Eric Saindon left Maine more than 20 years ago to pursue a career in creating special effects for movies.

He’ll find out Sunday if his path has led to an Oscar.

Eric Saindon, originally from Gorham, was nominated for a visual effects Oscar for his work on “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Photo courtesy of Weta FX

Saindon, 53, is nominated for an Oscar in the visual effects category this year for his work on “Avatar: The Way of Water.” As senior effects supervisor, he’s one of four named nominees who worked on the film.

Other films nominated in the category include “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Batman,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The nomination is the third for Saindon, who grew up in Gorham and was also nominated for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in 2014 and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 2013. He did not win either time.

After graduating from Gorham High School in 1988, 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 the animation company Santa Barbara Studios in California. In 1999, he went to work at Weta Digital in New Zealand– now Weta FX – and worked his way up to senior visual effects supervisor. He’s been at Weta ever since and lives in Wellington, New Zealand, with his wife and four children. In a January interview with the Press Herald, he said he plans to bring his wife, Beth Arko, to the ceremony with him Sunday in Los Angeles.

Saindon says he takes pride helping create characters and visual effects with computers that seem real. He has been to films where the computer generated characters and visual effects seem fake, and the audience laughs or cringes.

“If you watch the movie and don’t think about the visual effects, then we’ve done a good job,” Saindon said.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.