(Source:┬ánews.awn.com) Dr. Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, has been selected by the VES Board of Directors as the recipient of the “2010 Georges Melies Award.” The award will be presented at the 8th Annual VES Awards, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles on February 28, 2010.

The Georges Melies Award honors individuals who have “pioneered a significant and lasting contribution to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry by a way of artistry, invention and groundbreaking work.” Dr. Catmull is the embodiment of this award as someone who not only spearheaded the creation of the technology that is used throughout the industry, but had a significant role in creating the art form itself and the standards for how we judge successful animation and storytelling for the modern entertainment industry. Dr. Catmull is co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Previously, Dr. Catmull was vice president of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., where he managed development in the areas of computer graphics, video editing, video games and digital audio.

“Ed Catmull has helped redefine the field of animation over the past three decades,” said VES Executive Director Eric Roth. “Ed has become one of the giants of our industry by pioneering new ways to tell animated stories in a successful studio environment. He has been at the forefront of ensuring that while the animation should always be as eye-popping as possible, the story itself always has to be first class as well,” added Roth.

Chair of the VES, Jeffrey A. Okun said, “Ed Catmull almost single-handedly created the software and hardware that is used by everyone in not only the visual effects industry, but the gaming industry and the computer animation industry as well. We all owe a great debt of thanks to his vision, dedication and creativity.”

“It is truly an honor to receive the Georges Melies Award from the Visual Effects Society,” said Dr. Catmull. “I’ve always believed that the combination of art and technology is an important part of a creative environment where we can continue to push the limits of filmmaking.”

Dr. Catmull has been honored with five Academy Awards, including a Technical Achievement Award, two Scientific and Engineering Awards, and one Academy Award of Merit for his work. In 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Dr. Catmull the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his lifetime of technical contributions and leadership in the field of computer graphics for the motion picture industry. He also received the ACM SIGGRAPH Steven A. Coons Award for his lifetime contributions in the computer graphics field, and the animation industry’s Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancements in the art or industry of animation.

Previous recipients of the George Melies Award were Robert Abel, Phil Tippett and Disney/Pixar colleague John Lasseter.

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