'The Jungle Book' Takes Top Visual Effects Society Honors

10:28 PM 2/7/2017

by Carolyn Giardina

The film won five awards including the top category for outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature.

Courtesy of Disney

Jon Favreau’s retelling of Disney’s The Jungle Book was the big winner at the 15th annual Visual Effects Society Awards, claiming five wins including in the top category of outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature.

Tuesday at the Beverly Hilton, The Jungle Book also won trophies for animated character (King Louie), animated effects, compositing and virtual cinematography.

Host Patton Oswalt made references to the political climate throughout the evening. He quipped, “I brought you here to create a virtual Matrix world that we can all escape to.”

The Jungle Book is nominated for the Oscar in VFX along with Deepwater Horizon, which won two VES Awards, for outstanding supporting VFX and outstanding model; Kubo and the Two Strings, which claimed the VES Award for outstanding VFX in an animated feature; Doctor Strange, who won the VES award for a created environment; and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which entered the evening with seven nominations (the most for a feature) but came up empty handed, included for its much-discussed digital Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin, which was nominated in the animated character category.

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).

Filmed entirely on a bluescreen, the only live action in The Jungle Book was Mowgli and the small piece of set on which he stood or climbed; the rest was a fully CG jungle and CG cast of animals. The VFX were led by two-time Oscar winning VFX supervisor Rob Legato, and created by lead VFX house MPC as well as Weta Digital.

Game of Thrones was the big winner in the television categories, claiming five trophies including one for outstanding VFX in a photoreal episode. Other honorees included best animated feature contender Moana, which earned two trophies, for animated effects and created environments.

During the ceremony, Victoria Alonso, producer and Marvel Studios executive vp physical production, became the first woman to accept the VES Visionary Award. “Things are getting better—there was a lines in the girls’ bathroom at (CG confab) Siggraph,” she said, urging the community to hire more women. “I will hold the banner for every little girl out there. ...At the (VFX) bakeoff, there was not one girl (contender). We can do better I know we can. … Give us a chance.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to multiple Academy Award-winning VFX pioneer Ken Ralston (Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Return of the Jedi), who said he treasured working with “a huge amazing group of talented artists.”

The complete list of winners is below. 

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    'The Jungle Book'
    'The Jungle Book'
    Courtesy of Disney

    The Jungle Book WINNER
    Robert Legato
    Joyce Cox
    Andrew R. Jones
    Adam Valdez
    JD Schwalm

    Doctor Strange

    Stephane Ceretti
    Susan Pickett
    Richard Bluff
    Vincent Cirelli
    Paul Corbould

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    Christian Manz
    Olly Young
    Tim Burke
    Pablo Grillo
    David Watkins

    Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
    Frazer Churchill
    Hal Couzens
    Andrew Lockley
    Jelmer Boskma
    Hayley Williams

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    John Knoll
    Erin Dusseault
    Hal Hickel
    Nigel Sumner
    Neil Corbould

  • Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    'Deepwater Horizon'
    'Deepwater Horizon'
    Courtesy of Lionsgate

    Deepwater Horizon WINNER
    Craig Hammack
    Petra Holtorf-Stratton
    Jason Snell
    John Galloway
    Burt Dalton

    Allied 

    Kevin Baillie
    Sandra Scott
    Brennan Doyle
    Viktor Muller
    Richard Van Den Bergh

    Jason Bourne
    Charlie Noble
    Dan Barrow
    Julian Gnass
    Huw Evans
    Steve Warner

    Silence
    Pablo Helman
    Brian Barlettani
    Ivan Busquets
    Juan Garcia
    R. Bruce Steinheimer

    Sully
    MIchael Owens
    Tyler Kehl
    Mark Curtis
    Bryan Litson
    Steven Riley

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

    'Kubo and the Two Strings'
    'Kubo and the Two Strings'
    Laika Studios/Focus Features

