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April 07


Web Exclusive

New York VES Celebrates VFX Excellence


PUBLISHER’S NOTE:  The New York VES Award Celebration was held in late February, prior to the restrictions in the State of New York amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  In line with public health protocols, there are no VES events taking place or planned anywhere across our global organization. 

On February 28, the VES New York Section hosted its 6th Annual Awards Celebration. Held at The Green Building in Brooklyn, the VES Awards “after-after party” celebrated the finest achievements in visual effects artistry – from New York’s VES Award winners and nominees to local VFX heroes.

The Section established their Awards Celebration in 2015 to recognize local VFX accomplishments and bring together the vibrant New York community. Live music, an atmospheric venue, capacity crowd, generous sponsors and local honorees contributed to a high-class evening of networking and celebration. The event was an instant success and has since become a must-attend annual affair celebrating VFX excellence.

Ken Perlin, Academy Award winner and Director of NYU’s Future Reality Lab received the 2020 VES New York Empire Award in recognition of his achievements in visual effects.  Perlin is a pioneer in the field of graphics research, animation, and visual storytelling. A professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University, Perlin directs the Future Reality Lab, and is a participating faculty member at NYU MAGNET. His research interests include future reality, graphics and animation, user interfaces and education; and he serves as chief scientist at Parallux, Tactonic Technologies and Autotoon.

Upon receiving the award, Perlin remarked,  “It is such a great honor to receive this award. Those of us working in special effects are fortunate to be able to live and work in New York City, the cultural capital of the world. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful professional community.”

“Ken Perlin has broadened the horizon of our artistic and technical potential, while simultaneously leading us into the next frontier of creativity,” said John Kalaigian, VES New York Section Co-Chair. “Ken’s vast impact on production and the realm of storytelling has already established him as a legendary contributor to our field.  For all these reasons, we were proud to honor Ken with this year’s Empire Award. “

Visual Effects Society New York also honored the legacy of a New York legend and visionary, Alex Weil. Charlex President Chris Byrnes was on hand to accept the award in his memory.  His contributions dramatically influenced and elevated the status of the visual effects industry in New York City. Notorious for pushing the limits of both analog and digital mediums, Weil crafted compelling and visually stunning stories. As Co-Founder and Creative Director of New York-based digital design and production studio Charlex, Inc., Weil’s storied legacy is ingrained in his diverse body of work.  His portfolio includes the award winning short animated film ONE RAT SHORT, show opener for ABC EVENING NEWS, Emmy Award-winning title sequences for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: ON ASSIGNMENT, MTV Award-winning music video You Might Think for The Cars, and a plethora of awards for his advertising portfolio.

“Alex Weil embodied the essence of a hard working and ‘results driven’ New Yorker, surpassing the limits of what’s possible and unleashing the power of immense creativity,” said David Eschrich, VES New York Section Co-Chair. “He was a rare talent and his passion for the work was infectious.  It is our great honor to recognize Alex’s life and powerful body of work.”

Previous recipients of the New York VES Empire Award include award-winning titles designer and visual effects supervisor Randy Balsmeyer, director and co-founder of Blue Sky Studios Chris Wedge, visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, acclaimed visual effects supervisor Lesley Robson-Foster and digital pioneer Bob Greenberg.

Sponsors of the festive event included:  Platinum Sponsors Alkemy-X, Blue Sky Studios, Crafty Apes, The Molecule, PowerHouse VFX and Zoic; Gold Sponsors Foundry and FuseFX; Silver Sponsors Cadence Effects, Chicken Bone VFX and Phosphene; and Media Partners SHOOTSHOOT Publicity Wire and Variety.

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