VFX Pros: Home Edition2020-11-20T12:25:01-08:00

VFX Pros: Home Edition

Welcome to our new webcast series, VFX Pros: Home Edition – your new channel for VFX stories behind-the-scenes, live conversations about cutting-edge technologies and techniques, discussions around the VES 70 most influential visual effects films and more!

Stay connected with VES:

  • Get educated and inspired by VFX experts
  • Enjoy exclusive and insightful conversations
  • Discover practical applications for new tech

Join us for this growing series as we go forth together. If you have suggestions for future VFX Pros: Home Edition episodes, let us know

VFX Pros: Home Edition – with our guest, Academy Award-winning visual effects pioneer and filmmaker Douglas Trumbull, VES.

A self-confessed “geeky creative,” Doug Trumbull is a VFX legend and pioneer, who has been at the forefront of visual effects for decades. He was responsible for the dazzling special photographic effects of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and was the Visual Effects Supervisor for such classics as CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE and BLADE RUNNER, each of which earned him Academy Award nominations. Among his many accolades, Trumbull is the recipient of the Academy’s coveted Gordon E. Sawyer as well as Scientific and Engineering Award for the creation of the 65mm Showscan camera system., the VES Georges Méliès Award and was one of the inaugural inductees into the VES Hall of Fame.

In this exclusive conversation, we’ll talk with Trumbull about his portfolio of science fiction, alien planets and spaceships that caught the attention of Stanley Kubrick…realizing 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY’s spaceship ballet, BLADE RUNNER’s foggy future, the blooming spaceships of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and the momentous introduction to the Starship Enterprise in STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE…his love for big screen exhibition…and his inventive work reimaging the cinema experience at his prefabricated theater concept, the Magi Pod…

Everything from Physical assets to Digital assets and Digital back to Physical: How Art and Entertainment translates into the world of Visual Effects with 3 Dimension and 3D printing for the last 25 years. Gentle Giant Studios pioneered Mobile 3D Photogrammetry for VFX & Product IP over a decade ago. Now with a half of a dozen Mobile Photogrammetry & LiDAR 3d scanning units, our virtual production disciplines are being distributed globally.

Credits span back 25 years, most recent credits are THE MANDALORIAN Seasons 1 & 2, AVATAR 2 & 3, WONDER WOMAN 1984THE BATMANMORBIUSTOP GUN: MAVERICKNO TIME TO DIETHE ONE AND ONLY IVANBLACK ADAM, Katy Perry, too many to list…

VFX Pros: Home Edition – with VFX legend and five-time Academy and BAFTA Award winner Ken Ralston, VES.

A smart-talking cartoon rabbit in a live action film…Meryl Streep’s head twisting right around…Forrest Gump’s Olympic ping pong battle and handshakes with a trio of presidents…alien encounters with a group of senior citizens in Florida…the continuing saga of Luke and Leia in a galaxy far, far away – these represent just some of the extraordinary visual effects work that has cemented Visual Effects Supervisor Ken Ralston’s place in history.

Ralston is a VES Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and has earned five Academy Awards, including a Special Achievement Oscar for the visual effects in STAR WARS: EPISODE VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI and VFX Oscars for FORREST GUMP, DEATH BECOMES HER, the revolutionary WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and COCOON.   He was also Oscar-nominated for THE ROCKETEER, JUMANJI, STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, STRAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, DRAGONSLAYER, BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II and ALICE IN WONDERLAND (3D). Ralston served as the Creative Head at Sony Pictures Imageworks, and prior to that, played a pivotal role in advancing Industrial Light & Magic’s renown over the course of 20 years.

We’ll talk with Ralston about being “raised by monsters,” retaining his childlike sense of wonder, his origin story, idols and inspirations, standout cinematic moments and tales from his storied journey in filmed entertainment…and more!

Watch the replay of the special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – an interactive discussion and show & tell heralding the Ray Harryhausen Centenary.

100 years after he was born, we pay tribute to the stop-motion special effects pioneer and VES Hall of Fame inductee Ray Harryhausen, his storied filmography and some of the most iconic creatures in movie history, including Cyclops, Medusa, and the skeletal Children of the Hydra’s Teeth.  His enormous legacy lives on through The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation.  We will get a glimpse into their collection of more than 50,000 objects and hear personal anecdotes and reflection’s on Ray’s career from a special panel of speakers – all passionate about the preservation and promotion of Ray Harryhausen’s influential and inspiring work.

