VFX Pros: Home Edition2020-08-13T16:26:59-07:00

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

Join us on Friday, August 14th at 11:00 am (PDT) 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.

Make plans to join us for this dynamic at-home VFX show and tell!

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Join us on Monday, August 17th at 11:00AM (PDT), 2:00PM (EDT), 7:00PM (BST) and 8:00PM (CEST) for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – an interactive discussion on the visual effects that went into Lucasfilm’s groundbreaking Disney+ series THE MANDALORIAN with two time VES Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Bluff, moderated by VES member and Epic Games Business Development Manager Miles Perkins.

Richard Bluff is one of Industrial Light & Magic’s award-winning Visual Effects Supervisors, currently serving as the production-side overall Visual Effects Supervisor on Jon Favreau’s hit Disney+ series, THE MANDALORIAN. In this capacity, Bluff oversees every aspect of the visual effects effort on behalf of production, including responsibility for the 3,800 traditional visual effects shots created for the series’ first season as well as ongoing technical and creative development of the new game engine driven LED stage technology and workflow (ILM StageCraft) for the show. Bluff received the Visual Effects Society Award for ‘Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode’ for his work on Season 1 and has continued in the capacity of overall supervisor on Season 2. He is also currently nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.

With a background in video games and environments, Richard Bluff joined ILM more than 15 years ago as a Digital Matte Artist and quickly rose through the ranks to become the Supervisor of ILM’s Environments Department where he reinvented standard workflows to provide artistically-driven solutions that were both innovative and efficient.

During this time, Bluff also continued hands-on supervision and shot work which included 2012’s blockbuster THE AVENGERS. Bluff pioneered the development of a fully digital New York City which was featured throughout the end battle, earning a Visual Effects Society Award.

Soon thereafter, Bluff was promoted to ILM VFX Supervisor, overseeing work on such films as ABOVE AND BEYOND, LUCY, UNBROKEN and the Marvel Studios television series AGENT CARTER. These experiences positioned Bluff for the role of ILM VFX Supervisor on Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE where he led the out-of-the box artistry and production methodologies to achieve the movie’s unique city deformations look. Work on DOCTOR STRANGE earned Bluff nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA award, and VES awards.

Richard next turned his hand towards real-time game technologies, serving as one of two Visual Effects Supervisors on the simulator ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run for Disneyland and Disneyworld.  These cumulative experiences throughout his career have positioned Bluff perfectly for the role he is currently playing as Production-side Supervisor on THE MANDALORIAN. This role requires a proven innovative, technical and creative problem solver at the helm of the visual effects driven series.

Don’t miss this special conversation about one the most innovative series streaming today.

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Join us on Tuesday, August 18th at 12:00PM (PDT), 3:00PM (EDT), 8:00PM (BST) and 9:00PM (CEST) for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – an interactive discussion on the visual effects that went into the Amazon Prime Video series TALES FROM THE LOOP with Visual Effects Producer Andrea Knoll and Supervisor Ashley Bernes, moderated by VES 1st Vice Chair Lisa Cooke.

Andrea Knoll has been pushing boundaries in the entertainment industry for over 15 years. Her most recent role as visual effects producer on TALES FROM THE LOOP is a perfect depiction of her love and passion for visual storytelling. Andrea’s work on this unique anthology series has earned her an Emmy nomination.

Prior to her work on TALES FROM THE LOOP, Andrea served as a visual effects producer on seasons 2 and 3 of the critically acclaimed Netflix original series, STRANGER THINGS. It was there that she brought her production expertise and expanded the scope of visual effects for the show, which led to its two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. Andrea has also been a consulting producer on feature films such as Roland Emmerich’s latest project MIDWAY and Paul McCartney’s upcoming Netflix animated musical HIGH IN THE CLOUDS.

Ashley Bernes is a Creative Director at MPC’s New York studio. A 14-year veteran of MPC, he arrived in New York to help open the company’s east coast office in 2011.  Joining MPC London in 2006 as FX Technical Director, Ashley very quickly became CG and VFX Supervisor collaborating with top-tier directors such as Jonathan Glazer, Noam Murro, John Hillcoat, Baillie Walsh, Lance Acord, Joe Pytka, Speck and Gordon and Phil Joanou. He has been Creative Director on some of the studio’s most high-profile projects, partnering with Bruno Aveillan for Samsung’s “Billion Colors” film, a Creativity Editor’s Pick, as well as both films for Tiffany & Co.’s “Believe in Dreams” campaign alongside notable directors Francis Lawrence and Mark Romanek. His long-form work includes the TALES FROM THE LOOP pilot episode, for which he was the Studio VFX Supervisor and has earned an Emmy nomination, as well as the film 12 STRONG.

