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Marking the first time a Marvel movie won the Visual Effects Society’s top prize, Avengers: Infinity War claimed the trophy for outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature plus three additional trophies for animated character (Thanos), effects simulations and compositing.
Also Tuesday at the 17th VES Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Ready Player One earned two trophies, for best created environment (for The Shining’s Overlook Hotel) and virtual cinematography, while First Man claimed the award for outstanding supporting VFX in a photoreal feature (a film can't be nominated in both outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature and supporting VFX in a photoreal feature).
Infinity War, Ready Player One and First Man, along with Solo: A Star Wars Story and Christopher Robin are nominated for the Academy Award in VFX.
In six of the last 10 years, the winner in the outstanding VFX in a photo-real feature category (previously called the VFX-driven feature) went on to win the Oscar in VFX. Once, in 2011, the Oscar went to the winner of the VES Award for supporting VFX (Hugo).
Meanwhile Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swept the animated feature categories winning four awards including best VFX in an animated feature, best animated character (Miles Morales), created environment (graphic New York City) and effects simulations.
In the categories for episodic programs, Lost in Space won four awards, including for outstanding VFX in a photoreal episode.
During the ceremony, a lifetime achievement award was bestowed upon Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri; the Visionary Award went to Jonathan Nolan; and the Award for Creative Excellence was presented to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Patton Oswalt hosted the ceremony, during which he recognized the VES Awards’ 17th year — "just on the cusp for Bryan Singer" — and asked the crowd "if there's any way you could green-screen a wall on the Mexican border … if you did that, [Donald Trump] would totally buy it."
During the ceremony, VES executive director Eric Roth announced a multi-year VES archiving initiative, which is intended to wrap with the launch of an online VFX digital library.
Evan Rachel Wood presented the Visionary Award to Nolan, while Steve Carell, initially wearing a Gru mask, presented to Meledandri. In his acceptance speech, Meledandri said, “Everyday we all join a noble mission. We contribute our creativity and craft to bring joy into the lives of audiences”
The complete list of winners follows.
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