Academy Award winner Joel Hynek joins DNEG as visual effects supervisor on to-be-announced title

DNEG announced that Academy Award winner Joel Hynek has been hired as visual effects supervisor on a to-be-announced title. Hynek, whose career spans over four decades and includes two Academy Award wins for his groundbreaking work in visual effects, will be based out of DNEG’s Los Angeles studio.

Hynek’s first honor from the Academy was a ‘Scientific and Engineering Design Award’ for the design of the camera that made the effects for the original Predator possible. He earned his second Academy Award for his contribution and most notably the memorable ‘Painted World’ sequence for What Dreams May Come, which took home the ‘Best Visual Effects Oscar’ at the 71st Academy Awards.

“I am proud to be working with DNEG at such a thrilling and pivotal time in the world of visual effects. Technological advancement in our industry is opening previously unattainable creative possibilities, and DNEG is at the forefront of harnessing these technologies in pursuit of storytelling goals. Throughout my career I have endeavored to push the boundaries of what is possible in visual effects. Having recently supervised a short film that made full use of real-time technology in LED volume, as well as testing the full use of virtual production on a major Chinese production, I’m looking forward to more opportunities to bring these new technologies and workflows to some truly exciting upcoming projects,” said Hynek.

“DNEG is a destination of choice for filmmakers and studios around the world looking to turn their imagined worlds into reality, and we are assembling some of the top creative minds in the business to meet this challenge. Joel’s work over the last four decades and his long-standing contributions to the art and science of storytelling continue to receive critical acclaim, and I am delighted that he is bringing this deep knowledge and experience to our creative leadership team at DNEG,” said DNEG chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra.

Other notable projects for which Hynek has served as visual effects supervisor include Jumper, xXx, Stealth, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, one of the first Chinese co-productions filmed in China. Other selected credits as VFX supervisor include: Dhoom 3, one of Bollywood’s highest-grossing films and the first Indian film to be released in IMAX; four seasons and 66 episodes of the Warner Bros./CBS vampire series The Originals; and big budget Chinese productions Crazy Alien, a top box office performer with a CG principal character, and The Yin Yang Master, which features twenty-two CG characters.

Hynek’s visual effects career began at R/Greenberg Associates in New York, before an introduction to Doug Trumbull during the filming of Close Encounters of the Third Kind led to a collaboration involving three immersive experiences for the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. At that time Joel also created the current Columbia Pictures logo. 

Hynek became creative director for the reinvented Trumbull Company, Mass.Illusion, a visual effects powerhouse that would create groundbreaking and Academy Award winning effects for What Dreams May Come and develop the ‘Bullet-time’ effect for The Matrix. Mass.Illusion was purchased by Manex and Hynek joined Digital Domain, another VFX industry leader, as a senior supervisor, and eventually Tata Elxsi; in both instances upping their games with industry-defining visual effects.

Hynek has served as a board member for the Visual Effects Society and on the executive committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ visual effects branch for over 20 years.

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