'S RESCUE RANGERS and MY FAVORITE MARTIAN from 1972 to '75. Jenson... read more
Virgil Mirano, a VES member for more than 20 years, passed away in January of 2018. From the mid-1970's through the 1990's, Virgil manned the stills photo lab of three of the large VFX houses in L.A. - first with Robert Abel... read more
Arnold Kunert was a long-time VES member and a remarkable human being, a dedicated fan, film historian and cinematic biographer of Ray Harryhausen, the single greatest stop motion animation genius in film history. Arnold campaigned for his friend and associate to receive an honorary Academy Award in 1992 as well as his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. He produced the Saturn Award-winning documentary RAY HARRYHAUSEN: THE EARLY YEARS as well as DAWS BUTLER: VOICE MAGICIAN and BUDD BOETTICHER: ONE ON ONE as well as the “Ray Harryhausen Presents” animated short THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM.  Arnold passed away on March 14th. His artistry, friendship, and affection for the genre that we... read more
Will Vinton, the Oscar-winning visionary with the distinctive waxed mustache who coined the term "Claymation" and founded the studio that created the California Raisins, has died at 70. His family wrote, "His work will live on in animation history and will continue to inspire creative thinkers and makers." The Oregon native saw himself as a filmmaker first and an animator second. With an eye for movement and design, he was a natural when it came to editing and camera work as well. From his humble beginnings as a former architectural student, he became the epicenter for the animation and filmmaking community in the Pacific Northwest. Vinton won his Oscar in 1975 for the animated short film... read more
Director, Visual Effects and Animation Supervisor Terry Windell passed away on July 21 at the age of 61. He directed many award-winning commercials as well as several episodes of STAR TREK: VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE. While working as a background artist on HEAVY METAL, he was hired by ILM where he worked on POLTERGEIST and E,T,: THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. He met Richard Edlund, VES while at ILM and worked on RETUIRN OF THE JEDI, GHOSTBUSTERS , FRIGHT NIGHT and 2010. When Edlund left to found Boss Films, Windell followed. In 1989, Windell made his directorial debut with an impressive four spot effects-laden campaign for DHL, which garnered numerous honors including a Silver Clio and a New York Film... read more
Veteran VES member, Emmy winner and co-founder of fxguide, Jeff Heusser, passed away in July. He was a caring husband, brother, uncle and friend to many. To the very end, Jeff was funny, kind, and caring for and about others more than himself. We celebrate his life, his selflessness, and the impact he had on all of us who knew him and those who he touched all around the world. Jeff started in the industry at public television station WCET in Cincinnati, Ohio where he worked in almost every production job before moving up to producing and directing. His next stop was WLWT where he directed the news and other live and taped shows. He also won several Emmys for his work there. He then got into... read more

2017

Longtime VES member Steve Moore passed away last week at age 69. He was a Visual Effects Editor and Supervisor who joined the Society in 1998. By that time, he had already worked on such projects as WILLOW, GHOSTBUSTERS II, MORTAL KOMBAT, THE ARRIVAL and TITANIC. His more recent work included X-MEN, PLANET OF THE APES, X-MEN 2, SEABISCUIT, CLOVERFIELD, AVATAR, THE GREAT GATSBY and many more. He is survived by his twin daughters Samantha Ray and Alyssa Moore. He will be missed by all who knew him.  read more
Long-time VES member and Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Webb passed away after a long illness. Peter was the world’s first Flame artist, and was involved in early development of that software. His television and feature credits include STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, SUPER MARIO BROS., BATMAN FOREVER, ROMEO + JULIET, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, AUSTRALIA, THE PACIFIC and THE WOLVERINE. He worked at Iloura for 16 years, and was a dedicated and loving father and husband who will be missed.  read more
Long-time VES member and former Co-Chair of the VES Awards Committee passed away on Sunday, March 19th at City of Hope in Los Angeles after a decades long battle with cancer. She fought bravely to the very end with courage that belied her diminutive size. She worked in the visual effects industry since the early 1980s, always putting in the long hours because she loved her work so much, and was fortunate to be a part of the VES and a former Chair of the L.A. ACM SIGGRAPH chapter, to both of which she enjoyed giving her time and energy. Throughout her career, she contributed to such innovative projects as THE LAST STARFIGHTER, STAR TREK: VOYAGER, DAYBREAK, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM and CITY OF... read more

2016

Visual Effects pioneer Ron Thornton has died Nov 21st at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after a short illness. He was 59. Thornton, a native of London, England, began his entertainment career working for the BBC, creating props and miniatures for shows such as "Dr. Who," and "Blakes 7."  In 1984, Thornton emigrated to the United States where he went on to shoot and create miniatures for films such as "Real Genius", "Commando", "Space Balls," "Critters", and "Robot Jox." In 1987 he began to experiment with consumer level computer hardware to create 3-D computer graphics for pre-visualizing FX shots. It was mid-1991 when Thornton was approached by the producers of a sci-fi project in... read more

