The other day I got an email from the VES asking members to suggest nominees for title of VES Fellow:
The Visual Effects Society is asking for your suggestions for nominees for title of VES Fellow, which is a member who has maintained an outstanding reputation and who has made exceptional achievements and sustained contributions to the art, science or business of visual effects, as well as enabling members’ careers and promoting community worldwide for a period of not less than ten (10) years within the last twenty (20) years.
Previous VES Fellows recipients include: Jonathan Erland (2010) Dennis Muren (2010) Doug Trumbull (2010) Ed Catmull (2012) Richard Edlund (2012) Ray Feeney (2012) Carl Rosendahl (2012) Mark Stetson (2012) Bill Taylor (2012) Phil Tippett (2012) Richard Winn Taylor II (2014)
VES Fellows nominations, must include (2) two letters of recommendation for each nominated person. Please have this information available when submitting for this award as it is required.
If you’re surprised to learn that I joined the VES, it was in the hopes of lobbying their members to support ADAPT. Since that effort has ceased I will probably not renew, as the organization is restricted to only doing charitable and educational work.
Before I deleted that VES email I looked at that list of fellows and thought: Why isn’t Scott Ross on that list? He helped build two of the biggest VFX companies as General Manager of ILM and CEO/Founder of Digital Domain. He employed thousands, gave many their start in the industry, and hired many of today’s superstars.
If you’ve been an avid reader of this blog you might be surprised to read that. When I started this blog in 2010 as an anonymous VFX professional, I wrote strongly about my disagreements with Scott and the VFX business. Over the years, we would have a lot of debates back and forth in the comments section of my blog. I would hear about others who had, sometimes illegitimate and sometimes legitimate disagreements and opinions about him.
However, as I got to know Scott personally over the last two years after revealing my identity, I had a chance to see a person who cared incredibly about the VFX industry and the people who work in it. If anyone deserves to be a VES Fellow, it’s Scott.
Here’s why I strongly believe that. We officially met in person over 2 years ago when I wanted to go forward with a legal effort on subsidies and help start the short-lived trade organization ADAPT. It was an immense effort that would require me and someone else to put our necks on the line publicly and do it without compensation.
I wasn’t sure if Scott Ross was up for this immense task. He was relatively better off than most of us in VFX and attained success as a former CEO. Why would he take that risk with me? What I quickly learned is that no matter how deep the disagreements we had in the past, Scott put that aside to stand with all of us in an incredible effort to try to fix a broken industry.
When the big day came to announce our effort and reveal my identity at a demonstration during President Obama’s speech at DreamWorks Animation, Scott joined us and marched with us for hours in the sun. Afterwards I could see that Scott was dehydrated and tired but his spirit was enthusiastic.
As we drove back home and exchanged thoughts about what went down that day, I thought to myself: What former VFX CEO would do what Scott did that day? What VFX person for that matter, would do what Scott did that day for us? It’s sad to realize this but in many cases there were professionals in our industry deeply affected by the issues who wouldn’t even bother to move a mouse to support change, but Scott Ross was willing to move mountains for so many of us.
This is the Scott Ross I came to know and the Scott Ross that should be nominated to become a VES Fellow. If you’re a VES member reading this I kindly ask you to click on the link above and nominate Scott Ross.