Our guests include:

Vanessa Harryhausen – Ray Harryhausen’s daughter, Trustee of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation and author of the forthcoming book, Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema, celebrating her father’s life and films through her favorite 100 objects from the Foundation’s collection.

Connor Heaney – Collections Manager for The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation.  In addition to overseeing the collection, Connor promotes the awareness of Ray’s work and legacy through worldwide exhibitions and events and co-hosts the Ray Harryhausen Podcast with Trustee John Walsh.

John Walsh – BAFTA-nominated filmmaker, Trustee of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, co-host of the Ray Harryhausen Podcast with Connor Heaney, and author of Harryhausen: The Lost Movies (Rondo Award Nominee for Best Book,  2020).

Join us for a fun episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – a look inside the VFX memorabilia collection of digital production manager and noted VFX historian Gene Kozicki.

For avid visual effects aficionados, that passion for the craft is instilled in the models, props and production artwork.  Here’s your chance to go inside some highlights from an exciting VFX collection, rich with history and stories about how the items were made, used, lost – and then found.

An unapologetic child of the STAR TREK/STAR WARS generation, Gene Kozicki has long been fascinated by the process of how movies were made. Many a model kit of the USS Enterprise met a sad fate with lighter fluid and firecrackers as he tried to replicate the imagery he saw on the big screen. Gene started collecting movie memorabilia – specifically VFX related memorabilia – even before he had graduated from USC Film School when he kept some of the models he built for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION as an intern. The collection has grown as he developed relationships with artists and technicians, and also fished items out of the trash that most people (and studios) would generally consider junk. Over the span of his 30-year career, Gene has amassed a significant collection.

Gene has worked on films including TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY, TITANIC, both movie versions of POWER RANGERS, and GIGLI. A recipient of the VES Founders Award and Chair of the VES Archives Committee, Gene was instrumental in organizing the VES archives and helping to secure funding to digitize many of our assets. As a VFX Historian, Kozicki is active in the archiving of information, imagery and artifacts from the visual effects industry and regularly consults with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the American Cinematheque on retrospectives and conservation.

Get ready for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home EditionInside The VES Handbook of Visual Effects – 3rd Edition, featuring Co-Editors Jeffrey A. Okun, VES and Susan Zwerman, VES and a panel of expert contributors to the book.

The much-anticipated third edition of the VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures will be released in mid-July.  Hailed as the most complete guide to visual effects techniques and best practices on the market today, it covers essential industry-standard techniques, technologies, and workflows in the fast-paced world of visual effects — from pre-production through production and post-production.

And it’s been lauded worldwide, from artists, producers and supervisors, as an indispensable guide and effectively, the visual effects “bible” and most essential reference for the VFX craft and art.

This dynamic conversation will delve into some of the practices and procedures in the 3rd Edition, gleaned from world-class VFX experts, including –

  • Techvis & Virtual Production – Eric Carney
  • VR/AR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality)  – Ben Grossmann
  • Future of Gaming – David Johnson
  • 2D/3D Compositing – Matt Leonard
  • Camera Tracking for Real-Time Visualization  – Joe Lewis

Don’t miss this exclusive conversation showcasing practical know-how and insider tips!

Eric Carney

Ben Grossmann

David Johnson

Matt Leonard

Joe Lewis


Jeffrey A. Okun, VES is a VES Fellow and recipient of the VES Founder’s Award, and served as VES Board Chair for seven years.  He is known for creating ‘organic’ and invisible effects, as well as spectacular ‘tent-pole’ visual effects, and has won the VES Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects for his work on The Last Samurai.  Okun has delivered wide-ranging effects in award winning films such as Alpha, Blood Diamond, Stargate, Sphere, Red Planet, Deep Blue Sea, Lolita and The Last Starfighter. Okun also created and co-edited the VES HANDBOOK OF VISUAL EFFECTS, an award-winning VFX reference book, whose 3rd edition will be published this summer.

Susan Zwerman, VES has been a member of the VES since 1998. She is a highly respected Visual Effects Producer whose credits include Broken Arrow, Alien Resurrection, Around the World in 80 Days, and The Guardian.  She frequently acts as a visual effects consultant for major studios.

