Josh Johnson Voted into the Visual Effects Society

Josh JohnsonSchool of Communications Film, Television and Video Production Assistant Professor Josh Johnson has been voted into the Visual Effects Society (VES), a prestigious global honors society for professionals in the film industry. By being a member, he will have access to resources and professional advice about visual effects.

“When I was a kid, I had a couple of dreams. One was to play in the NBA - and I was lucky to get a basketball scholarship many years ago - and the other was to be a filmmaker. I've always had a love for cinema, and I've always been enamored with visual effects,” Johnson said. “I still continue to work toward many filmmaking goals, and It has been a goal of mine for almost 20 years to be part of the VES.” 

He said that some of the artists and films that helped inspire him to pursue visual effects include Willis O'Brien’s incredible work on “King Kong,” Ray Harryhausen's “Clash of the Titans,” Douglas Trumbull's artistry on “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Star Wars,” Industrial Light and Magic’s work on “Terminator 2” and the collaboration between Stan Winston, Phil Tippet, Dennis Muren and the Industrial Light and Magic team on “Jurassic Park.” 

The VES includes more than 4,400 members from 45 countries, representing work in film, television, gaming, animation and new media. The non-profit organization’s goals are to advance knowledge among its members and educate the public about the work they do behind the scenes. The organization’s mission statement says to be a member, a professional must have demonstrated “a high standard of artistic and technical ability and whose achievements entitle them to membership.”

Among Johnson’s achievements that earned him an invitation to the VES was his work on “Hocus Pocus 2” for Disney. He also worked on the film “A Ghost Story” and co-directed a short film titled “Monument,” which was one of 18 short films selected for the Nantucket Film Festival, won several awards at the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, including best of showcase in 2021, and was published in the Spring 2021 issue of VFX Voice Magazine (The Magazine of the Visual Effects Society). Additionally, he has worked on 26 feature films to date. 

The organization holds an annual awards ceremony to recognize outstanding work. Johnson said that he has been asked by VES to help judge submissions this month for the upcoming ceremony, scheduled for Feb. 21.

“I have watched the VES Awards show for numerous years, and this week, I will be participating as a judge for the 22nd Annual VES Awards Nomination Event. It's an honor to be among the leading artists, innovators, practitioners, and executives who are advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects in the entertainment industry,” Johnson said. “This also gives me more opportunities to bring my real-world industry experience back to the classroom, which is very important to me as a professor.”

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