PGA Taps Peter Jackson, Joe Letteri, Weta Digital for 2014 Vanguard Award

Joe Pugliese
Peter Jackson

Past recipients include James Cameron, Stan Lee, George Lucas and John Lasseter.

The Producers Guild of America has has tapped Peter Jackson, visual effects artist Joe Letteri and Weta Digital for its 2014 Vanguard Award.

The award will be presented to the three honorees at the 25th annual PGA ceremony Jan. 19 at the Beverly Hilton.

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Jackson and Letteri's Academy Award-winning visual effects company Weta Digital is a trailblazer in all areas of digital visual effects production, having created some of the most celebrated effects ever seen onscreen. Their film credits include such hits as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar and King Kong, among many others.

The Vanguard Award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Previous recipients include James Cameron, Stan Lee, George Lucas, John Lasseter, YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen and game designer Will Wright as well as RealD's Michael V. Lewis and Joshua Greer.

"We are truly honored to receive the Vanguard Award and to be recognized by the Producers Guild," said Jackson and Letteri.

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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."

Adds Letteri, "It's great to see the Producers Guild embrace visual effects as a core part of the modern filmmaking process."

Said PGA Awards co-chairs Lori McCreary and Michael De Luca, "Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri have created some of the most epic visionary fantasies in the history of filmmaking. 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."