Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Visual Effects Society nominations

Gravity predictably dominated today's nominations by the VES, picking up a field-leading eight nods. Pacific Rim came in second with six, while The Hobbit and Iron Man are third with five. It ultimately doesn't matter, as we know who's taking Oscar in a spacewalk, but I do hope the VES sees fit to throw the odd bone to a few of those also-rans. They looked mighty good too.

Nominees and my commentaries after the cut.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity"
"Iron Man 3"
"Pacific Rim"
"Star Trek: Into Darkness"
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

This mirrors the BAFTA lineup 5/5, but I'm just not feeling Star Trek for an Oscar nod for some reason. I understand that Oblivion and World War Z went over well at the bake-off screenings.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
"Rush"
"The Great Gatsby"
"The Lone Ranger"
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
"White House Down"

I thought Lone Ranger was supposed to be pretty effects-heavy? But maybe this society is less enamoured with practical wizardry.

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2"
"The Croods"
"Despicable Me 2"
"Frozen"
"Monsters University"

Be pretty hard to top Frozen here, I'd say.

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" – Ryan
"Oz the Great and Powerful" – China Girl
"Pacific Rim" – Kaiju – Leatherback
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" – Smaug

Here's where I hope they spread the wealth a little bit. Pacific Rim soooo deserves an award for Hal T. Hickel's excellent animation.

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Epic" – Bomba
"Epic" – Mary Katherine
"Frozen" – Bringing the Snow Queen to Life
"The Croods" – Eep

Again, Frozen's character animation is among its finest assets.

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Elysium" – Torus
"Gravity" – Interior
"Gravity" – Exterior
"Iron Man 3" – Shipyard
"Pacific Rim" – Virtual Hong Kong

All of them outstanding, but I think the exteriors of Gravity take the cake here.

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Epic" – Pod Patch
"Frozen" – Elsa’s Ice Palace
"Monsters University" – Campus
"The Croods" – The Maze

How can they not give it to Frozen? That fortress of solitude; G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S.

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity"
"Iron Man 3"
"Man of Steel"
"Pacific Rim" – Hong Kong Ocean Brawl
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Clearly, Gravity. I hope Lubezki's name is somewhere on this ballot.

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" – ISS Exterior
"Pacific Rim"
"Star Trek: Into Darkness"
"The Lone Ranger" – Colby Locomotive

Perhaps The Lone Ranger, more steeped in traditional effects than the other three, ought to be given closer consideration for this particular honour.

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" – Parachute and ISS Destruction
"Man of Steel"
"Pacific Rim" – Fluid Simulation & Destruction
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Methinks Man of Steel, with its coolly animated Kryptonian fluid-metal tech, deserves this prize.

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2"
"The Croods"
"Epic" – Boggan Crowds
"Frozen" – Elsa’s Blizzard

How hypocritical of me to beseech the VES to spread the wealth in the live-action categories, only to opt for Frozen in every single animated category! But what can I say? The film deserves it.

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
"Elysium"
"Gravity"
"Iron Man 3" – Barrel of Monkeys
"Iron Man 3" – House Attack
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Hard to argue against Gravity here, but those two Iron Man sequences were among the best in the film, and also deserves some love.

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