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Oscars 2017: VES Nominations

The Visual Effects Society announced their nominees. I hate talking about them because there are just so many categories. I don’t even bother mentioning some of them because it gets really specific and doesn’t have a whole lot to do with guessing the Oscars. Good for them for giving the guild members their due, but it’s just too much for me to handle. Commercials, student films — too much.

Before we get into the nominees, a reminder of your shortlist:

Alien: Covenant
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Okja
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
War for the Planet of the Apes

Five of these ten will be nominated on Tuesday. So here are your VES nominees. Let’s see how these ten fare:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kong: Skull Island

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

War for the Planet of the Apes

Makes sense. These are all VFX heavy films. All of them are on your shortlist. I expect at least three of these on your final list.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Darkest Hour

Downsizing

Dunkirk

Mother!

Only the Brave

Dunkirk. There’s your sixth shortlisted film. Darkest Hour — what, that overhead shot counts? Downsizing makes total sense. Mother! makes total sense. Only the Brave makes total sense. Surprised no Shape of Water on here. I think its exclusion probably tells you that they consider it more makeup than effects, and that we’ve reached an era where in camera effects no longer count as visual effects.

I wouldn’t have expected Okja. Something tells me they don’t respect Netflix or didn’t particularly love those effects. Everything else on the shortlist was very heavy on the effects and wouldn’t have worked here.

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049 (Rachael)

Kong: Skull Island (Kong)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Bad Ape)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Caesar)

Makes sense.

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049 (Los Angeles)

Blade Runner 2049 (Trash Mesa)

Blade Runner 2049 (Vegas)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Hidden Fortress)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Prison Camp)

Goddamn. Well, this is a trend. I think we’ve got three of the five nominees set already, based on this.

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

Beauty and the Beast (Be Our Guest)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Groot Dance/Opening Fight)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Crait Surface battle)

Thor: Ragnarok (Valkyrie’s flashback)

That Thor flashback looked great. The surface battle makes the most sense. Sure.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

Kong: Skull Island

Only the Brave (Fire & Smoke)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Bombing Run)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Mega Destroyer Destruction)

War for the Planet of the Apes

Is the Mega Destroyer Destruction not automatically gonna win this? Because that shit was dope.

Lotta Kong here. I think that might be that fifth spot I’ve been hesitant about naming. We’ll see.

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049 (LAPD Approach & Joy Holograms)

Kong: Skull Island

Thor: Ragnarok (Bridge Battle)

War for the Planet of the Apes

There are those three again. Damn, man.

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Captain Underpants

Cars 3

Coco

Despicable Me 3

The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Cars makes the most sense. I guess Coco too. But what qualifies as visual effects in a movie where the entire thing is visually animated?

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

The Boss Baby (Boss Baby)

Coco (Hector)

Despicable Me 3 (Bratt)

The Lego Ninjago Movie (Garma Mecha Man)

The Lego Ninjago Movie (Garmadon)

THE BOSS BABY!!!!!!

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

Cars 3 (Abandoned racetrack)

Coco (City of the Dead)

Despicable Me 3 (Hollywood Destruction)

The Lego Ninjago Movie (Ninjago City)

If Coco doesn’t win this category, shit’s rigged.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

The Boss Baby

Cars 3

Coco

Despicable Me 3

Ferdinand

THE BOSS BABY!!!!!

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So four of the shortlisted films got left off entirely — no Valerian. Which tells me that won’t get on. They don’t like the movie and will leave it off. No Alien, which usually gets some sort of creature nod. Guess they’re done with that franchise. No Shape of Water, which is somewhat surprising, but doesn’t spell the end for that. Since it will undoubtedly end up with 10-13 nominations on Tuesday, and Visual Effects could easily be one of them. (Seriously though — think about it. Picture, Director, Actress. Supporting Actress. Probably Supporting Actor. Screenplay likely. Editing. Cinematography. Score. That’s 9 right there if it gets them all. Production Design would be 10. Visual Effects 11. Sound Mixing 12. Sound Editing, if they go both, that’s 13. Doubt it gets costumes too. So it’s anywhere from 8-13 with all signs pointing to 11-12.) Okja also got left off, and that never felt like it had a real chance to get nominated.

I think this helped us immensely for Tuesday. You’re looking at 6 films for 5 spots. Maybe 7.

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kong: Skull Island

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

War for the Planet of the Apes

Leave off Valerian, Okja and Alien. These are the 7. I’m not thinking Guardians has the juice, but you have to consider it since I’m sure Marvel has made it on almost year of the past ten.

So really — Apes, Blade Runner and Star Wars are on. Don’t know if anyone disagrees with that. Then you have Dunkirk, Shape of Water and Kong competing for those last two spots. Pretty sure those first two got BAFTA and BFCA, which is big, while Kong did well with the guild. Gonna be interesting. But I feel good knowing that we’ll probably go 4/5 here at worst, unless they really go nuts. So that’s pretty encouraging.

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One response

  1. lacourseauxetoiles

    Great analysis overall. Just wondering, why don’t you think The Shape of Water will get nominated for Best Costume Design? It has hit all of the precursors and the Academy clearly loves the film. It seems much more likely to get nominated for Costume Design than for Visual Effects.

    January 21, 2018 at 8:53 am

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