The Visual Effects Society (VES) has named acclaimed visual effects supervisor Sheena Duggal as the forthcoming recipient of the VES Award for Creative Excellence in recognition of her valuable contributions to filmed entertainment. The award will be presented at the 18th Annual VES Awards on January 29 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The VES Award for Creative Excellence, bestowed by the VES Board of Directors, recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the art and science of the visual effects industry by uniquely and consistently creating compelling and creative imagery in service to story. The VES will honor Duggal for breaking new ground in compelling storytelling through the use of stunning visual effects. Duggal has been at the forefront of embracing emerging technology to enhance the moviegoing experience, and her creative vision and inventive techniques have paved the way for future generations of filmmakers.
Duggal is an acclaimed visual effects supervisor and artist whose work has shaped numerous studio tentpole and Academy Award-nominated productions. She is known for her design skills, creative direction and visual effects work on blockbuster films such as Venom, The Hunger Games, Mission Impossible, Men in Black II, Spider-Man 3 and Contact. She has worked extensively with Marvel Studios as VFX Supervisor on projects including Doctor Strange, Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter and for Marvel’s TV series Agent Carter.
Her pioneering inspiration and hands-on production experience also deeply contributed to the Sci-Tech Academy Awards won for visual effects and compositing software Flame and Inferno. She continues to work with innovative industry leaders and has been consulting with Codex since 2012, and now Pix + Codex, providing guidance on various new technologies they are developing for the VFX community. Duggal is currently VFX supervisor for Venom 2 and recently completed design and prep for Ghostbusters 3.
“Sheena Duggal’s work epitomizes an artist who has made an indelible and lasting contribution to the industry,” said Mike Chambers, VES Chair. “She capitalizes on her unique blend of conceptual, creative and technological prowess to create explosive visual effects. And that unique ability has brought us some of the most memorable films of our time. For Sheena’s outstanding mastery of her craft, we are proud to honor her with the prestigious VES Award for Creative Excellence.”
“I am honored and delighted to receive the Creative Excellence Award from the VES,” said Duggal. “There is no doubt in my mind that I stand on the shoulders of the hundreds of talented and creative VFX men and women whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the last 30 years. For honoring me with this award I thank the VES for understanding that how you look shouldn’t define who you are or the opportunities you get. My differences have given me a unique perspective and have empowered me to become the creative person I am today. I look forward to receiving this inclusive and prestigious award.”
In 2007 Duggal made her debut as a director on an award-winning short film to showcase the Chicago Spire, simultaneously designing all of the visual effects. Her career in movies began when Roland Joffe’s and Jake Ebert’s Lightmotive Fatman Inc. brought her to Los Angeles as a Flame artist on Super Mario Bros. She had previously been based in London, where she created high-resolution digital composites for Europe’s top advertising and design agencies. Her work included album covers for Elton John and Traveling Wilburys.
Already an accomplished compositor (she began in 1985 working on early generation paint software), Duggal was a pioneer Flame artist working on the world’s first Flame feature production in 1992. Soon after, she was hired by Industrial Light & Magic as a supervising lead Flame artist on a number of high- profile projects (Mission Impossible, Congo and Indian in the Cupboard). In 1996, Duggal left ILM to join Sony Pictures Imageworks as Creative Director of High-Speed Compositing. Duggal soon began to take on the additional responsibilities of visual effects supervisor. She was production side VFX supervisor for multiple directors during this time including Jane Anderson (The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio), Peter Segal (50 First Dates, Anger Management) and Ridley Scott (Body of Lies, Matchstick Men).
Duggal has also worked on a number of design projects. In 2013 she designed the logo and the main-on-ends for Agent Carter. She was production designer for SIGGRAPH Electronic Theatre 2001, and she created the title design for the groundbreaking Technology Entertainment and Design conference (TED) in 2004.
Duggal is a published photographer, and traveled to Zimbabwe and Malawi on her last assignment on behalf of U.K. water charity Pump Aid, where she was photo-documenting how access to clean water has transformed the lives of thousands of people in rural areas.
Duggal is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and serves on the Executive Committee for the VFX branch.
As previously announced, Martin Scorsese, Academy, DGA and Emmy Award winning director-producer-screenwriter, is the forthcoming recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his valuable contributions to filmed entertainment. Additional honorees will be announced.