This past week, my brother, Joel Friesch, took home two big awards – putting him among the top in his industry.
First, he won his category in the International Animated Film Society 40th Annual Annie Awards. (No, it’s not a society for people who gesticulate a lot.)
His cateogor was Best Animated Special, and he beat the following nominees with his work on the Despicable Me theme park experience:
- Illumination’s Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
- Warner Bros.’ Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
- Disney’s Tron: Uprising—Beck’s Beginning
- DreamWorks’ Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury
- Warner Bros.’ Justice League: Doom
- Starburns Industries, Inc.’ Beforel Orel: Trust
Following that, he was in Los Angeles for the Visual Effects Society Awards, which are essentially the Oscars for people in the visual/special effects industry. Joel took home his first VES Award with his work on Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Joel and I sat in our basement for years – me playing Strat-O-Matic baseball or reading Spider-man comics while he was in the corner working on his craft. Few people know what they want to be when they’re 11, but Joel is one of them.
I’m really proud of him and happy to share the same last name.
P.S. – He’s wearing Calvin Klein.
– My name is Jon Friesch, and it’s a pretty exciting day…
Joel is phenomenal man and human being. Had the great pleasure of working alongside him 20 + years ago with the Caribbean Rock Iguana project in Anegada and commission him for artwork through taxidermy specimens. Joel once worked with a Natural History Museum(yes, he was probably more like the Ben Stiller character in A Night at the Museum).People probably do not know Joel is great in every aspect of art not just animation. I was blessed to have met him and understand his compassion for living nature and conservation.