Funny story — I forgot VES was handing out awards today. I was writing up my Best Visual Effects category breakdown and went to look up when VES would be announcing so I’d have an idea… turns out, it was tonight. So here’s your VES write-up.
This guild is a function of what your Oscar nominees are. Really they help only so far. You look to BAFTA to confirm where you think things are leaning, and the Oscar category is a mixture of that plus just looking at it, because a lot of the time the answer is obvious.
Here’s your Visual Effects Oscar category, to make things easier:
Avengers: Infinity War
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
There are seven major VES awards. Avengers: Infinity War won four of them, Best Effects, Animated Character, Composting and Effects Simulations. Ready Player One won two, Created Environment and Virtual Cinematography. First Man won for Supporting Effects. Also worth noting, Mortal Engines won for Models, and in Animated, Into the Spider-Verse swept everything, winning for Best Animated Effects, Animated Character, Created Environment and Effects Simulations.
So, on this alone, you might say Avengers is the frontrunner for the Oscar. I’m not going there just yet. I want to see what BAFTA does. Especially since the Oscar tends to go to the “classier” film with more of a pedigree, and that clearly seems like First Man in this case. If BAFTA goes Ready Player One then we have a decision on our hands. If Avengers manages to win BAFTA, then I may be swayed. And if First Man wins BAFTA, then you pretty much know exactly how this one’s gonna turn out.
I’m not calling this a huge win for Marvel just yet, only because they’ve yet to win the actual Oscar category. So let’s see where we’re at on Sunday once BAFTA announces and then regroup. I feel like, if anything, this might be a big Avengers red herring when First Man is staring us in the face all along as the probable winner of the category.
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So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.
This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.
Today is Best Cinematography, which we kinda went over when we did Foreign Language Film a few days ago. Because it’s almost the same category as that one. (more…)