Visual Effects Society Will Celebrate 2023 VES Fellows And Their Legacy In October

The Visual Effects Society (VES), the visual effects industry’s professional global honorary society, has announced the Society’s newest VES Fellows.

They will be celebrated with other honorees at a special event in October, exact date TBA.

This year’s VES Fellows are Jeff Barnes, Toni Pace Carstensen, Bob Coleman, Chuck Finance, Shannon Gans, Tim McGovern, and Ray McMillan.

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

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VES 2023 Fellows:

Jeff Barnes, VES is an entertainment and technology creative executive who continues to make marked impacts across Silicon Valley and Hollywood. As the EVP of Creative Development at Light Field Lab, he drives cross-channel marketing initiatives and content creation for the company’s SolidLight holographic display platform. Barnes previously cofounded and led CaféFX, The Syndicate, and Sententia Entertainment. His studios were world-class providers of award-winning imagery on over 80 studio-released feature films including, Armageddon, The Aviator, Pan’s Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man and Universal Studios theme park ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Barnes has actively contributed to the development, support, and advancement of the creative community, serving as chair and vice chair of the VES global board of directors, and was honored as a VES Lifetime Member.

Toni Pace Carstensen, VES is a founding member of the Visual Effects Society – joining the organization as member 0004 and serving as the Society’s first treasurer. She was a founding member of the executive committee and served on the global board of directors for many years, as well as cochair of the Global Education Committee, coeditor of the first edition of the VES Handbook of Visual Effects, and with the education committee, generated the concept for VESAGE – a book showcasing the personal art of VES members. Carstensen serves as longtime chair of the vision committee, which continues to engage with frontiers including VR/AR and holograms, and treasurer of the Los Angeles Section. Her feature credits include VFX producer/digital production manager on Avatar, Minority Report and Fantasia 2000. Carstensen is a VES Lifetime Member and recipient of the 2017 VES Founders Award.

Bob Coleman, VES is also being honored this year as a VES Lifetime Member. Coleman is the president and founder of Digital Artists Agency. With a roster of VFX talent that includes Academy Award, VES Award, and Emmy Award-winning artisans, DAA is recognized as a preeminent below-the-line agency, exclusively representing VFX artists for feature films, television, and commercials. His tenure working in film production, visual effects and post production spans more than 40 years, and includes senior leadership positions with 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 has served on the VES awards committee for 23 years, including nine years as chair. He has had a long tenure on the VES global board of directors and its executive committee, as well as providing significant contributions and leadership for the VES Business Labor and Law, Benefits, VES Summit, and membership committees.

Chuck Finance, VES has been a valuable member of the VES for more than 20 years, following a long career in educational, information, and theatrical filmmaking. Early in his career, he gained a reputation for producing and directing science films for the American Geological Institute, National Science Foundation, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and other commercial film production companies. Finance was the cofounder of Perpetual Motion Pictures, where he oversaw production of visual effects, titles, and opticals for such films as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Leviathan and Mom and Dad Save the World, and then went on to work as a freelance VFX producer and VFX consultant for film and TV. Finance played an instrumental role in the VES Awards, with his deep involvement on the awards committee for almost two decades, including service as the chair and cochair.

Shannon Gans, VES is a producer and builder of studios and teams at the leading intersection of creativity, technology, and business. She is part of the Apple team behind its new mixed-reality headset, in charge of mixed-reality content for the device; and is also an executive producer on an animated series for Jon Stewart at HBO. Gans is best known as the CEO and cofounder of New Deal Studios, a 21st Century Creative Studio, a visual effects, design and production studio known for award-winning sequences on more than 200 of the biggest films and commercials, including Interstellar and The Aviator. Gans has extensive production and development experience in real time, independent feature films, commercials, visual effects, and spatial interactive content. Gans has played a leadership role with the Society in serving several terms on the global VES board of directors.

Tim McGovern, VES Is also being honored this year as a VES Lifetime Member and the 2023 Founders Award recipient. McGovern is an acclaimed visual effects supervisor and creative director who 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, as well as the SVP of creative and technical affairs. Since leaving Sony, McGovern has worked as an independent visual effects supervisor and filmmaker. He has supervised VFX for Hollywood Films in Mumbai, and now works at DNEG Mumbai, while also serving 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 service as a member of the global board of directors, as the board’s vice chair, as a founding cochair of the VES awards committee, and member of the virtual production committee. He was the founding chair of the VES committee for outreach to developing regions, and has greatly contributed to the Society’s growth in multiple regions on four continents, including working with VES members to form Sections in Washington state, Georgia, France, Germany, India, and assisting to help Montreal and Toronto achieve Section-hood.

Ray McMillan, VES is a venerated visual effects supervisor/producer, director,and director of photography, known for his work on films including The Day After Tomorrow, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men. His career has been punctuated with more than 40 awards for his work, including International Clios, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Chicago Art Director’s Awards, and International Film and TV Festival of New York Awards. McMillan started as a classically trained animator at Children’s Television Network, and then moved into visual effects for commercials, feature film, and series across the U.S. and Canada – including working this past year as VFX supervisor on the Apple + series, Jane. McMillan is deeply involved with the VES Toronto section, serving multiple terms as the section treasurer and secretary, and chairing their studio screenings.

As previously announced, Oscar-winning VFX supervisor and founding VES member Tim McGovern was 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 Tim McGovern with Lifetime VES memberships.

The 2023 class of VES Hall of Fame honorees includes Samuel Z. Arkoff; Lawrence W. Butler; Wah Chang; Norman Dawn, ASC; Walter Percy Day, OBE; Marcel Delgado; Farciot Edouart, ASC; and Edward D. Wood, Jr.

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