Susan was employed as the Studio Executive Producer for Exceptional Minds, a nonprofit school, and studio that prepares young adults on the Autism Spectrum for careers in digital animation and visual effects. She has provided these artists opportunities to work on high-profile features films such as Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Green Book, Black Panther, and Star Wars The Last Jedi.

As Chair of the DGA’s UPM/AD VFX Digital Technology Committee, Susan emphasizes the importance of the visual effects teams to DGA members at visual effects seminars organized under her guidance. During her previous two years on the VES Board, she worked to create many successful seminars.  In 2013, Susan received the Frank Capra Achievement Award in recognition of career achievement and service to the industry and the Directors Guild of America.  She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  In 2019, she received the VES Fellows Award recognizing her achievements and contributions to the art, science or business of visual effects.

Susan is the Co-Editor of The VES Handbook of Visual Effects, published in 2010, 2014, and 2020.

VFX Pros: Home Edition – Learn How to Spot and Shift Gender, Race & LGBTQI Bias.

We naturally assign people into various social categories by traits, such as age, gender, race, and role. And some of our implicit or unconscious thinking includes stereotypes, which are traits that we associate with a category – and that can lead to discrimination if we are not careful. And how do we make the unconscious conscious and change it?

Filmmaker and Director of Inclusion Initiatives at the American Film Institute Tessa Blake will provide an incisive presentation on how to spot bias and how to change it, providing tangible ways that organizations, people and productions can make small changes that will make a big difference toward greater equity.

Tessa Blake is an award-winning filmmaker and television director (VERONICA MARS, RIVERDALE, BLACKLIST, A MILLION LITTLE THINGS). An AFI Directing Workshop for Women alumna, Tessa’s films have premiered at Cannes and SXSW, have won awards at Nantucket Film Festival and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, have been honored by the Academy, and released theatrically. As Director of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Tessa innovated dynamic programs to advance equality in the industry. Now serving as the Nancy Malone Director of Inclusion Initiatives at AFI, Tessa continues that work, finding meaningful opportunities for diverse alumni, and working with industry partners toward sustained change.

The only thing certain is change. Make plans to join us for our next edition of VFX Pros: Home Edition – an interactive webcast on Retooling Your Career with a panel of seasoned recruitment pros.

Our stellar panel includes VES Board member and VP of Animation Recruitment at Nickelodeon Camille Eden, ILM Recruitment Consultant Lara Hopkins, whose experience spans four continents and VES Board member and recruiter for BLT Recruiting, Inc. Susan Thurmond O’Neal.

What are the best tips on refreshing your image? How can you leverage your network to secure that next great position, amp up your marketable education and target your search? How can you get a leg up to move your CV and reel to the top of the pile? This session will give you hands-on advice and insider perspective from the studio and independent recruiting mindset to help you succeed on your career journey. Don’t miss this exclusive conversation.

Camille Eden
VP of Animation Recruitment at Nickelodeon
Lara Hopkins
ILM Recruitment Consultant
Susan Thurmond O’Neal
Recruiter for BLT Recruiting, Inc.

Join us on Tuesday, June 16th at 11:00 am (PDT) for our next edition of VFX Pros: Home Edition – an interactive webcast on The Art of Decisionmaking on Working From Home with senior executives from FotoKem.

When the industry got the call to work from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses needed to pivot quickly and make smart decisions to remain effective and responsive to their clients. From adapting workflows and content reviews, to building and deploying remote workstations, to integrating automated software to create and deliver VFX projects, the FotoKem team employed a number of strategies to ensure the highest quality work, even in a challenging new climate.

Get their insights and lessons learned from this challenging experience – including how the industry might retain some of these changes for the better.

Our FotoKem panel includes — David Hall, Director of Dailies Operations; David Cole, Supervising Digital Colorist; Jose Parra, VP Creative Services, Senior DI Producer; and Alex Oreman, Director of Production Engineering

David Hall
Director of Dailies Operations
David Cole
Supervising Digital Colorist
Jose Parra
VP Creative Services
Senior DI Producer
Alex Oreman
Director of Production Engineering

VFX Pros: Home Edition – Dennis Muren, ASC, VES on STAR WARS Day

A interactive webcast with Dennis Muren, VES, ASC, legendary visual effects artist and supervisor and Creative Director at Industrial Light & Magic.

