Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016
"Star Wars" Proves To Be The Prevailing Force At VES Awards
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (photo courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm)
Also scoring impressively are "The Revenant, "The Good Dinosaur," "Game of Thrones," SSE’s “Pier” spot
  • BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.
  • --

Star Wars: The Force Awakens topped the feature competition at the Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards ceremony on Tuesday night (2/2) with four wins, including earning the marquee honor for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature. Right behind Star Wars on the feature film side were The Revenant and The Good Dinosaur with three VES Awards apiece.

The Revenant wins were for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature and two directly for the bear mauling sequence--Best Compositing in a Photoreal Feature and the top Animated Performance (for the bear character) in a Photoreal Feature. Headlining the three awards for The Good Dinosaur was the honor for Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature.

Star Wars and The Revenant are both up for the Visual Effects Oscar so the VES showing bodes well for those pictures. Also in the running for the VFX Academy Award are Mad Max: Fury Road, which picked up one VES Award (Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature), Ex Machina and The Martian. Ex Machina had no VES nominations while The Martian had one.

Though The Martian did not win in the category for which it was nominated (VFX in a Photoreal Feature), its director, Ridley Scott, received the VES Lifetime Achievement Award. In his acceptance remarks, Scott talked about the VFX artists he collaborated with over the years and the problem solving they did on such features as Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Prometheus and The Martian. Scott cited the “passion” and “genius” of the VFX community and affirmed to the audience, “I love the process working with you all.”

It’s a process that continues as Scott said he’s scheduled in a couple of months to head for Sydney to embark on the feature Alien: Covenant.

Scott also acknowledged the contributions of visual futurist and conceptual artist Syd Mead who made his feature debut on Blade Runner. Scott said that Mead helped to fill the gap between “the film inside my head” and the reality of a limited “budget in another space” to ultimately help bring Blade Runner to fruition.

Earlier in the evening, Mead received the VES Visionary Award in recognition of his ability to create unforgettable images and advance storytelling through his futuristic design aesthetic. Right after graduating Art Center, Mead was recruited by Ford Motor Company’s Advanced Styling Studio. After Ford, he took on high-profile design assignments for the likes of U.S. Steel, Philip Electronics and Intercontinental Hotels. He recalled his very first feature film being Blade Runner. “How lucky can you get?...The opportunity to work with a consummate director, Ridley Scott,” said Mead.

The VES Awards ceremony also featured a salute to Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

Television
On the TV side of the competition, Game of Thrones tallied four wins, topping the categories Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode (for the “The Dance of Dragons” episode ), Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project (for the City of Volantis environ), and Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode and Outstanding Effects Simulations (both for the “Hardhome” episode).

Scoring three VES Awards was the spot “Pier” for energy supplier SSE, directed by Frederic Planchon via Academy Films with VFX by The Mill for agency adam&eve DDB London. “Pier” won the VES Award for Outstanding VFX in a Commercial, Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial, and Outstanding Animated Performance (by the Orangutan character) in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project. The latter category saw the SSE ad top stiff competition which included Game of Thrones.

An industry gathering in excess of 1,000 turned out at the Beverly Hilton for the 14th annual VES Awards ceremony which was emceed by comedian/actor Patton Oswalt. Here’s a full rundown of VES winners spanning 23 categories:

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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