Saturn Award for Best Special Effects

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Saturn Award for
Best Special / Visual Effects
Awarded forBest special effects and visual effects of the year for a genre film
CountryUnited States
Presented byAcademy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films
First awarded1975
Currently held byAvatar: The Way of Water (2022/23)

The Saturn Award for Best Special / Visual Effects is one of the annual awards given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. The Saturn Awards, which are the oldest film-specialized awards to reward science fiction, fantasy, and horror achievements (the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation is the oldest award for science fiction and fantasy films), included the category for the first time at the 2nd Saturn Awards in 1975.

Winners and nominees[edit]


Year Recipients Film
Marcel Vercoutere The Exorcist
Douglas Knapp, Bill Taylor, John Carpenter, Dan O'Bannon Dark Star
L. B. Abbott (for his career)
John Dykstra, John Stears Star Wars
Douglas Trumbull Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Albert Whitlock, Chuck Gaspar (Van der Veer Photo Effects) Exorcist II: The Heretic
Ray Harryhausen Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
Colin Chilvers Superman
Henry Millar (Van der Veer Photo Effects) Capricorn One
Ira Anderson Jr. Damien: Omen II
Dell Rheaume, Russel Hessey Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Albert Whitlock The Wiz
Douglas Trumbull, John Dykstra, Richard Yuricich Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Brian Johnson, Nick Allder Alien
Peter Ellenshaw The Black Hole
John Evans, John Richardson Moonraker
Robbie Knott The Muppet Movie


Year Recipients Film
Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund The Empire Strikes Back
Chuck Comisky Battle Beyond the Stars
Richard Albain Jr., Tommy Lee Wallace, James F. Liles The Fog
Dave Allen, Peter Kuran The Howling
Gary Zeller Scanners
Richard Edlund Raiders of the Lost Ark
Ray Harryhausen Clash of the Titans
Brian Johnson, Dennis Muren Dragonslayer
John Stears Outland
Jon Bunker Time Bandits
Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis Muren E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich Blade Runner
Roy Field, Brian Smithies The Dark Crystal
Tom Campbell, William T. Conway, John Carl Buechler, Steve Neill Forbidden World
Rob Bottin The Thing
Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston Return of the Jedi
(Entertainment Effects Group) Brainstorm
Ian Wingrove Never Say Never Again
Lee Dyer Something Wicked This Way Comes
Chuck Comisky, Kenneth Jones, Lawrence E. Benson (Private Stock Effects Inc.) Strange Invaders
Chris Walas Gremlins
Richard Edlund 2010
Lawrence E. Benson Creature
Barry Nolan Dune
Ralph Winter Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Kevin Pike Back to the Future
(The L.A. Effects Group) Commando
Bruce Nicholson, Ralph Winter Explorers
Richard Edlund Fright Night
(Apogee) Lifeforce
Stan Winston, Robert Skotak, Dennis Skotak (The L.A. Effects Group) Aliens
Lyle Conway Little Shop of Horrors
Richard Edlund Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Syd Mead, Eric Allard Short Circuit
Ken Ralston, Michael Lantieri Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Peter Kuran, Phil Tippett, Rob Bottin, Rocco Gioffre RoboCop
Vern Hyde, Doug Beswick, Tom Sullivan Evil Dead II
Dennis Muren, Bill George, Harley Jessup, Kenneth Smith Innerspace
Richard Edlund Masters of the Universe
Joel Hynek, Stan Winston, Richard Greenberg, Robert M. Greenberg Predator
Michael Lantieri (Industrial Light & Magic) The Witches of Eastwick
George Gibbs, Ken Ralston, Richard Williams (Industrial Light & Magic) Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Peter Kuran, Alan Munro, Ted Rae, Robert Short Beetlejuice
Kevin Pike, Hoyt Yeatman, Will Vinton Moonwalker
Eric Brevig, Allen Hall (Dream Quest Images) Scrooged
Eric Allard, Jeff Jarvis Short Circuit 2
John Richardson (Industrial Light & Magic) Willow
Ken Ralston (Industrial Light & Magic) Back to the Future Part II
(Industrial Light & Magic, Dream Quest Images, Fantasy II Film Effects, Wonderworks) The Abyss
Richard Conway, Kent Houston The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Bruce Nicholson, John T. Van Vliet, Richard Edlund, Laura Buff Ghost
Rick Baker, Ken Pepiot, Dennis Michelson Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Rick Fichter, David Sosalla, Peter Chesney Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Phil Tippett, Rob Bottin, Peter Kuran RoboCop 2
Thomas L. Fisher, Eric Brevig, Rob Bottin (Dream Quest Images, Industrial Light & Magic, Stetson Visual Services Inc.) Total Recall
Tom Woodruff Jr., Alec Gillis (4-Ward Productions, Illusion Arts Inc., Fantasy II Film Effects) Tremors