    Kubo and the Two Strings WINNER
    Travis Knight
    Arianne Sutner
    Steve Emerson
    Brad Schiff

    Finding Dory
    Angus MacLane
    Lindsey Collins- p.g.a.
    John Halstead
    Chris J. Chapman

    Moana
    Kyle Odermatt
    Nicole P. Hearon
    Hank Driskill
    Ian Gooding

    The Little Prince
    Mark Osborne
    Jinko Gotoh
    Pascal Bertrand
    Jamie Caliri

    Zootopia
    Scott Kersavage
    Bradford S. Simonsen
    David Goetz
    Ernest J. Petti

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    Sophie Turner in 'Game of Thrones'
    Sophie Turner in 'Game of Thrones'
    Photofest

    Game of Thrones; "Battle of the Bastards" WINNER
    Joe Bauer
    Steve Kullback
    Glenn Melenhorst
    Matthew Rouleau
    Sam Conway

    Black Mirror; "Playtest"
    Justin Hutchinson-Chatburn
    Russell McLean
    Grant Walker
    Christopher Gray

    Stranger Things; "Demogorgon"
    Marc Kolbe
    Aaron Sims
    Olcun Tan

    The Expanse; "Salvage"
    Robert Munroe
    Clint Green
    Kyle Menzies
    Tom Turnbull

    Westworld; "The Bicameral Mind"
    Jay Worth
    Elizabeth Castro
    Bobo Skipper
    Gustav Ahrén

  • Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    'Black Sails'
    'Black Sails'

    Black Sails; "XX" WINNER
    Erik Henry
    Terron Pratt
    Aladino Debert
    Yafei Wu
    Paul Stephenson


    Penny Dreadful; "The Day Tennyson Died"
    James Cooper
    Bill Halliday
    Sarah McMurdo
    Mai-Ling Lee

    Roots; "Night One"
    Simon Hansen
    Paul Kalil
    Theo le Roux Preist
    Wicus Labuschagne
    Max Poolman

    The Man in the High Castle; "Volkshalle"
    Lawson Deming
    Cory Jamieson
    Casi Blume
    Nick Chamberlain

    Vikings; "The Last Ship"
    Dominic Remane
    Mike Borrett
    Ovidiu Cinazan
    Paul Wishart
    Paul Byrne

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

    Uncharted 4 - WINNER
    Bruce Straley
    Eben Cook
    Iki Ikram

    Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
    Brian Horton
    Keith Pope
    David Johnson
    Tobias Stromvall

    Dishonored 2; Crack in the Slab
    Sebastien Mitton
    Guillaume Curt
    Damien Laurent
    Jean-Luc Monnet

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Virtual Reality
    Andy Rowans-Robinson
    Karen Czukerberg
    John Montefusco
    Corrina Wilson
    Resh Sidhu

    Gears of War 4
    Kirk Gibbons
    Zoe Curnoe
    Aryan Hanbeck
    Colin Penty

    Quantum Break
    Janne Pulkkinen
    Elmeri Raitanen
    Matti Hamalainen
    Ville Assinen

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

    Buster the Boxer in 'John Lewis' Commercial
    Buster the Boxer in 'John Lewis' Commercial

    John Lewis; Buster the Boxer - WINNER
    Diarmid Harrison-Murray
    Hannah Ruddleston
    Fabian Frank
    William Laban

    Coke Mini; A Mini Marvel
    Vincent Cirelli
    Michael Perdew
    Brendan Seals
    Jared Simeth

    For Honor
    Maxime Luere
    Leon Berelle
    Dominique Boidin
    Remi Kozyra

    Titanfall 2; Become One
    Dan Akers
    Tiffany Webber
    Chris Bedrosian

    Waitrose; Coming Home
    Jonathan Westley -Wes-
    Alex Fitzgerald
    Jorge Montiel
    Adam Droy

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

    Pirates of the Caribbean; Battle for the Sunken Treasure - WINNER
    Bill George
    Amy Jupiter
    Hayden Landis
    David Lester

