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Scorsese Makes a Surprise Visit To The VES Awards

The "Hugo" director salutes Melies’ work, champions film preservation.

Martin Scorsese
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

The trophy for the Visual Effects Society Awards—which were handed out for the 10th year on Tuesday—features the iconic image of the man in the moon from Georges MeliesLa Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon). Fittingly, the show opened with a clip of that classic scene, that was lovingly restored at Technicolor in 2011.

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Melies and his film are also at the heart of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, and the director made a surprise appearance during the ceremony, talking about how lost Melies films are still turning up. “It is because of the durability of celluloid,” he said. “Despite the fact that celluloid is prone to deterioration … It still really remains the best format for the preservation of cinema at this point in time.”

Hugo won two trophies featuring Melies’ creation during the VES Awards, for the categories of supporting visual effects and outstanding virtual cinematography. “(The trophy design) is even more special now that I worked on the movie and had a chance to study the genius of the man,” said the film's visual effects supervisor Rob Legato, who is nominated for an Oscar for the film’s VFX.