Year Recipients Film
Stan Winston (Industrial Light & Magic, Fantasy II Film Effects, 4-Ward Productions) Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Richard Yuricich, Kevin Yagher (Video Image) Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Syd Dutton, Bill Taylor, Gene Warren Jr. (Illusion Arts Inc.) Frankenstein Unbound
Stan Winston, Joel Hynek (R/Greenberg Associates Inc.) Predator 2
Ken Ralston (Industrial Light & Magic) The Rocketeer
(Perpetual Motion Pictures, Dream Quest Images) Warlock
Ken Ralston, Tom Woodruff Jr., Alec Gillis (Industrial Light & Magic) Death Becomes Her
Alan Munro (Visual Concept Engineering (VCE), Alterian, Inc., David Miller Creations) The Addams Family
George Gibbs, Richard Edlund, Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr. Alien 3
Richard Taylor, Bob McCarron Braindead (Dead Alive)
Roman Coppola Bram Stoker's Dracula
Frank Ceglia, Paul Haines, Tom Ceglia The Lawnmower Man
Bruce Nicholson, Ned Gorman (Industrial Light & Magic) Memoirs of an Invisible Man
Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, Michael Lantieri Jurassic Park
Michael J. McAlister, Kimberly Nelson LoCascio Demolition Man
(Pacific Data Images (PDI), 4-Ward Productions) Heart and Souls
(Buena Vista Visual Effects, Matte World Digital, Rhythm & Hues) Hocus Pocus
John E. Sullivan (Sony Pictures Imageworks [us], Boss Film Studios, Fantasy II Film Effects, Visual Concept Engineering (VCE), The Baer Animation Company Inc.) Last Action Hero
Ariel Velasco-Shaw, Eric Leighton, Gordon Baker The Nightmare Before Christmas
Richard Edlund Solar Crisis
John Bruno (Digital Domain) True Lies
Andrew Mason (International Creative Effects) The Crow
Ken Ralston (Industrial Light & Magic) Forrest Gump
(Illusion Arts Inc., Fantasy II Film Effects, Visual Concept Engineering) The Shadow
Jeffrey A. Okun, Patrick Tatopoulos Stargate
Gregory L. McMurry Timecop
Stan Parks (Industrial Light & Magic, Amalgamated Dynamics) Jumanji
John Dykstra, Thomas L. Fisher, Andrew Adamson, Eric Durst Batman Forever
Scott Farrar, Stan Winston, Michael Lantieri (Industrial Light & Magic) Congo
Eric Brevig (Industrial Light & Magic) The Indian in the Cupboard
Joel Hynek (Mass. Illusions LLC) Judge Dredd
Richard Edlund, Steve Johnson Species
Volker Engel, Clay Pinney, Douglas Smith, Joe Viskocil Independence Day
Scott Squires, Phil Tippett, James Straus, Kit West Dragonheart
Wes Takahashi, Charlie McClellan, Richard Taylor The Frighteners
Jim Mitchell, Michael L. Fink, David Andrews, Michael Lantieri (Industrial Light & Magic, Warner Digital Studios) Mars Attacks!
John Knoll (Industrial Light & Magic) Star Trek: First Contact
Stefen Fangmeier, John Frazier, Habib Zargarpour, Henry LaBounta Twister
Phil Tippett, Scott E. Anderson, Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr., John Richardson Starship Troopers
Pitof, Erik Henry, Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr. Alien Resurrection
Ken Ralston, Stephen Rosenbaum, Jerome Chen, Mark Holmes Contact
Karen E. Goulekas, Mark Stetson The Fifth Element
Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Michael Lantieri, Randy Dutra The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Eric Brevig, Peter Chesney, Rob Coleman, Rick Baker Men in Black
Volker Engel, Patrick Tatopoulos, Karen E. Goulekas, Clay Pinney Godzilla
Pat McClung, Richard R. Hoover, John Frazier Armageddon
Andrew Mason, Mara Bryan, Peter Doyle, Tom Davies Dark City
Angus Bickerton Lost in Space
Rick Baker, Hoyt Yeatman, Allen Hall, Jim Mitchell Mighty Joe Young
Roger Guyett, Stefen Fangmeier, Neil Corbould Saving Private Ryan
Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren, Scott Squires Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Stan Winston, Bill George, Kim Bromley, Robert Stadd Galaxy Quest
John Gaeta, Janek Sirrs, Steve Courtley, Jon Thum The Matrix
John Andrew Berton Jr., Daniel Jeannette, Ben Snow, Chris Corbould The Mummy
Jim Mitchell, Joss Williams, Kevin Yagher, Mark S. Miller Sleepy Hollow
John Dykstra, Henry F. Anderson III, Jerome Chen, Eric Allard Stuart Little


