As the Visual Effects Society commemorates its 25 anniversary, Friday’s annual VES Honors Ceremony includes a celebration call for more A lot of diversity and inclusion, as well as striving for work-life balance in the current business model with an industry-wide focus on manyVFX artists working long hours.
Friday night at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles with honorees including the three-time Oscar winner and Pixar Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter and VFX vet and educator Pam Hogarth.
Hogarth received the VES Founders Award and lifetime VES membership and sent out a community message while urging more efforts towards diversity and inclusion. “The reason we’re here is for the community,” she said. “We do this because we love the people and the society around us. We are fortunate to work with smart, talented, dedicated people.”
But she added , when she looked around the room, the number of women was still limited compared to a few years ago. “It’s better, not a lot better, but better,” she said. “As a society, we can do better in gender and in all areas.”
In addition to Hogarth, Jeff Barnes, Patricia “Rose” Duignan, Toni Pace receive lifetime memberships Carstensen, David Tanaka and recently retired VES Executive Director Eric Roth. Tanaka, Tony Clark, Jeff Kleiser, Gene Kozicki and Rick Sayre were named VES Fellows.
Docter was awarded VES Honorary Membership by Pixar President Jim Morris, and received a lot of laughs for his remarks. “It’s my dream to join VES without paying,” Docter quipped as he thanked VES and recognized Pixar’s team. Regarding Morris, he said: “Jim taught me a lot about storytelling and running a studio…Thank you for everything you do for the industry and for me.”
MO Rees is the founding chairman of VES. “It’s been gratifying to see the Society grow. It’s all built on the personal time people put in,” he said after the ceremony. “I think at the first meeting, we had 18 or 18 people.” Today, the association estimates There are 4 members.
Accepting lifetime membership, former VES chairman Barnes recalls co-founding a startup and his first VES board meeting. “Even though everyone was in the room, they were generous,” he said of those at the meeting. “It will always be a collective effort. The countless hours put in by so many people has had a significant impact on all of us… [and] there is another small startup or individual with a stack of cards in front of them. , your efforts can help them achieve their dreams.”
“Family and a balanced life are important,” Duynan asserted when he accepted the lifetime membership. She noted that the remote work-from-home system established during the pandemic helps achieve more balance.
VFX professional, historian and new researcher Kozicki said, “At a time when a lot of people are writing about the challenges our industry faces, I think there is one that celebrates the achievements of artists. Society matters.”
During the ceremony, VES invited five to the Hall of Fame: Mary Ellen Bute, Alice Guy-Blache, Grace Hopper, Bill Kovacs and George Pal.
Tribute to outgoing Executive Director Eric Roth after
Over the years, Board Chair Lisa Cook Cooke announced the newly named Ross Visual Effects Virtual Museum, saying “Eric left an indelible mark on our society.”