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January 28


Winter 2021

VES NEWS: VES Inducts 2020 Honorees at Special Celebration


This past December, the VES recognized its 2020 class of special honorees at a virtual celebration hosted by VES Board Chair Mike Chambers. The distinguished practitioners included the Society’s newest Lifetime and Honorary members, inductees into the VES Hall of Fame, recipient of the 2020 Founders Award, and the VES Fellows, those venerated visual effects professionals bestowed with the post-nominal letters “VES.”

VES Fellow: Warren Franklin, VES. Franklin is a global leader of the animation and visual effects industry. As the founder and former CEO of Rainmaker Entertainment, he helped establish Vancouver as an industry hub. Franklin was a key member of George Lucas’ creative and management team where he served as Group Vice President, managing six divisions, including Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts and Skywalker Sound. As the Vice President and General Manager of ILM, the company won nine Academy Awards during his tenure.

VES Fellow: David Johnson, VES. Johnson is the award-winning founder, CEO and Creative Director of Undertone FX, a studio specializing in real-time visual effects for video games and VR/AR. David was the Lead Visual Effects Artist at Activision/Blizzard’s Infinity Ward Studio, creator of the Call of Duty franchise. He is a two-time VES Awards winner, advisory board member for VFX Voice, contributing author to Introduction to Game Development and The VES Handbook of Visual Effects, and co-founder of RealTimeVFX.com.

VES Fellow: Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES. Muswell is currently the Global Director of VFX Production for Netflix and an original member of the VES Board of Directors. With a career spanning several decades, she established her reputation as a VFX Producer and/or Supervisor for cutting-edge visual effects on a wide range of groundbreaking television series and theatrical features, as well as animation, IMAX, commercials and Stereoscopic Special Venue projects.

VES Fellow: Ken Ralston, VES. Ralston is a VES Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and has earned five BAFTAs and five Academy Awards, including a Special Achievement Oscar for the visual effects in Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi and VFX Oscars for Forrest Gump, Death Becomes Her, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Cocoon. 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.

VES Fellow: Sebastian Sylwan, VES. Sylwan is the Chief Technology Officer – Film & Episodic TV at Technicolor. A digital media executive with a passion for technology’s ability to arouse emotion, he develops live-action immersive experiences in addition to the cameras, tools and workflows necessary for their realization. Sylwan is the Chair of the VES Technology Committee, and an active member of the Academy’s Sci-Tech Awards Committee, Previsualization Committee and the Virtual Production Committee.

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