    Dream of Anhui
    Chris Morley
    Lee Hahn
    Alex Hessler
    Kent Matheson

    Soarin' Over the Horizon
    Marianne McLean
    Bill George
    Hayden Landis
    Dorne Huebler
    Thomas Tait

    Skull Island: Reign of Kong
    John Gibson
    Arish Fyzee
    Sachin Shrestha
    Anshul Mathuria

    Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience
    Dan Glass
    Brett Harding
    Tom Debenham
    Brian Delmonico
    Matt Pulliam

  • Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature

    King Louie in 'The Jungle Book'
    King Louie in 'The Jungle Book'
    Courtesy of Disney

    The Jungle Book; King Louie - WINNER
    Paul Story
    Dennis Yoo
    Jack Tema
    Andrei Coval

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Niffler
    Laurent Laban
    Gabriel Beauvais-Tremblay
    Luc Girard
    Romain Rico

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Grand Moff Tarkin
    Sven Jensen
    Jee Young Park
    Steve Walton
    Cyrus Jam

    The Jungle Book; Shere Khan
    Benjamin Jones
    Julio Del Rio Hernandez
    Jake Harrell
    James Hood

    Warcraft; Durotan
    Sunny Wei
    Brian Cantwell
    Brian Paik
    Jee Young Park

  • Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature

    Hank the Octopus in 'Finding Dory'
    Hank the Octopus in 'Finding Dory'
    Courtesy of Disney

    Finding Dory; Hank - WINNER
    Jonathan Hoffman
    Steven Clay Hunter
    Mark Piretti
    Audrey Wong


    Kubo and the Two Strings; Kubo
    Jeff Riley
    Ian Whitlock
    Adam Lawthers
    Jeremy Spake

    Kubo and the Two Strings; Monkey
    Andy Bailey
    Dobrin Yanev
    Kim Slate
    Jessica Lynn

    Moana; The Mighty Maui
    Mack Kablan
    Nikki Mull
    Matthew Schiller
    Marc Thyng

  • Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode or Real-Time Project

    Emilia Clarke in 'Game of Thrones'
    Emilia Clarke in 'Game of Thrones'
    Courtesy of HBO

    Game of Thrones; "Battle of the Bastards"; Drogon - WINNER
    James Kinnings
    Michael Holzl
    Matt Derksen
    Joeseph Hoback

    Call of Duty: "Infinite Warfare"; Omar
    Bernardo Antoniazzi
    Aaron Beck
    Jason Greenberg
    Chris Barnes

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    John Montefusco
    Michael Cable
    Shayne Ryan
    Andy Rowan-Robinson

    Game of Thrones; "Home"; Emaciated Dragon 
    Sebastian Lauer
    Jonathan Symmonds
    Thomas Kutschera
    Anthony Sieben           

  • Outstanding Animated Performance in a Commercial

    Buster the Boxer in 'John Lewis' Commercial
    Buster the Boxer in 'John Lewis' Commercial

    John Lewis; Buster the Boxer - WINNER
    Tim van Hussen
    David Bryan
    Chloe Dawe
    Maximillian Mallman


    Opel Motorsport; Racing Faces; Lion
    Jorge Montiel
    Jacob Gonzales
    Sauce Vilas
    Alberto Lara

    SSE; Neon House; Baby Pixel
    Jorge Montiel
    Daniel Kmet
    Sauce Vilas
    Peter Agg

    Waitrose; Coming Home
    Jorge Montiel
    Nick Smalley
    Andreas Graichen
    Alberto Lara

  • Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

    'Doctor Strange'
    'Doctor Strange'
    Courtesy of Marvel

    Doctor Strange; New York City - WINNER
    Adam Watkins
    Martijn van Herk
    Tim Belsher
    Jon Mitchell

    Deadpool; Freeway Assault
    Seth Hill
    Jedediah Smith
    Laurent Taillefer
    Marc-Antoine Paquin

