2018 Visual Effects Society Awards

Say what you will about 2017, but last year’s crop of movies was pretty damn good overall, and that high bar of quality is reflected in the nominees for the 16th annual VES Awards. Nearly 3,400 artists, producers, technologists, and entertainment industry workers narrowed down the movies that best represented outstanding achievements in visual effects, and Blade Runner 2049 and War for the Planet of the Apes ended up tying for the highest number of feature film nominations. Meanwhile, HBO’s Game of Thrones leads the pack in terms of television programs, and the fantasy series earned the most overall nominations. See the major nominees for the 2018 Visual Effects Society Awards below.

Instead of judging a movie based on a combination of its script, performances, directing, cinematography, etc., the Visual Effects Society dials into the aspect they care about the most – which may at least partially account for the reason Despicable Me 3 has five total nominations. Yikes.

The organization’s full list is incredibly long and super specific (we’re talking categories like “Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature”), so I’ll paste a majority of the nominees below and those of you who are interested in the whole list can read it here.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049
John Nelson
Karen Murphy Mundell
Paul Lambert
Richard Hoover
Gerd Nefzer

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Christopher Townsend
Damien Carr
Guy Williams
Jonathan Fawkner
Dan Sudick

Kong: Skull Island
Jeff White
Tom Peitzman
Stephen Rosenbaum
Scott Benza
Michael Meinardus

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Ben Morris
Tim Keene
Eddie Pasquarello
Daniel Seddon
Chris Corbould

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

Darkest Hour
Stephane Naze
Warwick Hewett
Guillaume Terrien
Benjamin Magana

Downsizing
James E. Price
Susan MacLeod
Lindy De Quattro
Stéphane Nazé

Dunkirk
Andrew Jackson
Mike Chambers
Andrew Lockley
Alison Wortman
Scott Fisher

Mother!
Dan Schrecker
Colleen Bachman
Ben Snow
Wayne Billheimer
Peter Chesney

Only the Brave
Eric Barba
Dione Wood
Matthew Lane
Georg Kaltenbrunner
Michael Meinardus

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Captain Underpants
David Soren
Mark Swift
Mirielle Soria
David Dulac

Cars 3
Brian Fee
Kevin Reher
Michael Fong
Jon Reisch

Coco
Lee Unkrich
Darla K. Anderson
David Ryu
Michael K. O’Brien

Despicable Me 3
Pierre Coffin
Chris Meledandri
Kyle Balda
Eric Guillon

The LEGO Batman Movie
Rob Coleman
Amber Naismith
Grant Freckelton
Damien Gray

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Gregory Jowle
Fiona Chilton
Miles Green
Kim Taylor

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Orientation Part 1
Mark Kolpack
Sabrina Arnold
David Rey
Kevin Yuille
Gary D’Amico

Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall
Joe Bauer
Steve Kullback
Chris Baird
David Ramos
Sam Conway

Legion; Chapter 1
John Ross
Eddie Bonin
Sebastien Bergeron
Lionel Lim
Paul Benjamin

Star Trek: Discovery; The Vulcan Hello
Jason Michael Zimmerman
Aleksandra Kochoska
Ante Dekovic
Mahmoud Rahnama

Stranger Things 2; The Gate
Paul Graff
Christina Graff
Seth Hill
Joel Sevilla
Caius the Man

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049; Rachael
Axel Akkeson
Stefano Carta
Wesley Chandler
Ian Cooke-Grimes

Kong: Skull Island; Kong
Jakub Pistecky
Chris Havreberg
Karin Cooper
Kris Costa

War for the Planet of the Apes; Bad Ape
Eteuati Tema
Aidan Martin
Florian Fernandez
Mathias Larserud

War for the Planet of the Apes; Caesar
Dennis Yoo
Ludovic Chailloleau
Douglas McHale
Tim Forbes

Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

Black Mirror: Metalhead
Steven Godfrey
Stafford Lawrence
Andrew Robertson
Lestyn Roberts

Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Zombie Polar Bear
Paul Story
Todd Labonte
Matthew Muntean
Nicholas Wilson

Game of Thrones; Eastwatch; Drogon Meets Jon
Jonathan Symmonds
Thomas Kutschera
Philipp Winterstein
Andreas Krieg

Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Drogon Loot Train Attack
Murray Stevenson
Jason Snyman
Jenn Taylor
Florian Friedmann

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049; Los Angeles
Chris McLaughlin
Rhys Salcombe
Seungjin Woo
Francesco Dell’Anna

Blade Runner 2049; Trash Mesa
Didier Muanza
Thomas Gillet
Guillaume Mainville
Sylvain Lorgeau

Blade Runner 2049; Vegas
Eric Noel
Arnaud Saibron
Adam Goldstein
Pascal Clement

War for the Planet of the Apes; Hidden Fortress
Greg Notzelman
James Shaw
Jay Renner
Gak Gyu Choi

War for the Planet of the Apes; Prison Camp
Phillip Leonhardt
Paul Harris
Jeremy Fort
Thomas Lo

As much as I loved War for the Planet of the Apes (it’s on my top 10 list!), I have to admit I’m pulling for Blade Runner 2049 to take home the big award here. What a gorgeous piece of work. The voting period lasts from January 25 until February 6, 2018, and the organization’s awards gala will be held on February 13, 2018.

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