Tim McGovern has been doing award-winning, groundbreaking work in the visual effects and computer animation industry for more than twenty years. In addition to an Academy Award in 1990 for Visual Effects in the movie, Total Recall, Tim garnered five Clios, a Hugo and a Mobius, and grew Sony Picture Imagework’s from eight to 250 employees. A testament to Tim’s eye for talent is that among the employees he has hired, 4 went on to win Academy Awards.
His career began at ABC, where he was recognized for his work in animation and on-air graphic design. He joined the legendary Robert Abel & Associates to work with computer-controlled cameras and computer-generated imagery and within six months, was working with a team of four to create a fifty-five second sequence of computer animation for Walt Disney’s Tron. During this time, Tim won five Clios, one for a ground-breaking TV commercial called Sexy Robot. It aired during the Super Bowl in 1985. Sexy Robot was the first time human motion had ever been applied to a computer generated character for television or motion pictures and it created a sensation with the Super Bowl TV audience.
In 1987, Tim joined MetroLight Studios as a founding member and Head of Production. He spent five years with MetroLight as a Visual Effects Supervisor where he worked with directors James Cameron, David Lynch and Paul Verhoeven.
In 1989, Tim directed the computer animated Skeleton Sequence for Carolco Pictures’ Total Recall. This work featured fluid and realistic motion of nine humans and one dog. His work won the 1990 Academy Award For Visual Effects. Tim was the first Visual Effects Supervisor with a CG or digital background to have his work recognized with an Academy Award.
In 1992, Tim became a founding member, Senior V.P. of Creative and Technical Affairs, and Senior Visual Effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He grew the company from eight employees to over two hundred and fifty, contributing to over fifty successful feature films, including Speed, The Net, Wolf, In The Line Of Fire, James and the Giant Peach and Johnny Mnemonic. Tim personally supervised Last Action Hero, Hideaway, Virtuosity, Money Train, The Ghost And The Darkness and As Good As It Gets. While at Sony, Tim also contributed heavily to the creative development of several pictures including Swat, with producer Joe Caracciolo.
Since leaving Sony, Tim has worked as an independent Visual Effects Supervisor for, among others, directors Peter Hyams, Kurt Wimmer and Rupert Wainwright. He has also developed several live action and animation screenplays as co-writer and/or writer/director, including Johnny Mnemonic 2 with producer Neil Canton at Screen Gems, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
In December 2007, Tim was appointed to the Steering Committee for the visual effects branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the organization that awards the Oscars. Tim has been an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Visual Effects Society (VES – an honorary society with more than 2200 members worldwide) for nine of the last eleven years. In January 2007, Tim was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the VES. Previously, he was co-chair of the VES Awards Committee for five years. He also produced and hosted the Fourth Annual VES Awards Show, which was televised on HD Net in April 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Chair of the VES Committee for Outreach to Developing Regions. Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Board to the President of the San Francisco Academy of Art University and serves on the Advisory Board for the Image College of Art, Animation, and Technology (ICAAT). ICAAT is located in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India.
Tim has given more than forty talks in the US, Japan, Europe, and India on visual effects and animation topics. He has also served as an expert witness in legal proceedings regarding visual effects patent issues.
Credits—Motion Pictures and Visual Effects
A Sound of Thunder — Warner Bros.
Feardotcom — Columbia Pictures
Trapped — Sony Pictures
Equilibrium — Miramax
Down — First Floor Features
Supernova — MGM/UA
Stigmata — MGM/UA
As Good As It Gets — TriStar Pictures
The Ghost And The Darkness — Paramount
Money Train — Columbia Pictures
Virtuosity — Paramount Pictures
Hideaway — TriStar Pictures
I Believe — Test for Tristar Television
Look Who’s Talking Now — Tristar Pictures
So I Married An Axe Murderer — Tristar
Last Action Hero — Columbia Pictures
Total Recall — TriStar Winner of the 1990 ACADEMY AWARD For Special Visual Effects
Tron — Walt Disney Pictures
1990 ACADEMY AWARD Total Recall – Special Achievement in Visual Effects
1988 CLIO Hawaiian Punch – US TV / Cinema – Animation, Computer
1987 CLIO Benson & Hedges Gold POWER – Int’l TV/Cinema, Best Graphics
1985 HUGO Sexy Robot – Chicago International Film Festival, Best Special Effects
1985 MOBIUS Sexy Robot – US TV & Radio Commercial, Best of Festival
1985 CLIO Sexy Robot – US TV / CINEMA, Best Animation-Computer
1983 CLIO 7-Up Pacman – International TV / Cinema, Best Beverages
1983 CLIO 7-Up Pacman – International TV / Cinema, Best Graphics
1981 CLIO NBC Sunday Night at the Movies – US TV/Cinema Finalist
Memberships in Associations
Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Member
Steering Committee of AMPAS Visual Effects Branch
Visual Effects Society Member
VES Board of Directors Member
Vice-chair, Co-chair of VES Awards Committee
Member of VES Strategic Planning Committee
Chair VES Committee for Outreach to Developing Regions
Doctorate of Humane Letters (Honorary) – San Francisco Academy of Art University
University of Illinois at Chicago – Bachelor of Arts
Double Major in Graphic Design and Photography with a Minor in Art History – Suma Cum Laude
Recent Speaking Engagements
2012 DICON – Keynote Address, Seoul, South Korea
2012 International Institute of Film Financing, LA, CA – Kicking It Up a Notch: Crowdfunding a $100 Million Animated Feature Film
2010 FICCI FRAMES Mumbai, India – Animation & VFX in the Box Office
2010 Animazing Spotlight Festival, LA, CA – The Magic of Robert Abel & Associates
2009 5D Conference on Immersive Design, Cal State University Long Beach – Fast & Fantastic – 3D Visual Effects
2008 FICCI US-India Investment Seminar & Business Expo, LA, CA – The Global Business of Animation & VFX
2007 VES Tour of India, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai – What India Needs Now
2006 VES 4th Annual Awards Dinner, Master of Ceremonies, Hollywood – How We Got Here
2005 VEC Launch, Chennai, India – The History of CG VFX in Film
2005 FRAMES 2005, Mumbai, India – The History of CG VFX in Film
2004 ICAAT Chennai, Trichur, Hydrabad, Bangalore, Chennai India – The History of CG VFX in Film
2002 ACADEMY of ART University, San Francisco, CA – The History of CG VFX in Film