    Doctor Strange; London
    Brendan Seals
    Raphael A. Pimentel
    Andrew Zink
    Gregory Ng

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Scarif Complex
    Enrico Damm
    Kevin George
    Olivier Vernay-Kim
    Yanick Dusseault

  • Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

    'Moana'
    'Moana'
    Courtesy of Disney

    Moana; Motonui Island - WINNER
    Rob Dressel
    Andy Harkness
    Brien Hindman
    Larry Wu

    Finding Dory; Open Ocean Exhibit
    Stephen Gustafson
    Jack Hattori
    Jesse Hollander
    Michael Rutter

    Kubo and the Two Strings; Hanzo's Fortress
    Phil Brotherton
    Nick Mariana
    Emily Greene
    Joe Strasser

    Kubo and the Two Strings; Waves
    David Horsley
    Eric Wachtman
    Daniel Leatherdale
    Takashi Kuboto

  • Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project

    Emilia Clarke in 'Game of Thrones'
    Emilia Clarke in 'Game of Thrones'
    Courtesy of Helen Sloan/HBO

    Game of Thrones; "Battle of the Bastards"; Meereen City  - WINNER
    Deak Ferrand
    Dominic Daigle
    François Croteau
    Alexandru Banuta

    Black Sails; "XXVIII"; Maroon Island
    Thomas Montminy-Brodeur
    Deak Ferrand
    Pierre Rousseau
    Mathieu Lapierre

    Dishonored 2; Clockwork Mansion
    Sebastien Mitton
    Guillaume Curt
    Damien Laurent
    Jean-Luc Monnet

    Game of Thrones; "The Winds of Winter"; Citadel
    Edmond Engelbrecht
    Tomoka Matsumura
    Edwin Holdsworth
    Cheri Fojtik

    The Man in the High Castle; Volkshalle
    Casi Blume
    David Andrade
    Nick Chamberlain
    Lawson Deming

  • Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

    Neel Sethi in 'The Jungle Book'
    Neel Sethi in 'The Jungle Book'
    Courtesy of Disney

    The Jungle Book  - WINNER
    Bill Pope
    Robert Legato
    Gary Roberts
    John Brennan

    Doctor Strange; New York Mirror Dimension
    Landis Fields
    Mathew Cowie
    Frederic Medioni
    Faraz Hameed

    Game of Thrones; "Battle of the Bastards"
    Patrick Tiberius Gehlen
    Michelle Blok
    Christopher Baird
    Drew Wood-Davies

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Space Battle
    John Levin
    Euisung Lee
    Steve Ellis
    Barry Howell

  • Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    Mark Wahlberg in 'Deepwater Horizon'
    Mark Wahlberg in 'Deepwater Horizon'
    Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

    Deepwater Horizon; Deepwater Horizon Rig - WINNER
    Kelvin Lau
    Jean Bolte
    Kevin Sprout
    Kim Vongbunyong


    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Princess Leia
    Paul Giacoppo
    Gareth Jensen
    Todd Vaziri
    James Tooley

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Star Destroyer
    Jay Machado
    Marko Chulev
    Akira Orikasa
    Steven Knipping

    Star Trek Beyond; Enterprise
    Daniel Nicholson
    Rhys Salcombe
    Chris Elmer
    Andreas Maaninka

  • Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

    'The Jungle Book'
    'The Jungle Book'
    Courtesy of Disney

    The Jungle Book; Nature Effects - WINNER
    Oliver Winwood
    Fabian Nowak
    David Schneider
    Ludovic Ramisandraina

    Alice Through the Looking Glass; Rust
    Klaus Seitschek
    Joseph Pepper
    Jacob Clark
    Cosku Turhan

    Doctor Strange; Hong Kong Reverse Destruction
    Florian Witzel
    Georges Nakhle
    Azhul Mohamed
    David Kirchner

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Jedha Destruction
    Miguel Perez Senent
    Matt Puchala
    Ciaran Moloney
    Luca Mignardi

  • Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

    'Moana'
    'Moana'
    Courtesy of Disney

    Moana WINNER
    Marc Henry Bryant
    David Hutchins
    Ben Frost
    Dale Mayeda

    Finding Dory
    Stephen Gustafson
    Allen Hemberger
    Joshua Jenny
    Matthew Kiyoshi Wong

    Kubo and the Two Strings; Water
    David Horsley
    Peter Stuart
    Timur Khodzhaev
    Terrance Tornberg

    Zootopia
    Nicholas Burkard
    Moe El-Ali
    Claudia Chung Sanii
    Thom Wickes

  • Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    'Game of Thrones'
    'Game of Thrones'
    Courtesy of HBO

    Game of Thrones; "Battle of the Bastards"; Meereen City - WINNER
    Thomas Hullin
    Dominik Kirouac
    James Dong
    Xavier Fourmond

    Game of Thrones; "Battle of the Bastards "
    Kevin Blom
    Sasmit Ranadive
    Wanghua Huang
    Ben Andersen

    John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
    Diarmid Harrison-Murray
    Tushar Kewlani
    Radu Ciubotariu
    Ben Thomas

    Sky; Q
    Michael Hunault
    Gareth Bell
    Paul Donnellan
    Joshua Curtis

  • Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

    'The Jungle Book'
    'The Jungle Book'
    Courtesy of Disney

    The Jungle Book - WINNER
    Christoph Salzmann
    Masaki Mitchell
    Matthew Adams
    Max Stummer

    Doctor Strange; New York City
    Matthew Lane
    Jose Fernandez
    Ziad Shureih
    Amy Shepard

    Independence Day: Resurgence; Under The Mothership
    Mathew Giampa
    Adrian Sutherland
    Daniel Lee
    Ed Wilkie

    X-Men: Apocalypse; Quicksilver Rescue
    Jess Burnheim
    Alana Newell
    Andy Peel
    Matthew Shaw

  • Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode

    'Game of Thrones'
    'Game of Thrones'
    Courtesy of HBO

    Game of Thrones; "Battle of the Bastards"; Retaking Winterfell - WINNER
    Dominic Hellier
    Morgan Jones
    Thijs Noij
    Caleb Thompson

    Black Sails; XX; Sailing Ships
    Michael Melchiorre
    Kevin Bouchez
    Heather Hoyland
    John Brennick

    Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City
    Thomas Montminy-Brodeur
    Patrick David
    Michael Crane
    Joe Salazar

    Game of Thrones; The Door; Land of Always Winter
    Eduardo Díaz
    Aníbal Del Busto
    Angel Rico
    Sonsoles López-Aranguren

  • Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial

    Buster the Boxer in 'John Lewis' Commercial
    Buster the Boxer in 'John Lewis' Commercial

    John Lewis; Buster the Boxer - WINNER
    Tom Harding
    Alex Snookes
    David Filipe
    Andreas Feix

    Canal; Kitchen
    Dominique Boidin
    Leon Berelle
    Maxime Luere
    Remi Kozyra

    Kenzo; Kenzo World
    Evan Langley
    Benjamin Nowak
    Rob Fitzsimmons
    Phylicia Feldman

    LG; World of Play
    Jay Bandlish
    Udesh Chetty
    Carl Norton

    Waitrose; Coming Home
    Jonathan Westley -Wes
    Gary Driver
    Milo Paterson
    Nina Mosand

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

    Breaking Point - WINNER
    Johannes Franz
    Nicole Rothermel
    Thomas Sali
    Alexander Richter


    Elemental
    Adrian Meyer
    Lena-Carolin Lohfink
    Denis Krez
    David Bellenbaum

    Garden Party
    Victor Caire
    Gabriel Grapperon
    Théophile Dufresne
    Lucas Navarro

    Shine
    Mareike Keller
    Dennis Mueller
    Meike Mueller

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