LOS ANGELES — The Visual Effects Society (VES) has named multiple Academy Award‐winning visual effects pioneer Ken Ralston the recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor recognizes his enormous contributions to filmed entertainment.
The award will be presented at the 15th Annual VES Awards on February 7, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed by the VES board of directors and recognizes an outstanding body of work that has significantly contributed to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry. Ralston’s creative vision and technical expertise have earned him five Academy Awards.
"Ken Ralston is an amazing force and a defining voice of the visual effects community,” says Mike Chambers, VES board chair. “His creativity, leadership and ability to use technologies to enhance the art of storytelling have brought us some of the most memorable films of all time. His pioneering work has truly raised the bar and helped redefine entertainment and our industry on a global level. For this, and more, we are honored to award him with the prestigious Visual Effects Society Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Ralston is senior visual effect supervisor and creative head at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He has earned five Academy Awards, including a Special Achievement Oscar for the visual effects in the 1984 film, Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi. In addition, he received Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects for his work as visual effects supervisor on Forrest Gump (which was also received the Oscar for Best Picture), Death Becomes Her, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Cocoon.
Ralston followed his Academy Award‐nominated work as senior visual effects supervisor on Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (3D), with Columbia Picture's Men in Black III, and most recently Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. Many groundbreaking projects at Sony Pictures Imageworks have benefited from his artistic acumen, including his many collaborations with director Robert Zemeckis on the epic Beowulf (3D), The Polar Express (3D) and Cast Away. Prior to joining Imageworks, Ralston placed his artistic and technical stamp on the films at Industrial Light & Magic.
Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award include James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, John Dykstra, Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy, and Sir Ridley Scott.