“We are truly honoured to receive the Vanguard Award and to be recognized by the Producers Guild,” said Jackson and Letteri. Jackson continued, “Visual effects are a great tool to inspire the audience’s imagination and encourage them to take that extra step into the story.”
Letteri added, “It’s great to see the Producers Guild embrace visual effects as a core part of the modern filmmaking process.”
“Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri have created some of the most epic visionary fantasies in the history of filmmaking,” said PGA Awards Co-Chairs Lori McCreary and Michael De Luca. “Through the development of groundbreaking technology and software, Weta Digital has redefined the possibilities for producers to create living, Breathing worlds to house even their most fantastic stories. We are proud to present Peter Jackson, Joe Letteri and Weta Digital with the 2014 Vanguard Award for their continued determination to break new imaginative ground for our industry.”
Weta Digital is responsible for creating the effects seen in the Lords of the Rings films, The Hobbit movies, Avatar, and King Kong.
More on Peter Jackson [Courtesy of the PGA]:
Peter Jackson began making movies at an early age with his parent’s Super 8 movie camera. After leaving school at 17 he purchased a 16mm camera and began shooting a science fiction comedy short which, three years later, grew into a 75-minute feature called Bad Taste. Other early film credits include, Meet the Feebles, Braindead, Forgotten Silver and The Frighteners. Jackson received widespread acclaim for his 1994 feature Heavenly Creatures, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
Jackson then made history with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, becoming the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King were nominated for and collected a slew of awards from around the globe, including 17 Academy Awards. As a follow-up to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Jackson directed, wrote and produced King Kong, which went on to win three Oscars. He produced the worldwide sci-fi hit District 9, and served as producer on Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
Two years ago Jackson returned to Middle-earth to direct, co-write and produce another Tolkien-inspired trilogy. 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the upcoming The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, opening on Dec. 13, and next year’s The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
About Joe Letteri [From the PGA]:
Joe Letteri’s pioneering work on digital visual effects has earned him four Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects on Avatar, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and King Kong. He has also received the Academy’s Technical Achievement Award for co-developing the subsurface scattering technique that brought Gollum to life. Letteri joined Weta Digital as Visual Effects Supervisor on The Two Towers and over the last eleven years he has led Weta Digital to become one of the world’s premiere visual effects studios. He specializes in the creation of compellingly realistic creatures, from the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, to Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, the 25ft gorilla in King Kong, the Na’vi in Avatar, and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. As Senior Visual Effects Supervisor on Avatar, he oversaw a program of research and development over four years that produced shots larger and more complex than ever attempted before. Joe led the Weta Digital team back into Middle-earth to bring to life the first film of Peter Jackson’s much anticipated trilogy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. He is currently working on the second film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
-Posted by Rebecca Murray
Follow Us On: