Visual Effects Society Awards: 'Apes,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Lead Feature Nominees

8:30 AM 1/16/2018

by Carolyn Giardina

Four VFX Oscar shortlisted films fail to make the VES nominations list.

Planet of the Apes and Blade runner 2049 Split-Photofest-H 2018
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Warner Bros.

War for the Planet of the Apes and Blade Runner 2049 lead the feature nominees for the Visual Effects Society Awards, with seven nominations apiece.

This includes the top category of outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature, where those films are nominated alongside Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kong: Skull Island and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The outstanding supporting VFX category includes Dunkirk, along with Darkest Hour, Downsizing, mother! and Only the Brave.

In six of the last 10 years, the winner in the top VES category went on to win the VFX Oscar. Once, in 2011, the winner of the VES category for supporting VFX (Hugo) collected the VFX Oscar.

This year's VFX Oscar shortlist includes War for the Planet of the Apes and Blade Runner 2049, Kong: Skull Island and The Last Jedi (both with four VES noms), Guardians 2 (with three VES noms) and Dunkirk (one nom).

Unusually, four of the 10 films shortlisted for the VFX Oscar failed to earn a single VES nomination: Alien: Covenant, Okja, The Shape of Water and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

In 2016, Ex Machina won the Oscar in VFX, though it wasn't nominated by the VES.

The work on Apes was led by Weta; Last Jedi and Kong: Skull Island by Industrial Light & Magic; and Dunkirk by Double Negative. The bulk of the work of Blade Runner 2049 and Guardians 2 was shared by a collection of VFX houses.

Despicable Me 3 earned five VES nominations, the most for an animated feature.

On the TV side, Game of Thrones dominated with 11 nominations, the most for any of this year's contenders.

As previously announced, the Georges Méliès Award will be presented to Academy Award-winning VFX supervisor Joe Letteri, who is also nominated for War for the Planet of the Apes. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Jon Favreau.

The 16th annual VES Awards will be handed out Feb. 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The complete list of nominees follows.

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    Blade Runner 2049
    Karen Murphy Mundell
    Paul Lambert
    Richard Hoover
    Gerd Nefzer

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    Christopher Townsend
    Guy WilliamsJonathan Fawkner
    Dan Sudick

    Kong: Skull Island
    Jeff White
    Tom Peitzman
    Stephen Rosenbaum
    Scott Benza
    Michael Meinardus

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    Ben Morris
    Tim Keene
    Eddie Pasquarello
    Daniel Seddon
    Chris Corbould

    War for the Planet of the Apes
    Joe Letteri
    Ryan Stafford
    Daniel Barrett
    Dan Lemmon
    Joel Whist

  • Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    Darkest Hour
    Stephane Naze
    Warwick Hewitt
    Guillaume Terrien
    Benjamin Magana

    James E. Price
    Susan MacLeod
    Lindy De Quattro
    Stephane Naze

    Andrew Jackson
    Mike Chambers
    Andrew Lockley
    Alison Wortman
    Scott Fisher

    Dan Schrecker
    Colleen Bachman
    Ben Snow
    Wayne Billheimer
    Peter Chesney

    Only the Brave
    Eric Barba
    Dione Wood
    Matthew Lane
    Georg Kaltenbrunner
    Michael Meinardus

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

    Captain Underpants
    David Soren
    Mark Swift
    Mirielle Soria
    David Dulac

    Cars 3
    Brian Fee
    Kevin Reher
    Michael Fong
    Jon Reisch

    Lee Unkrich
    Darla K. Anderson
    David Ryu
    Michael K. O'Brien

    Despicable Me 3
    Pierre Coffin
    Chris Meledandri
    Kyle Balda
    Eric Guillon

    The LEGO Batman Movie
    Rob Coleman
    Amber Naismith
    Grant Freckelton
    Damien Gray

    The LEGO Ninjago Movie
    Gregory Jowle
    Fiona Chilton
    Miles Green
    Kim Taylor

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Orientation Part 1
    Mark Kolpack
    Sabrina Arnold
    David Rey
    Kevin Yuille
    Gary D'Amico

    Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall
    Joe Bauer
    Steve Kullback
    Chris Baird
    David Ramos
    Sam Conway

    Legion; Chapter 1
    John Ross
    Eddie Bonin
    Sebastien Bergeron
    Lionel Lim
    Paul Benjamin

    Star Trek: Discovery; The Vulcan Hello
    Jason Michael Zimmerman
    Aleksandra Kochoska
    Ante Dekovic
    Mahmoud Rahnama

    Stranger Things 2; The Gate
    Paul Graff
    Christina Graff
    Seth Hill
    Joel Sevilla
    Caius the Man 

  • Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    Black Sails; XXIX
    Erik Henry
    Terron Pratt
    Yafei Wu
    David Wahlberg
    Paul Dimmer

    Fear The Walking Dead; Sleigh Ride
    Peter Crosman
    Denise Gayle
    Philip Nussbaumer
    Martin Pelletier
    Frank Ludica

    Mr. Robot; eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00
    Ariel Altman
    Lauren Montuori
    John Miller
    Luciano DiGeronimo

    Outlander; Eye of the Storm
    Richard Briscoe
    Elicia Bessette
    Aladino Debert
    Filip Orrby
    Doug Hardy

    Taboo; Pilot
    Henry Badgett
    Tracy McCreary
    Nic Birmingham
    Simon Rowe
    Colin Gorry

    Vikings; On the Eve
    Dominic Remane
    Mike Borrett
    Ovidiu Cinazan
    Paul Wishart
    Paul Byrne

  • Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

    Blade Runner 2049; Rachael
    Axel Akkeson
    Stefano Carta
    Wesley Chandler
    Ian Cooke-Grimes

    Kong: Skull Island; Kong
    Jakub Pistecky
    Chris Havreberg
    Karin Cooper
    Kris Costa

    War for the Planet of the Apes; Bad Ape
    Eteuati Tema
    Aidan Martin
    Florian Fernandez
    Mathias Larserud

    War for the Planet of the Apes; Caesar
    Dennis Yoo
    Ludovic Chailloleau
    Douglas McHale
    Tim Forbes

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

    Assassin's Creed Origins
    Raphael Lacoste
    Patrick Limoges
    Jean-Sebastien Guay
    Ulrich Haar

    Call of Duty: WWII
    Joe Salud
    Atsushi Seo
    Danny Chan
    Jeremy Kendall

    Fortnite; A Hard Day's Night
    Michael Clausen
    Gavin Moran
    Brian Brecht
    Andrew Harris

    Scot Stafford
    Camille Cellucci
    Kevin Dart
    Theresa Latzko

    Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
    Shaun Escayg
    Tate Mosesian
    Eben Cook

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

    Beyond Good and Evil 2
    Leon Berelle
    Maxime Luere
    Dominique Boidin
    Remi Kozyra

    Kia Niro; Hero's Journey
    Robert Sethi
    Anastasia von Rahl
    Tom Graham
    Chris Knight
    Dave Peterson

    Mercedes Benz; King of the Jungle
    Simon French
    Josh King
    Alexia Paterson
    Leonardo Costa

    Monster; Opportunity Roars
    Ruben Vandebroek
    Clairellen Wallin
    Kevin Ives
    Kyle Cody

    Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich
    Diarmid Harrison-Murray
    Tomek Zietkiewicz
    Amir Bazazi
    Martino Madeddu


  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

    Avatar: Flight of Passage
    Richard Baneham
    Amy Jupiter
    David Lester       
    Thrain Shadbolt

    Corona; Paraiso Secreto
    Adam Grint
    Jarrad Vladich
    Roberto Costas Fernández
    Ed Thomas
    Felipe Linares

    Guardians of the Galaxy; Mission: BREAKOUT!
    Jason Bayever
    Amy Jupiter
    Mike Bain
    Alexander Thomas

    National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
    Thilo Ewers
    John Owens
    Gioele Cresce
    Mariusz Wesierski

    Nemo and Friends SeaRider
    Anthony Apodaca
    Kathy Janus
    Brandon Benepe
    Nick Lucas
    Rick Rothschild

    Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
    Ben Snow
    Judah Graham
    Ian Bowie
    Curtis Hickman
    David Layne

  • Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

    Coco; Hector
    Emron Grover
    Jonathan Hoffman
    Michael Honsel
    Guilherme Sauerbronn Jacinto

    Despicable Me 3; Bratt
    Eric Guillon
    Bruno Dequier
    Julien Soret
    Benjamin Fournet

