Gorham native Eric Saindon lost out on an Oscar for the second year Sunday night, but could very well get a third crack at the award as he continues to create visual effects for blockbuster films.

Saindon, 43, was nominated this year in the Visual Effects category for his work on “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The winner in that category was “Gravity.”

The other nominees were “Iron Man 3,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Saindon was the visual effects supervisor on the “Hobbit” film. His name appeared on the Oscar nomination along with three others. He was planning to attend the Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night with his wife, sister and mother.

In 2013, Saindon was nominated for his work on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” He didn’t win then, either, as the Oscar went to the visual effects team for the adventure-survival film “Life of Pi.”

Saindon is now working on the next “Hobbit” film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” which could garner him another nomination.


Saindon has worked in visual effects for “The Hobbit” director Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital in New Zealand for more than a decade. His resume includes work on such blockbusters as the three “Lord of the Rings” films, “King Kong,” “Night at the Museum” and “Avatar.” He lives in a neighborhood of Wellington, New Zealand, with his wife, Beth, and their four children.

After graduating from Gorham High School, Saindon took community college classes, and later studied architecture at Washington State University. He got a job out of college at a company that made animation software. After that, he worked at Santa Barbara Studios in California before moving on to Weta Digital.

Also Sunday night, a Maine couple came very close to having an Oscar-winning musician in the family.

Will Butler of the rock band Arcade Fire was nominated in the category of Original Score for the music in the film “Her.” But the winner in that category was the score for “Gravity.” Butler was nominated for creating the score for “Her” along with Owen Pallett.





Butler’s parents, Ned and Liza Rey Butler, have lived on Mount Desert Island for about 10 years. His brother Win Butler is lead singer for the band. Arcade Fire’s debut EP was recorded in 2002 at the family farm in Maine.

Butler’s mother has said members of Arcade Fire worked on the score, but she was told that Oscar rules require that only one member be named.

Will Butler did most of the “editing and the heavy lifting” to create the score, his mother said, at a time when the band was under pressure to finish its latest album, “Reflektor.”

Other nominated scores included “The Book Thief,” “Philomena,” and “Saving Mr. Banks.”

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


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