Year Recipients Film
Scott E. Anderson, Craig Hayes, Scott Stokdyk, Stan Parks Hollow Man
Michael Lantieri, David Drzewiecki (Amalgamated Dynamics, Rhythm, Hues Cinesite, VCE.Com) The 6th Day
Kevin Scott Mack, Matthew E. Butler, Bryan Grill, Allen Hall How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Stefen Fangmeier, Habib Zargarpour, Tim Alexander, John Frazier The Perfect Storm
Michael L. Fink, Michael J. McAlister, David Prescott, Theresa Ellis Rygiel X-Men
Dennis Muren, Scott Farrar, Stan Winston, Michael Lantieri A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Arthur Windus, Val Wardlaw, Hal Bertram, Nick Drew, Seb Caudron Brotherhood of the Wolf
Robert Legato, Nick Davis, Roger Guyett, John Richardson Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Jim Mitchell, Danny Gordon Taylor, Donald Elliott, John Rosengrant Jurassic Park III
Jim Rygiel, Randall William Cook, Richard Taylor, Mark Stetson The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
John Andrew Berton Jr., Daniel Jeannette, Neil Corbould, Thomas Rosseter The Mummy Returns
Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll, Ben Snow Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Jim Mitchell, Nick Davis, John Richardson, Bill George Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, Alex Funke The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Scott Farrar, Henry LaBounta, Michael Lantieri, Nathan McGuinness Minority Report
John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, John Frazier Spider-Man
Joel Hynek, Matthew E. Butler, Sean Andrew Faden, John Frazier XXX
Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, Alex Funke The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Dennis Muren, Edward Hirsh, Colin Brady, Michael Lantieri Hulk
John Gaeta, Kim Libreri, George Murphy, Craig Hayes The Matrix Revolutions
John Knoll, Hal T. Hickel, Terry D. Frazee, Charles Gibson Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pablo Helman, Danny Gordon Taylor, Allen Hall, John Rosengrant Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Michael L. Fink, Richard E. Hollander, Stephen Rosenbaum, Mike Vézina X2
John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, John Frazier Spider-Man 2
Peter Chiang, Pablo Helman, Thomas J. Smith The Chronicles of Riddick
Karen E. Goulekas, Neil Corbould, Greg Strause, Remo Balcells The Day After Tomorrow
Roger Guyett, Tim Burke, Bill George, John Richardson Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
John Nelson, Andrew R. Jones, Erik Nash, Joe Letteri I, Robot
Scott Squires, Ben Snow, Daniel Jeannette, Syd Dutton Van Helsing
Joe Letteri, Richard Taylor, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hul King Kong
Janek Sirrs, Dan Glass, Chris Corbould, Paul J. Franklin Batman Begins
Dean Wright, Bill Westenhofer, Jim Berney, Scott Farrar The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Jim Mitchell, Tim Alexander, Timothy Webber, John Richardson Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
John Knoll, Roger Guyett, Rob Coleman, Brian Gernand Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Dennis Muren, Pablo Helman, Randy Dutra, Dan Sudick War of the Worlds
John Knoll, Hal T. Hickel, Charles Gibson, Allen Hall Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Karin Joy, John Andrew Berton Jr., Blair Clark, John Dietz Charlotte's Web
Jeremy Dawson, Dan Schrecker, Mark G. Soper, Peter Parks The Fountain
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Pat Tubach, Dan Sudick Mission: Impossible III
Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould, Richard R. Hoover, Jon Thum Superman Returns
John Bruno, Eric Saindon, Craig Lyn, Mike Vézina X-Men: The Last Stand
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl, John Frazier Transformers
Chris Watts, Grant Freckelton, Derek Wentworth, Daniel Leduc 300
Michael L. Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris, Trevor Wood The Golden Compass
Tim Burke, John Richardson, Paul J. Franklin, Greg Butler Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
John Knoll, Hal T. Hickel, Charles Gibson, John Frazier Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Scott Stokdyk, Peter Nofz, Spencer Cook, John Frazier Spider-Man 3
Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Timothy Webber, Paul J. Franklin The Dark Knight
Dean Wright, Wendy Rogers The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mike Wassel, Adrian De Wet, Andrew Chapman, Eamonn Butler Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Pablo Helman, Dan Sudick Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick, Shane Mahan Iron Man
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, Andrew R. Jones Avatar
Volker Engel, Marc Weigert, Mike Vézina 2012
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros, Matt Aitken District 9
Tim Burke, John Richardson, Nicolas Aithadi, Tim Alexander Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh, Burt Dalton Star Trek
John 'D.J.' Des Jardin, Peter G. Travers, Joel Whist, Jessica Norman Watchmen