We’ll talk about creating a galaxy, far, far away, the legacy of STAR WARS and how he got this life-changing gig…pioneering techniques that marked new benchmarks in visual effects…other film juggernauts including the CG dinosaurs of JURASSIC PARK…the flying bicycles in E.T….his storied career at ILM…and so much more!

HOF Dennis Muren

From his work on nearly all of the STAR WARS films – and E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY and JURASSIC PARKDennis Muren, ASC, VES has defined the role of visual effects supervisor and attained a near-mythic status among visual effects aficionados. He has nine Academy Awards, is a recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and was the first visual effects artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Compositing: VFXer’s Inside Guide

An interactive Webcast on Compositing with digital compositing pros Colin Campbell, VES Board member and Emma Clifton Perry, VES Board 2nd Vice Chair. 

Get their insights on tools and techniques and more! —

  • The evolution of compositing
  • Photo-real vs. photo-believable: what does the audience see
  • Fix it in Comp: benefits vs. over/misuses
  • Good vs. sloppy compositing
  • The ins & outs of being a generalist vs specialist
  • Overuse of fake camera and lens tricks
  • Our favorite film comp sequences: how we did it and how would we do it today!

Colin Campbell has 32 years experience in animation and visual effects, working at major facilities including Industrial Light and Magic, Sony Imageworks, Rhythm & Hues, Digital Domain, and Tippett Studios and using a variety of software packages including Nuke, NukeX, Shake, Wavefront Composer, Matador, Elastic Reality, and in-house proprietary packages.

Emma Clifton Perry is a freelance Senior Compositor with 15 years experience across features/fully animated features/TVC’s and Longform/Series. She’s worked in-house for FOX and vfx vendor side for Weta Digital, Rising Sun Picures, DRD, Framestore CFC and MPC and a number of commercial facilities, using software including Shake, Commotion, Curious GFX and Nuke.

HDR and Dolby Vision Primer for VFX & Gaming

An interactive Webcast on HDR and Dolby Vision with Thomas Graham and Aby Matthew, senior pros at Dolby. 

What you’ll learn –

  • What VFX professionals need to know about HDR
  • How did PQ (Perceptual Quantizer) come about?
  • End-to-end content creation and the VFX pipeline
  • Color mapping to the capabilities of each device
  • Working with monitors – tips, recommendations and dealing with on-set challenges

Aby Matthew is Senior Staff Content Engineer at Dolby Laboratories.  After formal training as an engineer, Matthew began his career in the content creation industry as a 3D animator and vfx artist using Alias Power Animator, Maya, Flame and Inferno. He spent 12 years at Autodesk as the Flame and Lustre product specialist for the Asia Pacific region and joined Imaging team at Dolby in 2011.

Thomas Graham is Head of Dolby Vision Content enablement at Dolby Labs and is a 29-year veteran of the Post Production industry working for Digidesign, Avid & Dolby and a variety of consulting/freelance work. He was one of the first to use Pro Tools to record and edit the orchestra on Hollywood scoring stages on over 40 feature films, including Collateral, Ice Age, Star Trek Nemesis, Solaris, and Serenity.

Coping With Uncertainty During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A special live webcast to help you stay mentally healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic with Erica Folinsky, LCSW, Licensed Therapist.

With the uncertainty and evolving impact of COVID-19, it’s natural to experience anxiety.  We are all grappling with issues including isolation, changing dynamics in the home, job loss and economic impacts, fears about the health of loved ones, friends, colleagues and ourselves and more. Like any emotion, anxiety can spread from person to person.   This session is designed to provide coping tips to help navigate through these difficult times.

Erica Folinsky is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the founder of the Los Angeles-based private telehealth practice, Your Healing Begins Here.  She works primarily with adults and young adults addressing a variety of concerns including relationships, anxiety, depression and generally coping with daily life challenges.  She specializes in trauma and trauma-related symptoms, as well as working with the LGBTQIA++ community.

Erica is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and her years of experience with trauma offer a unique perspective on living in uncertain times and managing fear and anxiety.  She has worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and received her Masters in Social Work from California State University Northridge.