Eric Saindon, far left, Richard Baneham, Daniel Barrett and Joe Letteri accept the award for best visual effects for "Avatar: The Way of Water" at the Oscars on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Credit: Chris Pizzello / AP

Eric Saindon, formerly of Gorham, took home his first Oscar on Sunday night, winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on James Cameron’s blockbuster hit “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

Saindon, 53, who graduated from Gorham High School in 1988, has worked in visual effects for more than 20 years. Today, he is a visual effects supervisor for Weta Workshops, the New Zealand-based studio that has created effects for some of the most popular movies of the last 25 years, including the first “Avatar” film, “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Dune” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Saindon got his start working in animation in California, and in 1999, went to work for Weta, which was in the process of creating the visual effects for Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. He has been effects supervisor on films such as “Night at the Museum,” “X-Men: The Last Stand” and all three “Hobbit” films.

Today, Saindon lives in New Zealand with his wife and four children. Saindon was previously nominated for an Oscar for his visual effects work on “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in 2014 and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 2013, neither of which he won.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.