'The Lion King,' 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Win HPA Awards

10:30 PM 11/21/2019

by Carolyn Giardina

Among honors handed out for color grading, editing, sound and VFX were 'Lion King' VFX supervisor Robert Legato taking home the Hollywood Professional Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Columbia Pictures/Photofest; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Photofest

Oscar hopefuls The Lion King and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Awards, Thursday night at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. 

The VFX team behind Jon Favreau's virtual production of The Lion King collected the trophy for best feature VFX. Lion King's VFX supervisor, three-time Oscar winner Robert Legato, was additionally recognized with the HPA Lifetime Achievement Award.

The honored Lion King VFX team also included Andrew R. Jones, Tom Peitzman and VFX house MPC's Adam Valdez, Elliot Newman and Audrey Ferrara.

Editor Fred Raskin won the award for editing Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Also in the feature categories, a team from Godzilla: King of Monsters won the award for sound, including Tim LeBlanc and Tom Ozanich from Warner Bros.; and Erik Aadahl, Nancy Nugent and Jason W. Jennings representing E Squared. EFILM colorist Natasha Leonnet's work on Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse was recognized for outstanding color grading (she was also nominated in the category for First Man). As the HPA Awards eligibility period runs from September to September, some of last year's Oscar winners were nominated alongside some of this year's hopefuls.

During the ceremony, Peter Jacksons's documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, which incorporating restored archival footage from the Imperial War Museum, won the Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation. Veteran journalist Peter Caranicas of Variety was honored as the inaugural HPA Legacy Award recipient.

Engineering excellence awards were presented to Adobe for Content-Aware Fill for Video in After Effects, Epic Games for Unreal Engine 4, Pixelworks for TrueCut Motion, and Portrait Displays and LG for the Calman LUT-based auto-calibration Integration with LG OLED TVs. Honorable mentions were awarded to Ambidio for Ambidio Looking Glass, Grass Valley for Creative Grading and Netflix for Photon. 

The competitive categories honored color grading, editing, sound and visual effects, in feature, episode and commercial projects. A complete list of these winners is below.


  • Outstanding Color Grading – Theatrical Feature

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'
    'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'
    Sony Pictures Releasing/Photofest

    WINNER Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Natasha Leonnet // EFILM

    First Man
    Natasha Leonnet // EFILM

    Steven J. Scott // Technicolor

    Green Book
    Walter Volpatto // FotoKem

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
    Tom Poole // Company 3

    Michael Hatzer // Technicolor

  • Outstanding Color Grading – Episodic or Non-theatrical Feature

    'Game of Thrones'
    'Game of Thrones'
    Courtesy of HBO

    WINNER Game of Thrones – "Winterfell"
    Joe Finley // Sim, Los Angeles

    The Handmaid's Tale – "Liars"
    Bill Ferwerda // Deluxe Toronto

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – "Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy"
    Steven Bodner // Light Iron

    I Am the Night – "Pilot"
    Stefan Sonnenfeld // Company 3

    Gotham – "Legend of the Dark Knight: The Trial of Jim Gordon"
    Paul Westerbeck // Picture Shop

    The Man in The High Castle – "Jahr Null"
    Roy Vasich // Technicolor

  • Outstanding Color Grading – Commercial

    WINNER Hennessy X.O. – "The Seven Worlds"
    Stephen Nakamura // Company 3

    Zara – "Woman Campaign Spring Summer 2019"
    Tim Masick // Company 3

    Tiffany & Co. – "Believe in Dreams: A Tiffany Holiday"
    James Tillett // Moving Picture Company

    Palms Casino – "Unstatus Quo"
    Ricky Gausis // Moving Picture Company

    Audi – "Cashew"
    Tom Poole // Company 3

  • Outstanding Editing – Theatrical Feature

    Sponsored by Blackmagic Design

    'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
    'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
    Andrew Cooper/Sony Pictures

    WINNER Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Fred Raskin, ACE

    Green Book
    Patrick J. Don Vito, ACE

    Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
    David Tedeschi, Damian Rodriguez

    The Other Side of the Wind
    Orson Welles, Bob Murawski, ACE

    A Star Is Born
    Jay Cassidy, ACE

  • Outstanding Editing – Episodic or Non-theatrical Feature (30 Minutes and Under)

    Sponsored by Blackmagic Design

    Colleen Hayes/Courtesy of HBO

    WINNER Veep – "Pledge"
    Roger Nygard, ACE

    Russian Doll – "The Way Out"
    Todd Downing

    Homecoming – "Redwood"
    Rosanne Tan, ACE

    Jake Shaver, Shannon Albrink // Therapy Studios

    Russian Doll – "Ariadne"
    Laura Weinberg

  • Outstanding Editing – Episodic or Non-theatrical Feature (Over 30 Minutes)

