JEFFREY A. OKUN, Most recently Senior V.P., Visual Effects for Prana Studios, Los Angeles, recently completed work on 20th Century Fox’s Oscar nominated feature film, HITCHCOCK and THE WATCH as well as several other high profile projects.
Okun, known for creating ‘organic’ and invisible effects, as well as spectacular ‘tent-pole’ visual effects that blend seamlessly into the storytelling aspect of the project, has won the VES AWARD for OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS for his work on THE LAST SAMURAI. He has been nominated for 2 other VES Awards as well as numerous other awards. “I feel that the job of visual effects is to serve the story above all else. The art and technology of visual effects is only one color in the palette available.”
Jeff has also delivered wide-ranging effects in award winning films such as BLOOD DIAMOND, STARGATE, SPHERE, RED PLANET, DEEP BLUE SEA, LOLITA, and THE LAST STARFIGHTER. Additionally he oversaw the rush 3D conversion of CLASH OF THE TITIANs for Warner. (For a full list of credits please refer to his CV.)
Okun, Chair of the Visual Effects Society for his 6th year, has taken the organization global. In addition to creating a global community he has focused attention on bringing creating business and creative education to artists, facilities and studios. Jeff was a driving force in the creation of the VES 2.0 initiative, which brought together studios, facilities and artists to explore new business models, pipelines and technologies. Under Okun’s leadership the VES was a key player in the creation of a worldwide software anti-pirating alliance with the US Government to insure that all facilities have a fair and level playing field from which to bid. The Visual Effects Society is the entertainment industry's only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos and games.
Okun also created and co-edited the VES HANDBOOK OF VISUAL EFFECTS - A 980 page reference book covering all aspects of creating visual effects, techniques and practices. The book won the PROSE award in 2011.
Okun created the visual effects tracking and bidding software that is in wide use within the industry today, as well as the revolutionary visual effects techniques dubbed the "PeriWinkle Effect" (an underwater blue screen technique) and the "Pencil Effect” (accurately predicts the final visual effects count and budget).
Jeff is a respected member of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (currently serving on the VFX steering committee), British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Academy of Television Arts and Science, and an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).