Oscars 2015: Visual Effects Society Nominations

VES announced their nominees today too. Which is both good and bad. Good, because another guild announced before nominations and that can help, and bad because they have a fuck ton of categories.

23 categories. That’s a lot to wade through. And since we’re only really dealing with the film ones, I’m skipping all the TV and extraneous categories entirely this year. Oscar nominations are tomorrow, I want to focus on that.

Here are your VES nominees:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Furious 7
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
San Andreas
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Three of these are shortlisted. So they look like pretty solid bets.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Bridge of Spies
Everest
In the Heart of the Sea
The Revenant
The Walk

Two of these are shortlisted as well. So that could theoretically be your category.

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Ant-Man — The Microverse
Jurassic World — Jungle Chase
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Falcon Chase/Graveyard
Tomorrowland — Tomorrowland Center
The Walk — World Trade Center

All shortlisted.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hulk vs. Hulkbuster
Mad Max: Fury Road — Toxic Storm
San Andreas — Hoover Dam/San Francisco Tsunami
San Andreas — Los Angeles Destruction
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Starkiller Base

Three shortlisted.

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

Ant-Man — Macro Action
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — Underwater Torus Chamber
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Falcon Chase/Graveyard
The Walk — Towers Walk

Three shortlisted.

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant — Bear Attack
San Andreas — Los Angeles Destruction
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Tomorrowland

Four shortlisted.

Outstanding Models in a Photoreal or Animated Project

Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hulkbuster
Everest — Mt. Everest
Jurassic World — Indominus Rex
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — BB-8

Three shortlisted.

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature

Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hulk
Chappie — Chappie
The Revenant — The Bear
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Maz

Three shortlisted.

And now for the Animated categories… which don’t matter as much for what’ll be nominated, so they will be presented without comment.

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Hotel Transylvania 2
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature

The Good Dinosaur — Spot
Inside Out — Joy
The Peanuts Movie — Charlie Brown
The Peanuts Movie — Snoopy

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

The Good Dinosaur — The Farm
Inside Out — Imagination Land
The Peanuts Movie — Charlie Brown’s Neighborhood
Shaun the Sheep Movie — Under the Arches

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

The Good Dinosaur
Home
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie

– – – – – – – – – – – –

So FYI, that was only 12 of the 23 categories.

They also changed the names of some of them. Photoreal Feature. Not “Effects-Driven” feature. Okay, sure.

I think we all assume Star Wars and Mad Max are gonna be nominated. So that makes 40% of the guessing easy.

Then you have both The Martian and The Revenant, the Best Picture contenders, hovering around as well.

No Ex Machina nomination is kind of surprising. That gives me pause for that automatically making it on. Usually nominees get at least one VES nomination somewhere. So I’m worried about that film’s chances of making it. I mean, they nominated Bridge of Spies over it!

Star Wars was nominated seven times by VES. That’s clearly on.

Mad Max was 3 times.

Revenant got 3, all related to the bear. 50/50 on whether or not they nominate it based solely on the bear scene, which is pretty much the extent of the visual effects in that movie (CGI being the definition of visual effects nowadays).

The Walk was nominated 3 times, as was The Avengers. All the Avengers nominations are centered around The Hulk, as they typically are. The Walk nominations are centered around the towers, of course.

The Martian only got the one big nomination, while Ant-Man, Jurassic World and Tomorrowland each got 2.

My gut for some reason keeps telling me neither The Martian nor The Revenant will be nominated, which just hearing myself say that sounds insane.

I’m tossing out Tomorrowland. We’d all be shocked to see that get on. And at this point, I feel like it’s either both Ant-Man or Avengers or just Ant-Man. I feel like they like the microverse and small action of Ant-Man and are kinda over the whole Avengers thing. Maybe I’m wrong.

Jurassic World looked like a lock two months ago, with its $500 million box office. But now it’s almost an afterthought in this category.

I still need to think about this, but outside of Mad Max and Star Wars, what are our locks? I guess you have to figure The Martian, but after that: Revenant, Ant-Man, Jurassic, Avengers. Ex Machina lost some steam after this, I would think, Tomorrowland is just a no, and then there’s The Walk, which is a total wild card.

Visual Effects is usually easier than this.

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