FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Among the celebrities caught up in the Oscar madness is a Bullard High School and Fresno State graduate who is now seeing success in the bright lights of Hollywood.
With a career including about 20 films, the Valley native is basking the glory of just being nominated for an Academy Award.
Many of the special effects seen in X-Men, Transformers, and Iron Man got special treatment by Valley native Lou Pecora.
"I never realized this is something people get paid to do because it's so much fun," said Lou Pecora, "How could somebody get paid to do something so awesome and so much fun?"
Pecora was actually a journalism major whose first job brought him to a marketing agency in Fresno. It was there he considered the career change.
"It was this weird epiphany I had one day. I was at work really early and I said 'wait a minute I could be at work really early making a Terminator movie instead of a dental logo or a fruit packing box,'" said Pecora.
He ended up making that dream come true. Since he began his career in 1996, he's been involved in several projects you may have seen on the big screen, including iRobot and Iron Man 3. But its for his involvement with "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" he received the ultimate recognition -- an Oscar nomination.
Pecora served as visual effects supervisor for this project and says he enjoys seeing the final project on the big screen when it's complete.
"I see a shot and remember how it started. I remember the snags along. I remember the individual people -- the challenges they overcame and how they grew in the process in bringing that shot to the screen. That's the best part for me," said Pecora.
As a visual effects artist, Pecora creates special effects and animation -- taking video that's shot on a green screen.. Then digitally duplicating it, into a scene. He occasionally gets to go on set, but most of the work is done in front of the computer.
"That's the best part for me. It's great to relive everyone's journey as I watch the movie play."
On Sunday, Pecora is looking forward to spending time with his wife at the awards ceremony. But no matter the outcome, he's already claiming victory for the honor of the nomination.
Valley native Lou Pecora nominated for a visual effects Oscar
Bullard High School and Fresno State graduate Lou Pecora has been nominated for an Oscar for his work in X-Men: Days Of Future Past.