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VES Sets Inaugural Hall of Fame Honorees

20 distinguished professionals to be recognized at 9th annual VES Summit

LOS ANGELES -- The Visual Effects Society announced 20 inaugural inductees to the VES Hall of Fame, recognizing people who have played a significant role in advancing the field of visual effects by invention, science, contribution or avocation of the art, science, technology or communications. 

The honorees will be recognized at a special evening program and reception at the 9th annual VES Summit, scheduled for Oct. 28.

“The VES Hall of Fame represents a class of exceptional artists and innovators who have had a profound impact on the field of visual effects,” said Mike Chambers, VES Board Chair. “We are proud to pay homage to those who have helped shape our shared legacy and continue to inspire future generations of VFX practitioners.” 

The roster includes both living legends and those being honored posthumously (noted with an *).  The inaugural class of the VES Hall of Fame consists of: 

  • Robert Abel* - VES and Clio Award-winning innovator in Digital and CG Visual Effects (Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
  • Ed Catmull, VES - Multiple Academy Award-winning President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studio, VES Fellow and recipient of the VES Georges Méliès Award 
  • Roger Corman - Independent Producer and Director who helped start the careers of Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron (A Bucket of Blood, Tales of Terror, Boxcar Bertha, Battle Beyond the Stars)
  • Linwood Dunn* - Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Photographer who refined the Optical Printer and was an Honorary VES member (Citizen Kane, Mighty Joe Young, The Great Race)
  • Peter Ellenshaw* - Academy Award-winning Matte Painter (Treasure Island, Darby O’Gill and The Little People, Mary Poppins)
  • Jim Henson* - Pioneering Puppeteer whose Creature Shop was the gold standard (Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth)
  • Ub Iwerks* - Academy Award-winning Animator and Visual Effects innovator who perfected combining live-action with animation (Steamboat Willie, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Birds)
  • John Knoll - VES, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor and co-creator of Photoshop software; Chief Creative Officer at ILM and former VES Board member (The Star Wars, Star Trek and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, Avatar, Rango, Super 8, Hugo, Pacific Rim)
  • Grant McCune* - Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Artist and Modelmaker (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New HopeBattlestar Gallactica, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Ghostbusters II, Speed, Sphere, Red Planet)
  • Syd Mead - VES Visionary Award-winning Visual Futurist and Conceptual Artist responsible for the look of seminal films including Blade Runner, Aliens and TRON
  • George Méliès* - Illusionist and Director (Le Voyage Dans La Lune, The Voyage Across the Impossible)
  • Dennis Muren, VES - Multiple Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor;  VES Fellow, Lifetime member of the Society and winner of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park)
  • Willis O’Brien* - Visual Effects Stop-motion Animation pioneer, Writer and Director (The Dinosaur and The Missing Link, King Kong [1933], The Lost World)
  • Carlo Rambaldi* - Multiple Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Artist (King Kong[1976], Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)
  • Phil Tippett, VES - Multiple Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor;  VES Fellow and winner of the VES Georges Méliès Award (Jurassic Park, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Dinosaur!, Starship Troopers)
  • Doug Trumbull, VES - Multiple award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor; VES Fellow and Lifetime member of the Society and winner of the VES Georges Méliès Award (Blade Runner, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Close Encounters of the Third Kind)
  • Joe Viskocil* - Academy Award-winning Special Effects Artist who specialized in miniatures and pyrotechnics (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
  • Petro Vlahos* - Emmy and Academy Award-winning pioneer in blue-screen technology (Ben-Hur, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope)
  • Albert Whitlock* - Emmy and Academy Award-winning Matte Painter (The Birds, The Sting, The Hindenburg)
  • Stan Winston* - Multiple VES, Emmy and Academy Award-winning Practical, Prosthetic and Creature Effects artist, Director and Producer (Edward Scissorhands, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens)
  • Matthew Yuricich* - Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Matter Painter (Ben-Hur, Blade Runner, Die Hard)

The 2017 VES Summit takes place Oct. 28 at the Sofitel Hotel Beverly Hills, located at 8555 Beverly Blvd. For more information, sponsorship opportunities and to purchase tickets, visit

Source: Visual Effects Society

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Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.