Year Recipients Film
Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, Paul J. Franklin, Peter Bebb Inception
Ken Ralston, Carey Villegas, Tom C. Peitzman, David Schaub Alice in Wonderland
Barrie Hemsley, Angus Bickerton The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Nicolas Aithadi, John Richardson, Christian Manz, Tim Burke Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
Ged Wright, Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick Iron Man 2
Karl Denham, Steve Preeg, Eric Barba, Nikos Kalaitzidis Tron: Legacy
Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, R. Christopher White, Daniel Barrett Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Scott E. Anderson, Matt Aitken, Joe Letteri, Matthias Menz, Keith Miller The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Mark G. Soper, Christopher Townsend, Paul Corbould Captain America: The First Avenger
Tim Burke, Greg Butler, John Richardson, David Vickery Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Steve Riley, Russell Earl, Kim Libreri, Dennis Muren Super 8
Scott Benza, John Frazier, Matthew E. Butler, Scott Farrar Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick The Avengers
Grady Cofer, Pablo Helman, Jeanie King, Burt Dalton Battleship
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Chris Corbould, Peter Chiang, Scott R. Fisher, Sue Rowe John Carter
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan de Boer, Donald Elliott Life of Pi
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Phil Brennan, Neil Corbould, Michael Dawson Snow White and the Huntsman
Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould Gravity
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Joe Letteri, John 'D.J.' Des Jardin, Dan Lemmon Man of Steel
John Knoll, James E. Price, Clay Pinney, Rocco Larizza Pacific Rim
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton Star Trek Into Darkness
Jake Morrison, Paul Corbould, Mark Breakspear Thor: The Dark World
Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher Interstellar
Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Dan Sudick Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Gary Brozenich, Nick Davis, Jonathan Fawkner, Matthew Rouleau Edge of Tomorrow
Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould Guardians of the Galaxy
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Paul Corbould, Christopher Townsend, Ben Snow, Paul Butterworth Avengers: Age of Ultron
Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett Ex Machina
John Rosengrant, Michael Lantieri, Tim Alexander Jurassic World
Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver, Andy Williams Mad Max: Fury Road
Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence, Steven Warner The Martian
John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel, Neil Corbould Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Louis Morin, Ryal Cosgrove Arrival
Joe Letteri, Joel Whist The BFG
Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli Doctor Strange
Tim Burke, Christian Manz, David Watkins Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, Dan Lemmon The Jungle Book
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, Dan Sudick Black Panther
John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer Blade Runner 2049
Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus Kong: Skull Island
Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist War for the Planet of the Apes
Dan DeLeeuw, Matt Aitken, Russell Earl, Dan Sudick Avengers: Endgame
Michael Mulholland, David Seager, Daniele Bigi, Jeff Capogreco Aladdin
Guillaume Rocheron, Eric Frazier, Brian Connor, Peter Nofz Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Huw J. Evans, Andrew Booth, Jody Johnson, Neil Corbould Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Rick O'Connor A Quiet Place
Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler, Dave Shirk Ready Player One
Janek Sirrs, Theodore Bialek, Brendan Seals, Alexis Wajsbrot Spider-Man: Far From Home
Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, Dominic Tuohy Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Scott R. Fisher, Allen Maris Ad Astra
Mark Hawker, Yael Majors, Greg Steele Birds of Prey
Nicholas Brooks, Kristy Hollidge It Chapter Two
Ken Egly, Robert Legato The Lion King
Mike Chambers, Scott R. Fisher, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley Tenet
Eric Barba, Neil Corbould, Vinod Gundre, Sheldon Stopsack Terminator: Dark Fate


Year Recipients Film
John “D.J.” Des Jardin, Bryan Hirota, Kevin Andrew Smith, Pier Lefebvre, and Mike Meinardus Godzilla vs. Kong
Jorundur Rafn Arnarson, Joe Letteri, and Erik Winquist Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Sheena Duggal and Alessandro Ongaro Ghostbusters: Afterlife
David Vickery Jurassic World Dominion
Joe Farrell, Dan Oliver, Christopher Townsend, and Sean Noel Walker Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Scott Edelstein, Kelly Port, Dan Sudick, and Chris Waegner Spider-Man: No Way Home
Scott R. Fisher and Ryan Tudhope Top Gun: Maverick
Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, and Daniel Barrett Avatar: The Way of Water
Jay Cooper, Ian Comley, Andrew Roberts, and Neil Corbould The Creator
Stephane Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot, Guy Williams, and Dan Sudick Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Andrew Whitehurst, Kathy Siegel, Robert Weaver, and Alistair Williams Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Alex Wuttke, Simone Coco, Jeff Sutherland, and Neil Corbould Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Andrew Jackson, Giacomo Mineo, Scott R. Fisher, and Dave Drzewiecki Oppenheimer

External links[edit]