The Visual Effects Society Announces 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Visual Effects Company (VES) has announced its newest VES Hall of Fame inductees who will be celebrated at a special event this fall, along with the 2022 VES Honorees. The 2022 VES Hall of Fame honorees are Mary Ellen Bute, Alice Guy-Blaché, Grace Hopper, Bill Kovacs and George Pal.

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

2022 VES Hall of Fame inductees:

Mary Ellen Bute (1906 – 1983): A pioneer in American film animation, production and direction, Bute was one of the first female experimental filmmakers and was the creator of some of the first electronically generated film images with a specialty in visual music. While working in New York between 1934 and 1958, Butte made 14 abstract musical shorts exploring the relationship between sound and image in film. A second corpus focused on the relationship between language and cinema through the adaptation of literary sources. His work was shown in theaters often before major films, and several of his abstract films were part of his Seeing Sound series.

Alice Guy Blache (1873-1968): A pioneering French filmmaker, Guy-Blaché was one of the first to make a narrative fiction film and the first woman to direct a film. She experimented with Gaumont’s Chronophone synchronized sound system, complete with color tints, interracial casting and special effects. In 1912, she co-founded Solax Studios and served as artistic director. During this time, she produces A fool and his money – considered one of the first films to have an all-African-American cast. The American Film Institute’s National Center for Film and Video Preservation preserved the film for its historical and aesthetic significance. Guy-Blaché received Frances highest non-military honour, the Legion of Honor. She was also honored at a ceremony at the French Cinémathèque.

Grace Hopper (1906-1992): Known as the “COBOL Grandmother,” Hopper was an American computer scientist and Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. One of the first Harvard Mark I computer programmers, she was a pioneer in computer programming who invented one of the first linkers. Hopper was the first to conceive the theory of machine-independent programming languages ​​and created the FLOW-MATIC programming language, which was later extended to create COBOL, an early high-level programming language still used today .

The United States Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper was named in his honor, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC. In 2016, Hopper was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Bill Kovacs (1949-2006): Kovacs pioneered commercial computer animation technology. As Vice President of R&D at Robert Abel and Associates, he co-developed the company’s animation software. He used this software and others in the movie tron. He then co-founded Wavefront Technologies as Chief Technology Officer and led the development of products such as The Advanced Visualizer. Along with Richard Childers and Chris Baker, he was one of the main organizers of the Infinite Illusions exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute. After retiring from Wavefront, Kovacs co-founded Instant Effects and worked as a consultant for Electronic Arts and RezN8, serving as CTO of RezN8 from 2000 until his death. He received an Academy of Science and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and two Clio Awards for his work on animated television commercials.

George Pal (1908-1980). A Hungarian American animator, director and producer, Pal was associated with the fantasy and science fiction genres. He became an American citizen after emigrating from Europe. He was nominated for the Oscars (in the category Best Short Films, Cartoon) for seven consecutive years (1942-1948) and received an honorary award in 1944. As an animator, he directed the puppets series in the 1940s, which won him the honorary Oscar for “the development of new methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as puppets.” Pal then turned to producing live-action films The Great Rupert. He is remembered for the science fiction and fantasy films he produced in the 1950s and 1960s, four of which were collaborations with director Byron Haskin, including War of the Worlds. Additionally, he led Tom Thumb, The time machineand The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.

As previously announced, educator and industry leader Pam Hogarth was named the recipient of the 2022 VES Founders Awards. Additionally, the Society named Jeff Barnes, Patricia “Rose” Duignan, Pam Hogarth, Toni Pace Carstensen, and David Tanaka as VES Life Members and Pete Docter as an Honorary VES Member.

Source: Visual Effects Society

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Debbie Diamond Sarto is Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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