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.