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2018

Academy Award-nominated art director, production illustrator and visual effects artist George Jenson died on May 25 at the age of 87. He was the production illustrator on RETURN OF THE JEDI, and received an Oscar nomination for visual effects for his work on 2010. Jenson began his film career in 1964 as a production illustrator/storyboard artist at 20th Century Fox Studios, working for producer Irwin Allen’s series LOST IN SPACE, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, TIME TUNNEL and LAND OF THE GIANTS. He moved to Filmation Associates as a layout artist and illustrator on the animated TV series STAR TREK, MISSION MAGIC, LASSIE'S RESCUE RANGERS and MY FAVORITE MARTIAN from 1972 to '75. Jenson... read more
Virgil Mirano, a VES member for more than 20 years, passed away in January of 2018. From the mid-1970's through the 1990's, Virgil manned the stills photo lab of three of the large VFX houses in L.A. - first with Robert Abel... read more
Arnold Kunert was a long-time VES member and a remarkable human being, a dedicated fan, film historian and cinematic biographer of Ray Harryhausen, the single greatest stop motion animation genius in film history. Arnold campaigned for his friend and associate to receive an honorary Academy Award in 1992 as well as his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. He produced the Saturn Award-winning documentary RAY HARRYHAUSEN: THE EARLY YEARS as well as DAWS BUTLER: VOICE MAGICIAN and BUDD BOETTICHER: ONE ON ONE as well as the “Ray Harryhausen Presents” animated short THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM.  Arnold passed away on March 14th. His artistry, friendship, and affection for the genre that we... read more
Will Vinton, the Oscar-winning visionary with the distinctive waxed mustache who coined the term "Claymation" and founded the studio that created the California Raisins, has died at 70. His family wrote, "His work will live on in animation history and will continue to inspire creative thinkers and makers." The Oregon native saw himself as a filmmaker first and an animator second. With an eye for movement and design, he was a natural when it came to editing and camera work as well. From his humble beginnings as a former architectural student, he became the epicenter for the animation and filmmaking community in the Pacific Northwest. Vinton won his Oscar in 1975 for the animated short film... read more
Director, Visual Effects and Animation Supervisor Terry Windell passed away on July 21 at the age of 61. He directed many award-winning commercials as well as several episodes of STAR TREK: VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE. While working as a background artist on HEAVY METAL, he was hired by ILM where he worked on POLTERGEIST and E,T,: THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. He met Richard Edlund, VES while at ILM and worked on RETUIRN OF THE JEDI, GHOSTBUSTERS , FRIGHT NIGHT and 2010. When Edlund left to found Boss Films, Windell followed. In 1989, Windell made his directorial debut with an impressive four spot effects-laden campaign for DHL, which garnered numerous honors including a Silver Clio and a New York Film... read more
Veteran VES member, Emmy winner and co-founder of fxguide, Jeff Heusser, passed away in July. He was a caring husband, brother, uncle and friend to many. To the very end, Jeff was funny, kind, and caring for and about others more than himself. We celebrate his life, his selflessness, and the impact he had on all of us who knew him and those who he touched all around the world. Jeff started in the industry at public television station WCET in Cincinnati, Ohio where he worked in almost every production job before moving up to producing and directing. His next stop was WLWT where he directed the news and other live and taped shows. He also won several Emmys for his work there. He then got into... read more

2017

Longtime VES member Steve Moore passed away last week at age 69. He was a Visual Effects Editor and Supervisor who joined the Society in 1998. By that time, he had already worked on such projects as WILLOW, GHOSTBUSTERS II, MORTAL KOMBAT, THE ARRIVAL and TITANIC. His more recent work included X-MEN, PLANET OF THE APES, X-MEN 2, SEABISCUIT, CLOVERFIELD, AVATAR, THE GREAT GATSBY and many more. He is survived by his twin daughters Samantha Ray and Alyssa Moore. He will be missed by all who knew him.  read more
Long-time VES member and Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Webb passed away after a long illness. Peter was the world’s first Flame artist, and was involved in early development of that software. His television and feature credits include STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, SUPER MARIO BROS., BATMAN FOREVER, ROMEO + JULIET, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, AUSTRALIA, THE PACIFIC and THE WOLVERINE. He worked at Iloura for 16 years, and was a dedicated and loving father and husband who will be missed.  read more
Long-time VES member and former Co-Chair of the VES Awards Committee passed away on Sunday, March 19th at City of Hope in Los Angeles after a decades long battle with cancer. She fought bravely to the very end with courage that belied her diminutive size. She worked in the visual effects industry since the early 1980s, always putting in the long hours because she loved her work so much, and was fortunate to be a part of the VES and a former Chair of the L.A. ACM SIGGRAPH chapter, to both of which she enjoyed giving her time and energy. Throughout her career, she contributed to such innovative projects as THE LAST STARFIGHTER, STAR TREK: VOYAGER, DAYBREAK, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM and CITY OF... read more

2016

Visual Effects pioneer Ron Thornton has died Nov 21st at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after a short illness. He was 59. Thornton, a native of London, England, began his entertainment career working for the BBC, creating props and miniatures for shows such as "Dr. Who," and "Blakes 7."  In 1984, Thornton emigrated to the United States where he went on to shoot and create miniatures for films such as "Real Genius", "Commando", "Space Balls," "Critters", and "Robot Jox." In 1987 he began to experiment with consumer level computer hardware to create 3-D computer graphics for pre-visualizing FX shots. It was mid-1991 when Thornton was approached by the producers of a sci-fi project in... read more

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