Don’t miss this special conversation about one of the most otherworldly series streaming today.

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Join us on Thursday, August 20 at 11:00AM (PDT) for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – a live interactive discussion with the visual effects team behind the Emmy nominated series WATCHMEN.

Join us or a discussion on the Emmy-nominated visual effects that went into producing HBO’s highly anticipated miniseries WATCHMEN. Panelists will include winner of four VES Awards and two time Emmy-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Erik Henry, VES Award-winning and six time Emmy-nominated Visual Effects Producer Matt Robken and four time Emmy-nominated Visual Effects Production Manager Ashley Ward, moderated by former VES Chair and current Board member Jeffrey A. Okun, VES.

Don’t miss this conversation about one the most timely shows of the year.

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Join us on Thursday, August 13 at 1:00PM (PDT) for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – a live interactive discussion with the visual effects team behind the third season of WESTWORLD.

Join us or a discussion on the Emmy-nominated visual effects that went into producing the third season of HBO’s science fiction series WESTWORLD. Panelists will include VES Award and Emmy-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Jay Worth, Emmy-nominated Visual Effects Supervisors Martin Hernblad and Nhat Phong Tran as well as two time VES Award nominee and eight time Emmy-nominated On-Set Visual Effects Supervisor Bruce Branit, moderated be VES Board member Jeff Kleiser.

Don’t miss this special conversation about one the most talked about shows of the year.

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Join us on Tuesday, August 11 at 2:00PM (PDT) for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – a live interactive discussion with the visual effects team behind the second season of TOM CLANCY’S JACK RYAN.

Join the discussion about the second season of TOM CLANCY’S JACK RYAN with the visual effects team. Panelists will include winner of four VES Awards and two time Emmy-winning Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Erik Henry and two time VES Award-nonimated On-set Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Crosman, moderated by VES Board member David Tanaka.

Make plans to join us for this amazing Q&A!

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Join us on Thursday, August 27th at 12:00PM (PDT), 3:00PM (EDT) and 8:00PM (BST) for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition – an interactive discussion and show & tell heralding the Ray Harryhausen Centenary.

Join us on a date to be re-scheduled for a 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).

Don’t miss this special conversation about one the most innovative cinematic artists of our time.

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Get ready for a special episode of VFX Pros: Home Edition on Tuesday, July 14th at 2:00 pm (Pacific) – Inside 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!

Click here to watch now!

Eric Carney

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Ben Grossmann

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David Johnson

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Matt Leonard

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Joe Lewis

(bio)

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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.

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THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD

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View this exclusive conversation with award-winning visual effects artists and supervisor Dennis Muren, VES, ASC.

THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.  The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

Many of today’s filmmakers point to the influence of this swashbuckling fantastic adventure chronicling the journey of Sinbad and Princess Parisa and spoils by the scheming sorcerer – the first film using stop-motion special effects shot in full color.  Dennis talks about the impact of this film – and Ray Harryhausen’s storied filmography – on his career, the visual effects community and its special place of inspiration in the history of STAR WARS.

Dennis shares his thoughts on creating the widescreen stop-motion animation sequences…research on the creature creation of the cyclops and cobra-woman (Harryhausen’s personal favorite character in the film)…the sword fight scene between Sinbad and skeleton, the genius that went into making the living skeleton and its thru line to the epic scene in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS.  And he talks about what filmmakers can and should learn from viewing the classics – and his own tales from meeting Harryhausen.  This film holds a special place for Dennis personally and professionally…so grab a front row seat.

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HOF Dennis Muren

Dennis Muren, VES, ASC is the Senior Visual Effects Supervisor and Creative Director of Industrial Light & Magic. 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 PARK – Muren 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.

THE WIZARD OF OZ

Recorded Interview – Watch Now!

View this exclusive conversation with award-winning visual effects artists and supervisor Dennis Muren, VES, ASC.

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time. The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

The iconic American musical fantasy film produced by MGM is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. We all know the tale of Dorothy traveling somewhere over the rainbow to the mythical land of OZ, witches, munchkins, Emerald City, a trio of cohorts on her journey along The Yellow Brick Road…and those ruby slippers.

Dennis shares his thoughts on the epic transition from black and white to the vibrant use of Technicolor…the inventive work of special effects director Arnold Gillespie…his fascination with the creation of the cyclone using muslin, powdery dust and stagehands working beneath the soundstage floor – and its impact on his VFX work on the 1996 film TWISTER… how the house fell from the sky and landed in Oz…the power of the musical score…and the enduring legacy of the scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion.

