February 05, 2013 10:34pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
VES Awards 2013: 'Life of Pi' Wins Top Prize
The team that created the visual effects -- including a photoreal CG Bengal tiger -- for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi won four Visual Effects Society Awards, including the top prize for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature, on Tuesday during the 11th annual VES Awards ceremony.
Brave also took home four awards at the ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton. Additional feature winners included The Avengers (with two awards) and The Impossible and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (one award apiece).
HBO's Game of Thrones dominated the TV categories, winning a total of four awards. The premium network's Boardwalk Empire also nabbed one award.
During the ceremony, Lee was presented the VES Visionary Award by Dennis Muren. Harrison Ford presented Richard Edlund (Star Wars) with the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year, four of the five nominees for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature are Oscar nominees, including Life of Pi, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Avengers and Prometheus. The fifth VES category nominee was Battleship, while the fifth Oscar nomination went to Snow White and the Huntsman.
In seven of the past 10 VES Awards, the winner of the category for outstanding VFX in a VFX-driven feature has gone on to win the Oscar in that category. Last year Hugo -- winner in the VES’ supporting VFX category -- claimed the VFX Oscar.
Another plus for Life of Pi, with VFX led by Rhythm & Hues, is its best picture nomination from the Academy. Historically, if there is one film that has an Oscar nomination for best picture, in addition to one for visual effects, it has been the film that wins the VFX Oscar. This year, the one VFX Oscar contender with a best picture nomination is Life of Pi.
The VES Awards recognize work in features, TV, commercials, games and special venue productions, as well as a student project.
The complete list of VES winners follows:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Life of Pi
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Pau Costa Moeller
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Game of Thrones: Volar Morghulis
Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Boardwalk Empire: Episode 308
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Life of Pi: Richard Parker
Erik De Boer
Betsy Asher Hall
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
Game of Thrones: Training the Dragons
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
The Avengers: Midtown Manhattan
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Brave: The Forest
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
R. Christopher White
Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
The Avengers: Helicarrier
Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Michael K. O'Brien
Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or BroadcastProgram
Game of Thrones: Pyke
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Life of Pi: Storm of God
Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Life of Pi: Storm of God
Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program
Game of Thrones: White Walker Army
Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial
Chevy 2012 Silverado
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project