Oscars 2016: VES Nominations

Okay, and now for the one guild I hate writing up, because they have too many categories and I have to cut most of them out just to deal with them. Visual Effects Society.

I cut most of the categories out because visual effects is such a major part of filmmaking now, in order for them to do their members justice, they need to have a million categories. But only like six to ten matter for me, so I only deal with the six to ten. And even then it’s a fucking chore, since there are all these categories, and a shortlist, and you don’t know which categories mean more than others — it’s chaos.

So here are your VES nominees:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This seems straight up like 4/5 of your category, minus Peregrine’s (clearly). But we’ll get to that.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature


Deepwater Horizon

Jason Bourne



Silence? I’ll take their word for it. I’m sure there were effects there, but good on them for making them subtle.

This category was made for Sully and Deepwater, by the way.

Deepwater is shortlisted. Not sure it gets nominated, but it is shortlisted.

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings

The Little Prince



So basically the category. Okay.

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Niffler)

The Jungle Book (King Louie)

The Jungle Book (Shere Khan)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Grand Moff Tarkin)

Warcraft (Durotan)

Sure. Just supports three of the probable nominees.

By the way, I’m through trying to guess what wins here. I’m only focusing on what helps me guess the nominees. Because I don’t have any fucking clue what they like. For all I know Warcraft wins this.

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory (Hank)

Kubo and the Two Strings (Kubo)

Kubo and the Two Strings (Monkey)

Moana (Maui)


Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Deadpool (Freeway Assault)

Doctor Strange (London)

Doctor Strange (New York City)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Scarif Complex)

Again, this backs up two of the likely nominees.

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory (Open Ocean Exhibit)

Kubo and the Two Strings (Hanzo’s Fortress)

Kubo and the Two Strings (Waves)

Moana (Motonui Island)


Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

Doctor Strange (New York Mirror Dimension)

Game of Thrones (Battle of the Bastards)

The Jungle Book

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Space Battle)

See why this guild is always chaos? Film and TV in the same category. I can’t make heads or tales of this.

But again, three of the likely nominees here. Probably a good bet to put those three on your guessing list.

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

Deepwater Horizon (Deepwater Horizon Rig)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Princess Leia)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Star Destroyer)

Star Trek Beyond (Enterprise)

Rogue One twice. Star Trek isn’t shortlisted and Deepwater is nominated for the rig. Seems unlikely they’d nominate it, but anything could happen.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

Alice Through the Looking Glass (Rust)

Doctor Strange (Hong Kong Reverse Destruction)

The Jungle Book (Nature Effects)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Jedha Destruction)

There’s those three again.

Also, notice — not a single Captain America nomination anywhere. Curious.

Nor a BFG nomination.

Those are both shortlisted.

As is Arrival, which was also ignored.

That’s really interesting.

Kubo, by the way, is actually shortlisted and theoretically stands a shot at a nomination. I don’t think any of us think it’ll happen, but fuck, that would be cool. That’s never happened in the history of the category, by the way, that an animated movie was nominated for Visual Effects.

Then again, no Best Picture nominee had ever lost in the modern era of this category until last year, so we’re breaking taboos all over the place.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings (Water)




Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

Doctor Strange (New York City)

Independence Day: Resurgence (Under The Mothership)

The Jungle Book

X-Men: Apocalypse (Quicksilver Rescue)

And the obligatory Quicksilver nomination.

The more you look at this, the more you become pretty assured that Doctor Strange, Rogue One and The Jungle Book will be nominated. And you can feel pretty good about Fantastic Beasts.

Now the question is, what’s number five? Arrival makes the most sense to me.

BFG — ehh. Captain America — ehh, but they’ve double dipped on Marvel before. But that was with a better Captain America movie and Guardians. Different this time. Deepwater certainly contends based on this guild. Kubo — would shock me. But theoretically possible. Passengers — doubtful.

Remember —  I guess remember two things — first, there are only ten shortlisted films, so you stand 50/50 to get any one of them right. At this point, you can feel pretty confident about four of them, which is better odds than you usually get.

The second thing to remember — and this one I’m doing from memory, but I’ll go back and see what the exact thing is — I’m pretty sure in the past whatever number of years… films generally get at least one VES nomination before they get nominated for the Oscar. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie get shut out at VES and then go on to an Oscar nomination. So that could really take off mot of those alternates. That might just give us either Kubo or Deepwater. Though I refuse to eliminate Arrival until the bitter end, even if it seems like a red herring.

Still, 4/5 this early on without much thought — not that bad.

Oscar nominations are in a week, guys. Two of the last three guilds announce tomorrow — DGA and CDG. One significantly more important than the other. (Directing? Fuck that. Costumes, man! The Pabst Blue Ribbon of guilds!)

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2 responses

  1. “That’s never happened in the history of the category, by the way, that an animated movie was nominated for Visual Effects.”

    Shockingly, that’s not true. They actually nominated Nightmare Before Christmas in this category. Which I didn’t even realize until someone brought it up recently.

    January 12, 2017 at 12:02 am

    • Dang it, you stole my comment! ^_^

      January 12, 2017 at 12:31 am

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