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Visual Effects Society Names Acclaimed Visual Effects Pioneer Ken Ralston Recipient of VES Lifetime Achievement Award

Los  Angeles  (October  20,  2016)  –  Today,  the  Visual  Effects  Society  (VES),  the  industry’s  professional  global honorary society, named multiple Academy Award® -winning visual effects pioneer Ken Ralston as the  recipient  of  the  VES  Lifetime  Achievement  Award  in  recognition  of  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  VES  Lifetime  Achievement  Award,  bestowed  by  the  VES  Board  of  Directors,  recognizes  an  outstanding body of work that has significantly contributed to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry.    VES  will  honor  Ralston  for  his  intuitive  vision  and  unparalleled  mastery  of  visual  effects.  Ralston’s creative vision and fierce technical expertise have earned him an impressive five Academy Awards®.    His  groundbreaking  work  has  built  a  rich  legacy,  one  that  has  profoundly  impacted  future  generations of artists and innovators.

"Ken  Ralston  is  an  amazing  force  and  a  defining  voice  of  the  visual  effects  community,"  said  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  the  Academy  Award®  winning  visual  effects studio, Sony Pictures Imageworks. He has earned five Academy Awards® including a Special Achievement Oscar® for the visual effects in the 1984 phenomenon, Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi. In addition to this, he received Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects for his work as visual effects supervisor on Forrest Gump (which was also awarded the Oscar for Best Picture), Death Becomes Her,  the  revolutionary  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  Ralston's  artistic  acumen including his many collaborations with Academy Award® winning 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. Breaking technological ground, Ralston played a pivotal role in advancing the company's renown.

Ralston's other notable film credits include visual effects supervisor on The Rocketeer, Jumanji, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Dragonslayer, for which he was also nominated for an Oscar, and all three films from the Back to the Future trilogy, earning an Academy Award® nomination for best visual effects on Back to the Future II.

Ralston's  career  began  at  the  seminal  commercial  animation  and  visual  effects  company,  Cascade  Pictures in Hollywood, where he worked on more than 150 memorable advertising campaigns in the early 1970s. He built sets, sculpted models, animated puppets, created optical effects and stop motion animation for such iconic commercial characters as Poppin' Fresh, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, and The Jolly Green Giant.

Previous  winners  of  the  VES  Lifetime  Achievement  Award  have  included  James  Cameron,  Steven  Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, John Dykstra, Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy and Sir Ridley Scott.

About the Visual Effects Society

The  Visual  Effects  Society  is  a  professional  global  honorary  society  dedicated  to  advancing  the  arts,  sciences and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest standards and procedures for the visual  effects  profession.  It  is  the  entertainment  industry's  only  official  organization  representing  the  extended global community of visual effects practitioners, including supervisors, artists, producers, technology  developers,  educators  and  studio  executives.    VES’  3000+  members  in  more  than  30  countries worldwide contribute to all areas of entertainment – film, television, commercials, animation, music videos, games and new media.

To learn more about the VES, visit and follow us on Twitter: @VFXSociety.

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