VES Awards Preview: 'Jungle Book,' 'Rogue One' Among the Visual Effects Contenders

The awards will be handed out Feb. 7 at the Beverly Hilton.
Courtesy of Disney

The 15th annual Visual Effects Society Awards will be handed out Feb. 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Which Oscar contenders are nominated? Here's a closer look at the annual VES competition. 

Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Jungle Book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are nominated in the top category of outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature. 

Nominees for outstanding supporting VFX in a photoreal feature are Allied, Deepwater Horizon, Jason Bourne, Silence and Sully. And nominations for outstanding VFX in an animated feature went to Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, The Little Prince and Zootopia. 

In the VES Awards' 14-year history, the film that won the category of outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature (previously called VFX in a VFX-driven feature) went on to win the Oscar for VFX nine times.

Once, the Academy Award went to the winner of the supporting VFX category (Hugo).

This year’s Oscar nominees include Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book and Rogue One (which are VES noms for outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature), Deepwater Horizon (VES nom for outstanding supporting VFX nominee) and Kubo (VES nom for outstanding VFX in an animated feature), which is also the first animated movie to earn a VFX Oscar nomination since 1993’s stop-motion The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The work on Deepwater Horizon, led by VFX supervisor Craig Hammack, and Rogue One, led by Oscar-winning VFX supervisor John Knoll, was created primarily at Industrial Light & Magic. As is typical on a Marvel tentpole, Doctor Strange’s VFX work was shared by many facilities, including ILM and Luma Pictures; Stephane Ceretti was the overall VFX supervisor. The Jungle Book, led by two-time Oscar winning VFX supervisor Rob Legato, was created by lead VFX house MPC as well as Weta Digital. Kubo was made at animation studio Laika, led by VFX supervisor Steve Emerson.

Game of Thrones earned 11 VES nominations, the most overall.

In the (photoreal) feature categories, Rogue One leads the pack with seven nominations, followed closely by Doctor Strange and The Jungle Book, with six apiece. Kubo and the Two Strings earned six nominations in the animated feature categories, leading that field. The complete list of nominees can be found here.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to multiple Academy Award-winning VFX pioneer Ken Ralston.

Ralston's credits include Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Return of the Jedi. Additionally, the VES Visionary Award will be presented to producer and Marvel Studios executive vp physical production Victoria Alonso.

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