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June 08


Summer 2021

VES Education Initiative Connects; VES Luminary Interviews Inspire



VES Education Initiative Builds Momentum

The VES Education Committee kicked off its new Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program, aimed at connecting mentors and mentees from the VES membership to provide support in all disciplines of visual effects. The pilot program connected 84 members globally in the first quarter of 2021.

As part of the outreach initiative, the Committee is collaborating with several schools to educate students and educators alike about visual effects and career possibilities in the field. The VES teamed up with the BRIC Foundation on mentorship and outreach, aimed at increasing diverse representation in the industry, and participated in the dynamic BRIC (Break, Reinvent, Impact and Change) Virtual Summit in March.

Additionally, the Committee partnered with Access VFX, Women in Animation and Rise Up Animation to successfully connect nearly 140 members who were interested in mentoring specific age groups and demographics worldwide.

The VES looks forward to watching these programs evolve into successful, ongoing service opportunities and benefits of the Society.

Rob Legato, ASC

Jim Morris, VES

Lynda Ellenshaw Thompson, VES

Get a Front Row Seat for the VES Luminary Interviews

Watch and enjoy the VES’ insightful Luminary Video Series, featuring some of the biggest names in visual effects — VFX legends, luminaries and VES Award winners from around the globe. Let their stories engage and inspire you to carry forth and create. 

The latest videos include up close and personal interviews with: 

Chris Corbould – acclaimed special effects supervisor and coordinator

Roger Corman – prolific producer and director 

Joyce Cox, VES – award-winning visual effects producer

John Dykstra – award-winning visual effects pioneer 

Harrison Ellenshaw, VES – acclaimed matte artist and visual effects supervisor 

Jonathan Erland, VES – VFX artist, technologist and pioneer 

Rob Legato, ASC – award-winning visual effects supervisor and cinematographer. 

Jim Morris, VES – award-winning film and visual effects producer and President of Pixar Animation Studios 

Richard Winn Taylor II, VES – acclaimed creative and cinematic director 

Lynda Ellenshaw Thompson, VES – acclaimed visual effects producer 

Douglas Trumbull, VES – award-winning visual effects pioneer and filmmaker

More coming soon!

VES members can log in to watch the VES Luminary Interviews here: bit.ly/VESLuminary

New Zealand Celebrates the VES Awards in Red Carpet Style 

By EMMA CLIFTON PERRY, New Zealand Section Board member and VES 1st Vice Chair

The celebration of the 19th Annual VES Awards was a truly global affair, but the New Zealand Section experienced the virtual production with some extra in-person panache. 

When the New Zealand Section realized that they were in a position to host an in-person awards viewing party, the Board of Managers rose to the challenge and spearheaded the festive event at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar Wellington, which is co-owned by Academy Award-winning film editor and producer Jamie Selkirk, co-owner of Weta Workshop Tania Rodger, and renowned foodie Valentina Dias.

With the event running simultaneous to the global live stream, it was hosted as a weekday luncheon event. Local celebrities, VES nominees and members, the New Zealand Film Commission and organizations including Women in Film and TV – New Zealand branch were all in attendance. 

Guests were greeted with an opportunity to pose on the red carpet prior to entering the pre-party. A welcome “bubbles bar” was on offer with all attendees receiving a complimentary glass to celebrate. James Ogle, Co-Chair of the New Zealand section, even brought his own VES award to the event, allowing winners a chance to pose with the statue on the red carpet. 

With New Zealand’s own Sir Peter Jackson receiving the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and two groups of local nominees in attendance, spirits were high. When the winners of the Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature – Mulan; Imperial City – were announced, the audience roared to life with applause, laughter, a few tears and plenty of high-fives. It was lovely to see just how excited the nominees and winners got, even in this nontraditional gathering. 

We in New Zealand feel incredibly lucky to have been able to host an event like this with our region unrestricted by COVID concerns. The worldwide stream helped us be tethered to our global industry colleagues. The production value of the show was fantastic, and we appreciate everyone who made it possible for VES members worldwide to join together to celebrate our craft in this most unprecedented time.

New Zealand Section Board members kick off the red carpet event. From left: James Ogle, Kay Hoddy, Emma Clifton Perry and Dylen Velasquez. (Photo: Jim Guo)

The Mulan; Imperial City team celebrating their VES Awards win. From left: Jeremy Fort, Matt Fitzgerald, Ben Walker and Adrian Vercoe, with Weta Visual Effects Supervisors Joe Letteri, VES and Anders Langlands. (Photo: Jim Guo)

VES Awards nominees, guests and members of the New Zealand Film Commission and Women in Film and TV watching the global live stream. (Photo: Jim Guo)

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