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Oswalt Sets Pace At 2016 VES Awards

Sir Ridley Scott received the VES 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Pictured with actress Kate Mara.

By: Marjorie Galas

The visual effects work honored at the 14th Annual VES Awards reflected a journey of “going back home” as summed up by VES Executive Director Eric Roth.

“From the rise of the Millennium Falcon in ‘Star Wars’ to the return of the World Trade Center in ‘The Walk’, from the return to childhood in ‘Inside Out’ to Paul Walker’s performance being completed in ‘Furious 7’ we saw diversity represented, a look at the world around us and visual effects led us back home.”

After Roth left the stage, host Patton Oswalt repeatedly returned to the executive director’s unintentional (and completely unaware) flub of calling the evening’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Sir Ridley Scott “Sir Ridley Thomas.”  Addressing the famed director everything from “Sir Eli Roth” to “Sir Scotley Rott” – humor Scott took in good stride.  Oswalt’s first hosting gig resulted in “Gravity’s” sweep of awards, a feat that so mystified the comic he continues to weave it into his opening monologue.

“Just relax folks, we still have fifty or so more awards for ‘Gravity’ to give out,” joked Patton.

The comic couldn’t resist adding a few zingers capitalizing on the prior evening’s republican debate, noting if Ted Cruz were to win the VES staff could find him next year residing on Mars and eating potatoes like Matt Damon in “The Martian.”  Never drifting too far off topic and keeping the pace tight, Oswalt did highlight the mastery of the field, weaving in mentions of “The Revenant,” “Game of Thrones,” “Ant Man” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” through his monologue with jokes such as:

“And what about ‘Mad Max?’ A 70 year old Australian dude handed every young action directory their asses?”

Winners throughout the evening gave credit to the talented crews and collaborators they worked with, and the evening’s Visionary Award recipient, Syd Mead, was no exception.  The visual futurist and conceptual artist whose first feature was “Blade Runner” rounded out his acceptance speech by saying:

“When you go through life it’s nice to have someone to work with.  I admire the expertise in this room – it is the best in the world.”

Upon receiving his award, Scott reflected on the creative approaches the visual effects artists have mastered – primarily through practical means – to overcome budgetary and artistic challenges, from “Alien” to “The Martian.”  He recalled shooting a forest scene where mirrors were utilize to extend the scope of the location.  The effect worked perfectly until pigeons began flying into the mirrors.

“We were creating a mirage and these pigeons would fly into the mirrors and crash to the ground,” recalled Scott.  “Fortunately there were no casualties.”

The winners of the 14th Annual VES Awards are:

 

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

To learn more about the Visual Effects Society please visit: https://www.visualeffectssociety.com/