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HOF Dennis Muren

Dennis Muren, VES, ASC is the Senior Visual Effects Supervisor and Creative Director of Industrial Light & Magic. 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 PARK – Muren 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.

Unconscious Bias

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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.

Click here to watch now!

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THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)

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View this exclusive conversation with Creative Director at Magnopus Craig Barron, VES and SVP of Asset Management at Paramount Pictures Andrea Kalas.

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) is one of the titles listed on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.

Before the era of the Summer blockbuster, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS proved that science fiction was more than just serial and B-movie fare. Director Byron Haskin made his bones as a Special Effects Artist, which garnered him four Oscar nominations and a Technical Achievement Award for pioneering the development of the triple head background projector. Producer George Pal was nominated for seven Oscars and won an Honorary Academy Award for the development of novel methods and techniques in his Puppetoons shorts.

Craig and Andrea worked to restore the picture along with Ben Burtt for the Criterion Blu-ray release, and they pull back the curtain on what went into restoring this three-strip Technicolor film chock-a-block with special and visual effects.

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Craig Barron, VES has been an innovator in the cinematic technique of matte painting for the last two decades and has contributed to the visual effects of more than 100 films. He began his career at Industrial Light & Magic, where he worked on such films as THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) and E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982), Barron went on to start his own visual effects company, Matte World Digital, which created environments for such films as TITANIC (1997), ZODIAC (2007), ALICE IN WONDERLAND(2010), CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011) and HUGO (2011). Barron earned an Oscar® nomination for his work on BATMAN RETURNS (1992) and received an Oscar® for Visual Effects for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008). He is the co-author, with Mark Cotta Vaz, of the first comprehensive book about the history of matte painting, The Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Painting. Barron is a member of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council and an Academy governor representing the Visual Effects Branch. As of 2014, he is the Creative Director of Magnopus (a consolidation of “Magnum Opus”–“Great Work” in Latin), a visual research and development company based in downtown Los Angeles.

Andrea Kalas is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with experience building systems for preservation, management and access of digital moving image assets. She understands the needs of both longevity and high volume, automated supply and knows the requirements of changing preservation and distribution models. She has an applied knowledge of best practices aligned with innovative technologies as well as varied experience and expertise in moving image technology management with success ensuring workflow for best use of high quality moving image assets. Andrea is an innovator in “in-production” digital asset management and digital preservation.

Andrea’s specialties include motion picture technology, process management, business planning and strategy, technical services management, film production, animation, film preservation, fundraising, public advocacy, film history, new technologies, online film and video archives, online resources and post production.

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.

Click here to watch!

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

Click here to watch now!

Join the discussion about the second season of LOST IN SPACE with the visual effects team. Panelists will include VES and Emmy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Jabbar Raisani and three-time VES Award-winning Visual Effects Producer Terron Pratt with moderation by VES Board member Gavin Graham.

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Join the discussion about JIM HENSON’S THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE with the VES Award-winning visual effects team. Panelists will include Creature & Costume Designer Toby Froud and Visual Effects Supervisor Sean Matheisen with moderation by VES Board member David Tanaka.

Click here to watch now!

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.

Click here to watch now!

Inside the VFX of Cosmos: Possible Worlds

An interactive Webcast – Inside the VFX of National Geographic’s Cosmos: Possible Worlds – with award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun, VES.

Okun, who had young dreams of becoming an astronaut, takes us inside his 18-month journey supervising visual effects on this season’s 13 episodes of Cosmos, the widely successful science documentary TV series, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

How do you use visual effects to showcase the beauty and poetry of science, and transport audiences on spiritual voyages of exploration?  Okun talks about the exciting collaboration with scientists, the impact of dynamic scientific advances on storytelling and the tools and techniques that helped reveal previously uncharted realms, including lost worlds, worlds yet to come, and the worlds that humans may one day inhabit.

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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.

Click here to watch now!

TRON

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View this exclusive conversation with creative and cinematic director Richard Winn Taylor, VES

TRON (1982) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.

The groundbreaking science fiction action adventure film was the first to tell a story in cyberspace, as a computer hacker is transported inside the fantasy software world of a maintenance computer and forced to participate in gladiator games as he attempts his escape. As the director of its innovative special effects and computer-generated imagery, Taylor talks about creating the look of live action characters in a glowing world, the making of this first film to use computer simulation as the full production process and its influence on filmmaking that followed.

He shares why the crew were considered outlaws at Disney and how video games ruled the day, what went on at the Academy bakeoff in being considered for a visual effects Oscar nomination and how a major political event played into the foiled marketing event of “almost” simultaneous TIME and NEWSWEEK covers.