    The Lego Ninjago Movie; Garma Mecha Man
    Arthur Terzis
    Wei He
    Jean-Marc Ariu
    Gibson Radsavanh

    The Boss Baby; Boss Baby
    Alec Baldwin
    Rani Naamani
    Joe Moshier

    The Lego Ninjago Movie; Garmadon
    Matthew Everitt
    Christian So
    Loic Miermont
    Fiona Darwin

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

    Black Mirror: Metalhead
    Steven Godfrey
    Stafford Lawrence
    Andrew Robertson
    Lestyn Roberts

    Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Zombie Polar Bear
    Paul Story
    Todd Labonte
    Matthew Muntean
    Nicholas Wilson

    Game of Thrones; Eastwatch; Drogon Meets Jon
    Jonathan Symmonds
    Thomas Kutschera
    Philipp Winterstein
    Andreas Krieg

    Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Drogon Loot Train Attack
    Jason Snyman
    Jenn Taylor
    Florian Friedmann

  • Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

    Beyond Good and Evil 2; Zhou Yuzhu
    Dominique Boidin
    Maxime Luère
    Leon Berelle
    Remi Kozyra

    Mercedes Benz; King of the Jungle
    Steve Townrow
    Joseph Kane
    Greg Martin
    Gabriela Ruch Salmeron

    Netto; The Easter Surprise; Bunny
    Alberto Lara
    Jorge Montiel
    Anotine Mariez
    Jon Wood

    Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich
    David Bryan
    Maximilian Mallmann
    Tim Van Hussen
    Brendan Fagan

  • Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

    Blade Runner 2049; Los Angeles
    Chris McLaughlin
    Rhys Salcombe
    Seungjin Woo
    Francesco Dell'Anna

    Blade Runner 2049; Trash Mesa
    Didier Muanza
    Thomas Gillet
    Guillaume Mainville
    Sylvain Lorgeau

    Blade Runner 2049; Vegas
    Eric Noel
    Arnaud Saibron
    Adam Goldstein
    Pascal Clement

    War for the Planet of the Apes; Hidden Fortress
    Greg Notzelman
    James Shaw
    Jay Renner
    Gak Gyu Choi

    War for the Planet of the Apes; Prison Camp
    Phillip Leonhardt
    Paul Harris
    Jeremy Fort
    Thomas Lo

  • Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

    Cars 3; Abandoned Racetrack
    Marlena Fecho
    Thidaratana Annee Jonjai
    Jose L. Ramos Serrano
    Frank Tai

    Coco; City of the Dead
    Michael Frederickson
    Jamie Hecker
    Jonathan Pytko
    Dave Strick

    Despicable Me 3; Hollywood Destruction
    Axelle De Cooman
    Pierre Lopes
    Milo Riccarand
    Nicolas Brack

    The Lego Ninjago Movie; Ninjago City
    Kim Taylor
    Angela Ensele
    Felicity Coonan
    Jean Pascal leBlanc

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

    Assassin's Creed Origins; City of Memphis
    Patrick Limoges
    Jean-Sebastien Guay
    Mikael Guaveia
    Vincent Lombardo

    Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake
    Daniel Villalba
    Antonio Lado
    Jose Luis Barreiro
    Isaac de la Pompa

    Game of Thrones; Eastwatch
    Patrice Poissant
    Deak Ferrand
    Dominic Daigle
    Gabriel Morin

    Still Star-Crossed; City
    Rafael Solorzano
    Isaac de la Pompa
    Jose Luis Barreiro
    Oscar Perea

    Stranger Things 2; The Gate
    Saul Galbiati
    Michael Maher
    Seth Cobb
    Kate McFadden

  • Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

    Beauty and the Beast; Be Our Guest
    Shannon Justison
    Casey Schatz
    Neil Weatherley
    Claire Michaud

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Groot Dance/Opening Fight
    James Baker
    Steven Lo
    Alvise Avati
    Robert Stipp

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Crait Surface Battle
    Cameron Nielsen
    Albert Cheng
    John Levin
    Johanes Kurnia

    Thor: Ragnarok; Valkyrie's Flashback
    Hubert Maston
    Arthur Moody
    Adam Paschke
    Casey Schatz

  • Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Headquarters
    Alex Funke
    Steven Saunders
    Joaquin Loyzaga
    Chris Menges

    Despicable Me 3; Dru's Car
    Eric Guillon
    François-Xavier Lepeintre
    Guillaume Boudeville
    Pierre Lopes

    Life; The ISS
    Tom Edwards
    Chaitanya Kshirsagar
    Satish Kuttan
    Paresh Dodia

    US Marines; Anthem; Monument
    Tom Bardwell
    Paul Liaw
    Adam Dewhirst

  • Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

    Kong: Skull Island
    Florent Andorra
    Alexis Hall
    Raul Essig
    Branko Grujcic

    Only the Brave; Fire & Smoke
    Georg Kaltenbrunner
    Thomas Bevan
    Philipp Zaufel
    Himanshu Joshi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Bombing Run
    Peter Kyme
    Miguel Perez Senent
    Ahmed Gharraph
    Billy Copley

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Mega Destroyer Destruction
    Mihai Cioroba
    Ryoji Fujita
    Jiyong Shin
    Dan Finnegan

    War for the Planet of the Apes
    David Caeiro Cebrian
    Johnathan Nixon
    Chet Leavai
    Gary Boyle

  • Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

    Cars 3
    Greg Gladstone
    Stephen Marshall
    Leon JeongWook Park
    Tim Speltz

    Kristopher Campbell
    Stephen Gustafson
    Dave Hale
    Keith Klohn

    Despicable Me 3
    Bruno Chauffard
    Frank Baradat
    Milo Riccarand
    Nicolas Brack

    Yaron Canetti
    Allan Kadkoy
    Danny Speck
    Mark Adams

    The Boss Baby
    Mitul Patel
    Gaurav Mathur
    Venkatesh Kongathi


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

    Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake
    Manuel Ramirez
    Oscar Marquez
    Pablo Hernandez
    David Gacituaga

    Game of Thrones; The Dragon and the Wolf; Wall Destruction
    Thomas Hullin
    Dominik Kirouac
    Sylvain Nouveau
    Nathan Arbuckle

    Heineken; The Trailblazers
    Christian Bohm
    Andreu Lucio Archs
    Carsten Keller
    Steve Oakley

  • Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

    Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Approach and Joy Holograms
    Tristan Myles
    Miles Lauridsen
    Joel Delle-Vergin
    Farhad Mohasseb

    Kong: Skull Island
    Nelson Sepulveda
    Aaron Brown
    Paolo Acri
    Shawn Mason

    Thor: Ragnarok; Bridge Battle
    Gavin McKenzie
    David Simpson
    Owen Carroll
    Mark Gostlow

    War for the Planet of the Apes
    Christoph Salzmann
    Robin Hollander
    Ben Morgan
    Ben Warner

  • Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode

    Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake
    Oscar Perea
    Santiago Martos
    David Esteve
    Michael Crane

    Game of Thrones; Eastwatch
    Thomas Montminy Brodeur
    Xavier Fourmond
    Reuben Barkataki
    Sebastien Raets

    Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Loot Train Attack
    Dom Hellier
    Thijs Noij
    Edwin Holdsworth
    Giacomo Matteucci

    Star Trek: Discovery
    Phil Prates
    Rex Alerta
    John Dinh
    Karen Cheng

  • Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial

    Destiny 2; New Legends Will Rise
    Alex Unruh
    Michael Ralla
    Helgi Laxdal
    Timothy Gutierrez

    Nespresso; Comin' Home
    Matt Pascuzzi
    Steve Drew
    Martin Lazaro
    Karch Koon

    Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich
    Michael Gregory
    Andrew Roberts
    Gustavo Bellon
    Rashabh Ramesh Butani

    Virgin Media; Delivering Awesome
    Jonathan Westley
    John Thornton
    Milo Paterson
    George Cressey

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

    Creature Pinup
    Christian Leitner
    Juliane Walther
    Kiril Mirkov
    Lisa Ecker

    Florian Brauch
    Romain Thirion
    Matthieu Pujol
    Kim Tailhades

    Les Pionniers de l'Univers
    Clementine Courbin
    Matthieu Guevel
    Jérôme Van Beneden
    Anthony Rege

    The Endless
    Nicolas Lourme
    Corentin Gravend
    Edouard Calemard
    Romaric Vivier