- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Tumblr
War for the Planet of the Apes won the top prize–outstanding visual effects in a photoreal feature–and three additional trophies for effects simulation, compositing and animated character (Caesar), during the 16th annual Visaul Effects Society Awards, Tuesday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The next question is, will Weta Digital's accaimed work, which included bringing a cast of CG apes to the screen for an epic finale to Matt Reeves' trilogy, finally deliver a VFX Oscar.
War is nominated for the VFX Oscar alongside Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kong: Skull Island and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. These are the same films that were nominated in the top VES category. During the VES Awards, Blade Runner 2049 claimed two VES Awards (created environment and model), and Guardians claimed one (virtual cinematography).
The two prior Apes films, 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes and 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, also won the top prize at the VES Awards and were also Oscar nominated, but in both cases, a different film won the VFX Oscar. (Rise lost the Oscar to Hugo, and Dawn was bested by Interstellar.) In six of the last 10 year, the winner of the top VES category went on to win the VFX Oscar.
War's senior VFX supervisor and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri was also the recipient of the society's Georges Melies Award, which was presented by Oscar winning producer Jon Landau, with whom Letteri worked on Avatar and is now collaborating on the Avatar sequels. Accepting the award, Letteri said, “We have a responsibility to make sure the story and the images that we create reflect our world.” And he called War for the Planet of the Apes a “story about the survival of the human spirit—we just made them look like apes.”
To those in the VFX industry, he said to loud applause, “we owe them a workplace free from injustice and harassment.”
Jon Favreau–whose The Jungle Book won the top VES prize and the VFX Oscar a year ago–received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony, which was presented by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. (Incidentally, War VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon has now won the top VES prize for two consecutive years, having also claimed this award last year for his contributions to The Jungle Book.)
“You are giving me an award for the work that you all did,” Favreau quipped, adding that their work “isn’t about technology; it’s the people, it’s the artists.”
And he received a second standing ovation as he concluded that "at a time when we need empathy and understanding…let’s use these wonderful tools to show how we are all citizens of the world [through the stories that we tell].”
Also at the VES Awards, Game of Thrones won five trophies, the most for any project this year, including oustanding VFX in an episodic series. In animation, Disney/Pixar's Coco won four prizes, including outstanding VFX in an animated feature.
The complete list of winners follows.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day