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Richard Winn Taylor II, VES holds an extensive background in live action direction, production design, special effects, and computer generated images for theatrical films, television commercials and computer games. Richard began his career as an artist and holds a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah. Click here for more.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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View this exclusive conversation with award-winning matte artist and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, VES.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.  The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

This star-studded, ambitious tale of a trouble-shooting 19th century seaman investigating the disappearance of whaling ships, a megalomaniac Captain Nemo and high-tech submarine, was Walt Disney’s magnificent debut into live-action films.  It was also the first film that Harrison’s celebrated father, award-wining matte designer and special effects creator Peter Ellenshaw, worked on, after moving to Sherman Oaks from the U.K. and being dubbed the new ‘boy wonder’ on the Disney campus.  Harrison shares tales of visiting the set and lessons learned from his dad, and why this film holds a special place for him.

He talks about Disney’s technical masterstroke of mounting the epic in the new-at-the-time CinemaScope aspect ratio and the challenge and glory of creating the exciting and memorable encounter with a pack of giant sea squid. And he might let on what happened to the official Oscar nomination for this winner of the golden statue for Best Achievement in Special Effects.

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Harrison Ellenshaw, VES, was an original member of the VES Board of Directors, and is a VES Fellow and the recipient of the VES Founders Award. His credits as a matte artist and a visual effects supervisor include work on THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, STAR WARS, BIG WEDNESDAY, THE BLACK HOLE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, TRON, DICK TRACY and DAVE.  Harrison headed up several different independent visual effects companies, including Triple DDD, which created 3D effects for the Disney theme park film CAPTAIN EO, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas and also managed Disney’s independent effects facility Buena Vista Visual Effects, which created VFX for over 35 films. Harrison is a recipient of the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award nomination for THE BLACK HOLE.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Recorded Interview – Watch Now!

View this exclusive conversation with award-winning matte artist and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, VES.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.  The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

The animated musical fantasy film was the first full-length cel animated feature film and the earliest Disney animated feature film.  You know the story of Snow White – the magic mirror, seven dwarfs, evil queen, the poison apple and true love’s kiss.  Harrison takes a closer look and shares his personal tales and professional insights into the film he calls “A Walt Disney masterpiece with a villain that makes Darth Vader look like a pussycat!”

From the film’s pioneering use of a multiplane camera and how Disney himself “sold” the idea of people sitting still for a 90-minute cartoon…to Harrison’s full circle journey from a young ride operator at Disneyland to supervising the Kodak/Cinesite 4K restoration of the film in the early 1990’s….to the enduring power and legacy of classic films – it’s all in here.

Watch Now!

Harrison Ellenshaw, VES, was an original member of the VES Board of Directors, and is a VES Fellow and the recipient of the VES Founders Award. His credits as a matte artist and a visual effects supervisor include work on THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, STAR WARS, BIG WEDNESDAY, THE BLACK HOLE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, TRON, DICK TRACY and DAVE.  Harrison headed up several different independent visual effects companies, including Triple DDD, which created 3D effects for the Disney theme park film CAPTAIN EO, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas and also managed Disney’s independent effects facility Buena Vista Visual Effects, which created VFX for over 35 films. Harrison is a recipient of the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award nomination for THE BLACK HOLE.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Recorded Interview – Coming Soon

View this exclusive conversation with award-winning matte artist and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, VES.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.  The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

This tale about a fiddling caretaker who matches wits with the King of the Leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter, holds a special place for Harrison, as he recounts his father Peter Ellenshaw’s work on the film as a matte painter and the brains behind the special effects that make us believe the dancing leprechauns are less than two feet tall.

He talks about the film’s optical illusions, the “off the charts” forced perspective split-scale in-camera shots, the backstory on where this “very Irish” film was actually shot and why this film attracted the attention of James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli.  And he gives us his take on the traumatic and climactic scene tapping into the Irish myth of the banshee and the death coach.

Recording coming soon!

Harrison Ellenshaw, VES, was an original member of the VES Board of Directors, and is a VES Fellow and the recipient of the VES Founders Award. His credits as a matte artist and a visual effects supervisor include work on THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, STAR WARS, BIG WEDNESDAY, THE BLACK HOLE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, TRON, DICK TRACY and DAVE.  Harrison headed up several different independent visual effects companies, including Triple DDD, which created 3D effects for the Disney theme park film CAPTAIN EO, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas and also managed Disney’s independent effects facility Buena Vista Visual Effects, which created VFX for over 35 films. Harrison is a recipient of the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award nomination for THE BLACK HOLE.

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.

Click here to watch now!

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.

Click here to watch now!

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.