Established his reputation winning four Oscars for the visual effects in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi, with a nomination for Poltergeist. He has received six additional Oscar nominations, three Academy Scientific and Engineering Awards, an Emmy, and two BAFTA Awards. In 1983, Edlund founded a visual effects company called Boss Film Studios, whose maiden project was the film Ghostbusters. Until its close in 1997, Boss Film Studios produced visual effects for thirty-plus movies; notable among them 2010, Die Hard, Ghost, Poltergeist 2, Cliffhanger, Batman Returns, Alien3, Species, Multiplicity and Air Force One.
The company achieved ten Academy Award nominations over a fourteen-year period. Following Boss, Edlund continued to build his credit list as a freelance supervisor, reuniting with Harold Ramis for the comedy Bedazzled as both Visual Effects Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director. He supervised the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries Angels in America for Mike Nichols, supervised sequences in The Stepford Wives for director Frank Oz, and joined again with Mike Nichols on Charlie Wilson’s War in 2007. Richard Edlund has served as a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for twelve years, chairman of their Visual Effects Branch since its inception, and for eight years as chairman of the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.
In 2007, The Board of Governors of the AMPAS honored him with the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation for his outstanding service and dedication to the Academy. Currently, Edlund is also actively serving on the boards of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the Visual Effects Society (VES). In January of 2008, the ASC presented Richard with the Presidents Award in recognition of the contributions he has made to the art and craft of filmmaking.