February 14, 2018

'War for the Planet of the Apes' and 'Game of Thrones' Win Big at 16th Annual VES Awards

The annual celebration of the best in VFX awarded computer-crafted apes, soldiers, guardians, and ghosts.

As we're still very much in the thick of awards season, honoring every aspect of the most accomplished motion pictures of 2017, one ceremony that shouldn't slip by unheralded is the Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards, honoring the very best in photo real and animated features, real-time projects, commercials, video games, and live events.

Now in its 16th year, the ceremony took place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, and was hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille). In addition to a bevy of competitive categories, director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and VFX legend Joe Letteri (Avatar) received honorary prizes. While the evening celebrated a few familiar titles that are expected to reap Oscar gold next month, unlike the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, last night's celebration put the VFX artists front and center; they were the lead celebrities of their own show. To also show our appreciation, we've put together a few BTS clips below of the award-winning teams who helped craft this year's illuminating movie magic.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature - War for the Planet of the Apes

Winner of four VES awards including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature, Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature (for Andy Serkis' performance as Caesar ), Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature, and Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature, Matt Reeves' mega-budgeted conclusion to the critically-beloved, rebooted trilogy took home the year's most feature film prizes. The movie's innovative (and highly complicated) VFX have been praised by summer moviegoers the world over, and it's also been nominated for the SAG Award for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture and, at the upcoming Academy Awards, Best Achievement in Visual Effects. 

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature -Dunkirk

Released in theaters just one week after War for the Planet of the Apes, Christopher Nolan's epic period piece, Dunkirk, had audiences flocking to their nearest IMAX-sporting multiplex to witness the jaw-dropping VFX and expansive cinematography on display via the largest screen available. Things always get big (really big) when surveying the visual design of Nolan's meticulously composed summer blockbusters, and his love for the exponentially large image surely aided his team in netting the Supporting Visual Effects trophy here.

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature - Coco

No surprise here: Pixar's incredibly colorful Coco, directed by Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson, is one of the best-reviewed films of 2017 and looks to be the frontrunner at the Academy Awards on March 4th. Shoutout to its top-tapping nominated song, Remember Me, too!

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Specifically cited for its "Groot Dance/Opening Fight" sequence, the James Gunn-directed sequel was called to the stage yesterday evening, and if the above BTS, on-set footage is any indication, the shoot was a lot of fun (Gunn's vocal appreciation of Kurt Russell upon wrap is very heartfelt and fan-gushing). 

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode - Game of Thrones (Episode: Beyond the Wall )

While the seventh season of HBO's groundbreaking series received five VES awards last night, we wanted to quickly draw attention to the above video showcasing the green-screen-surrounded work of one particular Game of Thrones episode, Beyond the Wall. When you have to include both fire and ice (and dragons) into a carefully constructed action sequence, it's no surprise that the VFX team was asked to work triple-duty to get it right. They were clearly up for the challenge.

16th Annual VES Awards Winners

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature 
War for the Planet of the Apes
Joe Letteri
Ryan Stafford
Daniel Barrett
Dan Lemmon
Joel Whist
 
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
Dunkirk
Andrew Jackson
Mike Chambers
Andrew Lockley
Alison Wortman
Scott Fisher

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
Coco
Lee Unkrich
Darla K. Anderson
David Ryu
Michael K. O'Brien
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall
Joe Bauer
Steve Kullback
Chris Baird
David Ramos
Sam Conway
           
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
Black Sails; XXIX
Erik Henry
Terron Pratt
Yafei Wu
David Wahlberg
Paul Dimmer
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project
Assassin's Creed Origins
Raphael Lacoste
Patrick Limoges
Jean-Sebastien Guay
Ulrich Haar
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich
Diarmid Harrison-Murray
Tomek Zietkiewicz
Amir Bazazi
Martino Madeddu
 
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Avatar: Flight of Passage
Richard Baneham
Amy Jupiter
David Lester   
Thrain Shadbolt

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature
War for the Planet of the Apes; Caesar
Dennis Yoo
Ludovic Chailloleau
Douglas McHale
Tim Forbes

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature
Coco; Hèctor 
Emron Grover
Jonathan Hoffman
Michael Honsel
Guilherme Sauerbronn Jacinto

Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project
Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Drogon;Loot Train Attack

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial
Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich
David Bryan
Maximilian Mallmann
Tim Van Hussen
Brendan Fagan

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature
Blade Runner 2049; Los Angeles
Chris McLaughlin
Rhys Salcombe
Seungjin Woo
Francesco Dell'Anna

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
Coco; City of the Dead
Michael Frederickson
Jamie Hecker
Jonathan Pytko
Dave Strick
 
Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake
Daniel Villalba
Antonio Lado
José Luis Barreiro
Isaac de la Pompa
 
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Groot Dance/Opening Fight
James Baker
Steven Lo
Alvise Avati
Robert Stipp

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project
Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Headquarters
Alex Funke
Steven Saunders
Joaquin Loyzaga
Chris Menges
 
Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature
War for the Planet of the Apes
David Caeiro Cebrián
Johnathan Nixon
Chet Leavai
Gary Boyle
 
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
Coco
Kristopher Campbell
Stephen Gustafson
Dave Hale
Keith Klohn
 
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
Game of Thrones; The Dragon and the Wolf; Wall Destruction
Thomas Hullin
Dominik Kirouac
Sylvain Nouveau
Nathan Arbuckle
 
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature
War for the Planet of the Apes
Christoph Salzmann
Robin Hollander
Ben Warner
Beck Veitch
 
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode
Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Loot Train Attack
Dom Hellier
Thijs Noij
Edwin Holdsworth
Giacomo Matteucci
 
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial
Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich
Michael Gregory
Andrew Roberts
Gustavo Bellon
Rashabh Ramesh Butani     

For a complete list of this year's VES Award winners (and to learn more about the organization), please click here

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