Muren Takes Tesla Award

The International Press Academy toasted vfx guru Dennis Muren during the 12th annual Satellite Awards recognizing achievements in film, television, home video and multimedia. The awards ceremony was held on Monday in Beverly Hills and saw Muren take home the Nikola Tesla Award, a kudo reserved for visionary achievements in the field of filmmaking and cinema arts. Past recipients include Richard Donner, Stan Winston, Jerry Lewis, James Cameron and George Lucas.

Muren’s credits with ILM include the Star Wars movies, Dragonslayer, Jurassic Park, The Hulk and War of the Worlds. He has received 15 Oscar nominations to date, winning for Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Abyss, Innerspace, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Earlier this year, Muren received the Visual Effects Socitey’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the 5th Annual VES Awards.

Members of the IPA also voted Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille Best Picture’Animated or Mixed Media. The other nominees in the category were Sony Pictures Classics’ Persepolis, 20th Century Fox’s The Simpsons Movie, New Line Cinema’s The Golden Compass, Warner Bros.’ 300 and Paramount Pictures’ Beowulf. Ratatouille also scurried off with Best Youth DVD.

Director Zack Snyder’s 300 ended up taking the award for Best Visual Effects. The team lead by Chris Watts, Grant Freckelton, Derek Wentworth and Daniel Leduc beat out the wizards behind Beowulf and The Golden Compass, as well as DreamWorks/Paramount’s Transformers, Universal Pictures’ The Bourne Ultimatum and Disney’s Enchanted.

On the interactive side, Guitar Hero from publisher Redoctane and developer Harmonix was crowned Outstanding Sports/Rhythm/Music Game, while Outstansing Action/Adventure Game went to Sony Computer Entertainment America’s God of War II. Sega’s Medieval II: Total War from developer Creative Assembly took Outstanding Puzzle/Strategy Game, and Super Paper Mario from Nintendo and developer Intelligent Sys. was named Outstanding Role-playing Game.

The International Press Academy is the largest entertainment press organization in the world, boasting more than 300 active members covering various facets of film, television and new interactive media. To see the full list of nominees and winners, go to