February 19, 2019—We are heartbroken to share the news that Toni Myers passed away on Monday, February 18. A true pioneer and a visionary filmmaker, Toni had been involved in the giant screen cinema industry since its very beginning as editor, writer, producer, and director. Her astonishing, multiple award-winning filmography shows remarkable breadth and includes A Beautiful Planet (2016), Hubble 3D (2010), Under the Sea (2009), Deep Sea (2006), Space Station 3D (2002), Mission to Mir (1996), L5: First City in Space (1996), Destiny in Space (1994), Journey to the Planets (1993), Rolling Stones: At the Max (1991), Blue Planet (1990), The Dream Is Alive (1985), Hail Columbia! (1982), Nomads of the Deep (1979), Ocean (1977), and North of Superior (1971), one of the very first films made in the IMAX format.
Prior to her IMAX films, she
edited television drama and music films, working with some greats of the
1960s—including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Santana—and her music background
strongly influenced her filmmaking, especially her groundbreaking editing style.
Toni’s films were not only artistically
and educationally significant but also commercially successful at theaters in
museums and science centers around the world, taking millions of people from deep
under the sea to the farthest reaches of space. Her films have inspired countless
audiences of all ages, and will continue to inspire generations to come, to
care more about our planet and beyond. Through her films, Toni was able to show
the world for the first time what it’s really like to be in space. Astronauts
Tom Jones, Susan Helms, and Terry Virts all credit her and the early IMAX space
films for inspiring them to pursue space exploration and become astronauts, and
director Christopher Nolan has said he researched her space films in
preparation for filming Interstellar.
Toni was one of the most beloved, respected, and highly regarded people in the industry. Warm, gracious, and exceptionally humble, she always selflessly insisted on deflecting any personal praise and shared credit with her teams of collaborators.
Toni recently had been awarded the Order of Canada, one of Canada's highest honors, and the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Award, given for contributions to further the mission of the U.S. space program. In September 2018, Toni received GSCA’s Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions of lasting impact which best advance the giant screen industry, enhance the immersive cinema experience, promote lifelong learning, and inspire audiences as well as the industry.
She leaves behind her cherished family: son Jackson Myers (Kate Hall) and her granddaughter Lola Myers; step-daughter Micki Myers (Matthew Schmidt) and her children Lucia and Javier Judy; and many other loving family members, colleagues, and friends. A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date.
As Toni shared when accepting the GSCA Outstanding Achievement Award, she was proud to have dragged 1500 meters of telephone wire across the Kazakhstan desert to start the camera on the Russian launch pad; to have swum with magnificent 16-foot manta rays; to have dropped a 25-pound roll of release print on her foot at 3:00 am; in the then Soviet Union, to have taken three astronauts, who had been to the moon, shopping for their wives because they were afraid to leave the hotel alone; to have screened the rough cut of Rolling Stones: At the Max in Manhattan with Keith Richards and a bottle of Jack Daniels; and to have made so many treasured friends along the way. We are all so proud to have been able to call Toni an inspiring colleague, treasured friend, and real-life hero. She was extraordinary and will be profoundly missed.
The STS-125 astronauts with Toni and Director of Photography James Neihouse, ASC, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences event “Astronauts As Filmmakers”
In 2012 GSCA presented a Special Recognition Award to the team behind the IMAX film The Dream Is Alive, members of which participated in a panel discussion before the award was presented to share stories from the production. Pictured here are David Keighley Post Production Consulting and Print Quality Control; Director of Photography James Neihouse; the Director of Communications for Lockheed Missiles and Space, George Mulhern; Producer/Director Graeme Ferguson; Producer/Director, Writer, and Editor Toni Myers; then GSCA Chair Jeffrey Kirsch; and Director and Sound Designer Ben Burtt.
In 2018, Toni's longtime friend and collaborator James Neihouse presented her with the GSCA Outstanding Achievement Award
In 2012, Toni and her longtime friend, collaborator, and mentor Graeme Ferguson accepted the IMAX Hall of Fame Award for North of Superior, and Graeme received the GSCA Outstanding Achievement Award
In 2016, A Beautiful Planet won the GSCA Best Film for Lifelong Learning Award
In 2002, Toni accepted the GSTA Best Film Award for Space Station
Toni with Hubble narrator Leonardo DiCaprio
Toni with A Beautiful Planet narrator Jennifer Lawrence
Toni with Space Station narrator Tom Cruise
Toni with Deep Sea narrator Johnny Depp