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Visual Effects Society Announces 2023 Special Honorees

Tim McGovern is honored with the Founders Award and Lifetime VES Member designation, while Sandra Joy Aguilar, Brooke Breton and Bob Coleman receive Honorary Lifetime VES Membership; a celebration of the honorees will take place at a special event in October.

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has announced its newest Lifetime and Honorary members and this year’s recipient of the VES Founders Award. The honorees will be celebrated at a special event in October.

Oscar-winning VFX Supervisor and founding VES member Tim McGovern has been named recipient of the 2023 VES Founders Award. The Society designated archivist and curator Sandra Joy Aguilar; producer and AMPAS Governor Brooke Breton, VES; VFX artist agent and executive Bob Coleman; and McGovern with Lifetime VES memberships. Additional honorees to be announced.

“Our VES honorees represent a group of exceptional artists, innovators, and professionals who have had a profound impact on the field of visual effects, our industry, and the Society,” said VES Board Chair Lisa Cooke. “We are proud to recognize those who helped shape our shared legacy and continue to inspire future generations of VFX practitioners.”

Founders Award recipient and Lifetime VES Member:

McGovern is honored for his sustained contributions to the art, science, or business of visual effects and meritorious service to the Society. An acclaimed Visual Effects Supervisor and Creative Director, he began his career at the inception of digital/computer visual effects in the otherwise analog VFX industry, doing award-winning, groundbreaking work in VFX and Computer Animation. In addition to winning an Academy Award for Digital Visual Effects for Total Recall, he garnered five Clios, a Hugo, and a Mobius award. He was a founding member of Sony Pictures ImageWorks and ran it as Senior VFX Supervisor and the SVP of Creative and Technical Affairs.

Since leaving Sony, McGovern has worked as an independent Visual Effects Supervisor and filmmaker, shooting films worldwide. He has supervised VFX for Hollywood Films in Mumbai and now works at DNEG Mumbai. He also serves as Chief Creative Officer at Whisper Pictures, a development and production company focused on animated family films.

McGovern has played key leadership roles with the VES over the last 20 years, including as a member of the global Board of Directors, serving for almost 20 years as the Board’s Vice Chair, and as a founding Co-Chair of the VES Awards Committee and member of the Virtual Production Committee. His leadership as the founding Chair of the VES Committee for Outreach to Developing Regions has been key to the Society’s global expansion. He has contributed to the organization’s growth in multiple regions on four continents, including working with VES members to form sections in Washington State, Georgia, France, Germany, and India and assisting Montreal and Toronto to achieve section-hood.

Lifetime VES Members:

Aguilar is honored for meritorious service to the Society and the global industry. She is a renowned archivist and curator who oversees metadata and indexing at University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education - an online educational resource showcasing video life histories of individuals who survived the Holocaust and other genocides. She previously served as Digital Curator at CBS Digital, Director of Archives for USC School of Cinematic Arts' Warner Bros., and Moving Image Archives and Media Librarian at Industrial Light & Magic, where she served as the company's first archivist for a 150,000-item post-production visual effects archive and reference library. Over the past 20 years, Aguilar has played a pivotal role in developing the VES library, digital museum, and archive projects. She has had a long tenure on the VES Global Board of Directors and as Co-Chair of the VES Archives Committee, and most recently is a consultant on the forthcoming VES Roth Museum of Visual Effects and a member of the Tech History Subcommittee of the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Breton is honored for meritorious service to Society and the global industry, having been principally involved in a wide variety of prominent live-action films, animated films, television series, and theme park projects which have received Academy, BAFTA, Emmy, Annie, and VES awards and nominations. Recently, Breton served as a producer for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum, where she focused on modern filmmaking techniques and acquisitions. During her career, Breton played an instrumental role in launching James Cameron’s effects house Digital Domain, where she served as Senior Vice President of Production. She served as Senior Production Executive and in-house producer for Illumination Entertainment, producing the film content for the Annie and VES Award-winning Despicable Me theme park attraction, Minion Mayhem. Breton is an AMPAS governor representing the Visual Effects Branch, and Chair of the Academy’s Education and Outreach Committee, and a VES Fellow. He also served as a three-term VES global Board of Directors member.

Coleman is honored for meritorious service to the Society and the global industry. He is the President and Founder of Digital Artists Agency (DAA), which boasts a roster of VFX talent, including Academy Award, VES Award, and Emmy Award-winning artisans. DAA is a preeminent below-the-line agency, exclusively representing VFX artists for feature films, television, and commercials. He has worked for 40+ years in film production, visual effects, and post-production spans, including as senior leadership at Victor Duncan Inc.; Optimus Inc.; Editel Chicago; Lucas Arts; Skywalker Sound; Digital Magic; and Virgin Digital Studios entities 525 and Virgin Television de Mexico. Coleman served 23 years on the VES Awards Committee, including nine years as Chair. During his tenure on the VES Global Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, he contributed his leadership to the VES Business Labor and Law, Benefits, VES Summit, and Membership Committees.

Source: Visual Effects Society 

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Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.