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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Seizes VFX Oscar Momentum

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Seizes VFX Oscar Momentum

ILM came on strong Tuesday night at the 16th VES Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” winning top honors for Photoreal Feature and “The Revenant” right behind with the Supporting VFX prize for its acclaimed grizzly bear. ILM took home a total of 7 awards, while Pixar’s box office disappointment, “The Good Dinosaur,” beat Oscar frontrunner “Inside Out” — which won only for Joy’s performance — for the big animation VFX trophy. And “Game of Thrones” earned best TV VFX honors, taking home three prizes.

READ MORE: “How They Got Practical with VFX for the Oscar-Nominated ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens'” 

Therefore, the Oscar Force looks good for “Star Wars,” which faces strong competition from both “Mad Max: Fury Road” — which won for The Toxic Storm — and “The Revenant.” History reveals that the VES winner has gone on to win the VFX Oscar nine out of the previous 13 years. However, last year “Interstellar” beat VES winner “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and, likewise, in 2011 “Hugo” (best supporting VES winner) defeated VES winner “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

READ MORE: “How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Revenant'” 

Kate Mara presented Ridley Scott with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and former Digital Domain head Scott Ross presented the Visionary Award to concept designer Syd Mead. Scott ticked off all of the VFX challenges he’s faced, from “Alien” to “The Martian.” The director concluded that it’s an “artistic science” and that it “must be real.” For his part, Mead, who broke into movies with “Blade Runner,” told me afterward that Scott’s visual prowess held it all together as a believable world, and is encouraged by Scott admitting that the opening of “Blade Runner 2” will recycle a rejected idea for the original: a bucolic farm setting rather than the iconic dystopian reveal.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Roger Guyett
Luke O’Byrne
Patrick Tubach
Paul Kavanagh
Chris Corbould
 
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
“The Revenant”
Rich McBride
Ivy Agregan
Jason Smith
Nicolas Chevallier
Cameron Waldbauer
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
“The Good Dinosaur”
Sanjay Bakshi
Denise Ream
Michael Venturini
Jon Reisch
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
“Game of Thrones”; “The Dance of Dragons”
Joe Bauer
Steve Kullback
Eric Carney
Derek Spears
Stuart Brisdon
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
“Vikings”; “To the Gates”
Dominic Remane
Bill Halliday
Paul Wishart
Ovidiu Cinazan
Paul Byrne
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project 
“The Order: 1886”
Nathan Phail-Liff
Dana Jan
Anthony Vitale
Scot Andreason
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
SSE; Pier
Neil Davies
Tim Lyall
Hitesh Patel
Jorge Montiel
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
“Fast and Furious: Supercharged”
Chris Shaw
Alysia Cotter
Ben White
Diego Guerrero
Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature 
“The Revenant”; The Bear
Matt Shumway
Gaelle Morand
Karin Cooper
Leandro Estebecorena
 
Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature
“Inside Out”; Joy
Shawn Krause
Tanja Krampfert
Jacob Merrell
Alexis Angelidis
Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
SSE; Pier; Orangutan
Jorge Montiel
Sauce Vilas
Philippe Moine
Sam Driscoll
 
Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature 
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”; Falcon Chase / Graveyard
Yanick Dusseault
Mike Wood
Justin van der Lek
Quentin Marmier
 
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
“The Good Dinosaur”; The Farm
David Munier
Matthew Webb
Matt Kuruc
Tom Miller
 
Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
“Game of Thrones”; City of Volantis
Dominic Piche
Christine Leclerc
Patrice Poissant
Thomas Montminy-Brodeur
 
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”; Falcon Chase / Graveyard
Paul Kavanagh
Colin Benoit
Susumu Yukuhiro
Greg Salter
Outstanding Models in a Photoreal or Animated Project
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”; BB-8
Joshua Lee
Matthew Denton
Landis Fields
Cyrus Jam
 
Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature
“Mad Max: Fury Road”; Toxic Storm
Dan Bethell
Clinton Downs
Chris Young
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
“The Good Dinosaur”
Stephen Marshall
Magnus Wrenninge
Michael Hall
Hemagiri Arumugam
 
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
“Game of Thrones”; “Hardhome”
David Ramos
Antonio Lado
Piotr Weiss
Félix Bergés
 
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature
“The Revenant”; Bear Attack
Donny Rausch
Alan Travis
Charles Lai
TC Harrison
 
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode 
“Game of Thrones”; “Hardhome”
Eduardo Díaz
Guillermo Orbe
Oscar Perea
Inmaculada Nadela
 
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial 
SSE; Pier
Gary Driver
Greg Spencer
Grant Connor
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project 
“Citipati”
Andreas Feix
Francesco Faranna

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