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Joyce Cox to receive VES Lifetime Achievement Award

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has announced that producer and VFX producer Joyce Cox will receive the VES Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to visual arts and filmed entertainment. The award will be presented at the 22nd Annual VES Awards on 21 February 2024 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in USA.

Bestowed by the VES Board of Directors, the award recognises an individual’s outstanding body of work that has contributed to the art and/or science of the visual effects industry. Cox, who has been a VES Fellow and multiple VES Award-winner, will be honoured for her dedication to the industry and advancement of storytelling through cutting edge visual effects. Her credits include Titanic, The Dark Knight, The Great Gatsby, Men in Black III, Avatar and The Jungle Book. VES also recognises her dedication and vision in working to create a unified visual effects budgeting system, through her work on the Curó VFX budgeting tool.

“Joyce Cox is an outstanding luminary in the world of visual effects producing and is one of the most respected producers in our industry,” said VES chair Lisa Cooke. “Joyce is an innovator and driving force, whose work has put VFX squarely at the center of big box office filmed entertainment for decades. As an educator and a mentor, Joyce has paved the way as a changemaker and stellar role model, and serves our global community with excellence as a VES Fellow.”

Cox stated, “To receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Visual Effects Society is truly an honour I did not expect to come my way. For my name to be included with the remarkable group of directors, producers and supervisors given this honour in the past, truly blows my mind.”

Cox’s route to Hollywood was a long, circuitous one fueled by her work ethic and innate talent for managing complex processes. Curiosity took her to Chicago in the mid 70’s where she started her first company, Joyce Cox Has Talent, in 1975, representing commercial artists to advertising. This was the window into her future and the creative processes that take an idea and molds it into a dynamic sensory experience. In 1980, she moved to Los Angeles and over the next 15 years produced hundreds of commercials, eventually taking a position as the executive producer for Bruce Dorn Films where she had her first opportunity to work with digital visual effects.

In the mid 90’s, a time when digital technology was evolving into its present role as a creative and technical cornerstone for filmmaking, Cox transitioned from the role of commercial producer to producing VFX for feature films. Her experience with VFX for commercials caught the attention of VIFX, a digital facility that had recently been purchased by 20th Century Fox. For the next five years, she worked as a facility VFX producer on numerous film projects including Titanic, Pushing Tin, Fantasia 2000, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

In 2000, Cox moved to the production side. Over the next 20 plus years, she worked directors and crews on films, including Superman Returns and X Men 2 with director Bryan Singer; Avatar with director James Cameron; The Dark Knight, with director Christopher Nolan; The Great Gatsby with director Baz Luhrmann; Men in Black III with director Barry Sonnenfeld; and The Jungle Book with director Jon Favreau.

Cox has produced 13,000 visual effects shots with budgets totaling in excess of US$750 million and is the recipient of three VES Awards for her work on Avatar and The Dark Knight. In addition to her work on film projects, she taught a course Producing Visual Effects at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award have included Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, Dennis Muren, Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, James Cameron, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Lee, Richard Edlund, John Dykstra, Sir Ridley Scott, Ken Ralston, Jon Favreau, Chris Meledandri, Lynwen Brennan, Sir Peter Jackson and Gale Anne Hurd.