'Transformers' tops VES nods
Empty"Transformers" on Sunday won four Visual Effects Society Awards, including the top prize for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven film.
It was a big night for Industrial Light + Magic, which was the lead visual effects house on "Transformers" as well as "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," which collected two trophies. Meanwhile, Pixar Animation Studios' animated feature "Ratatouille" continued to earn accolades with three VES wins.
Both "Transformers" and "Pirates" are nominated for the Academy Award in the visual effects category this year. The third nominee, "The Golden Compass," failed to collect a VES nod during the ceremony at Hollywood & Highland.
In four of the past five years, the winner of the VES' top prize went on to win the Oscar in that category. The exception was in 2004, when the VES honored "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and the Academy recognized "Spider-Man 2."
In addition to the top award, "Transformers" won trophies for single visual effect of the year, for its desert highway sequence; models and miniatures; and compositing. Collecting the top prize were Scott Farrar, Shari Hanson, Russell Earl and Scott Benza.
"Pirates" was recognized for created environment in a live-action film and animated character in a live-action film (Davy Jones).
"Ratatouille" -- an Oscar nominee for animated feature -- won both VES categories designed for animated motion pictures: outstanding animated character and the newly created category of outstanding effects.
"Ratatouille" also was recognized for supporting visual effects in a motion picture -- a category where all other nominees were live-action films -- demonstrating a distinction between visual effects and animation, a topic that has been getting a lot of attention.
In television, an episode of "Battlestar Galactica" was honored for outstanding visual effects in a broadcast miniseries, movie or special, and an episode of "Fight for Life" was recognized for outstanding visual effects in a broadcast series.
Steven Spielberg was awarded the VES Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony.
A complete list of winners follows:
Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture
Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture
Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special
"Battlestar Galactica – Razor"
Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series
"Fight for Life – Episode 4"
Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Rome 2 – Episode 6 – "Philippi"
Visual Effects in a Commercial
Best Single Visual Effect of the Year
"Transformers" (Desert highway sequence)
Real Time Visuals in a Video Game
Pre-Rendered Visuals in a Video Game
"World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade"
Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (Davy Jones)
Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture
Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program or Commercial
Chemical Brothers "Salmon Dance"
Florent DeLa Taille
Effects in an Animated Motion Picture
Created Environment in a Live Action Motion Picture
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (the Maelstrom)
Frank Losasso Petterson
Created Environment in a Live Action Broadcast Program or Commercial
"Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee"
Models or Miniatures in a Motion Picture
Models or Miniatures in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
"Halo 3/Believe Campaign"
Compositing in a Motion Picture
Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
Nike "Leave Nothing"
Special Effects in a Motion Picture
"Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix"
Special Effects in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
Lexus Hydrant "Actively Safe"
Anthony De La Cruz