    Sponsored by Blackmagic Design

    'Stranger Things'
    'Stranger Things'
    Courtesy of Netflix

    WINNER Stranger Things – "Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt"
    Dean Zimmerman, ACE, Katheryn Naranjo

    Chernobyl – "Vichnaya Pamyat"
    Simon Smith, Jinx Godfrey // Sister Pictures

    Game of Thrones – "The Iron Throne"
    Katie Weiland, ACE

    Game of Thrones – "The Long Night"
    Tim Porter, ACE

    The Bodyguard – "Episode One"
    Steve Singleton

  • Outstanding Sound – Theatrical Feature

    'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'
    'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'
    Daniel McFadden/Warner Bros. Entertainment

    WINNER Godzilla: King of the Monsters
    Tim LeBlanc, Tom Ozanich, MPSE // Warner Bros.
    Erik Aadahl, MPSE, Nancy Nugent, MPSE, Jason W. Jennings // E Squared

    Michael Keller, Kevin O’Connell // Warner Bros.
    Bill R. Dean, MPSE, Erick Ocampo, Kelly Oxford, MPSE // Technicolor

    Michael Babcock, David E. Fluhr, CAS, Jeff Sawyer, Chris Diebold, Harrison Meyle // Warner Bros.

    Skip Lievsay, Sergio Diaz, Craig Henighan, Carlos Honc, Ruy Garcia, MPSE, Caleb Townsend

    Tim LeBlanc // Warner Bros.
    Peter Brown, Joe Dzuban, Stephen P. Robinson, MPSE, Eliot Connors, MPSE // Formosa Group

  • Outstanding Sound – Episodic or Non-theatrical Feature

    'The Haunting of Hill House'
    'The Haunting of Hill House'

    WINNER The Haunting of Hill House – "Two Storms"
    Trevor Gates, MPSE, Jason Dotts, Jonathan Wales, Paul Knox, Walter Spencer // Formosa Group

    Chernobyl – "1:23:45"
    Stefan Henrix, Stuart Hilliker, Joe Beal, Michael Maroussas, Harry Barnes // Boom Post

    Deadwood: The Movie
    John W. Cook II, Bill Freesh, Mandell Winter, MPSE, Daniel Colman, MPSE, Ben Cook, MPSE, Micha Liberman // NBC Universal

    Game of Thrones – "The Bells"
    Tim Kimmel, MPSE, Onnalee Blank, CAS, Mathew Waters, CAS, Paula Fairfield, David Klotz

    Homecoming – "Protocol"
    John W. Cook II, Bill Freesh, Kevin Buchholz, Jeff A. Pitts, Ben Zales, Polly McKinnon // NBC Universal

  • Outstanding Sound – Commercial

    WINNER John Lewis & Partners – "Bohemian Rhapsody"
    Mark Hills, Anthony Moore // Factory

    Audi – "Life"
    Doobie White // Therapy Studios

    Leonard Cheshire Disability – "Together Unstoppable"
    Mark Hills // Factory

    New York Times – "The Truth Is Worth It: Fearlessness"
    Aaron Reynolds // Wave Studios NY

    John Lewis & Partners – "The Boy and the Piano"
    Anthony Moore // Factory

  • Outstanding Visual Effects – Theatrical Feature

    The Lion King'
    The Lion King'
    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Photofest

    WINNER The Lion King
    Robert Legato
    Andrew R. Jones
    Adam Valdez, Elliot Newman, Audrey Ferrara // MPC Film
    Tom Peitzman // T&C Productions

    Avengers: Endgame
    Matt Aitken, Marvyn Young, Sidney Kombo-Kintombo, Sean Walker, David Conley // Weta Digital

    Spider-Man: Far From Home
    Alexis Wajsbrot, Sylvain Degrotte, Nathan McConnel, Stephen Kennedy, Jonathan Opgenhaffen // Framestore

    Alita: Battle Angel
    Eric Saindon, Michael Cozens, Dejan Momcilovic, Mark Haenga, Kevin Sherwood // Weta Digital

    Pokemon Detective Pikachu
    Jonathan Fawkner, Carlos Monzon, Gavin Mckenzie, Fabio Zangla, Dale Newton // Framestore

  • Outstanding Visual Effects – Television (Under 13 Episodes)

    'Game of Thrones'
    'Game of Thrones'
    Helen Sloan/HBO

    WINNER Game of Thrones – "The Bells"
    Steve Kullback, Joe Bauer, Ted Rae
    Mohsen Mousavi // Scanline
    Thomas Schelesny // Image Engine

    Game of Thrones – "The Long Night"
    Martin Hill, Nicky Muir, Mike Perry, Mark Richardson, Darren Christie // Weta Digital

    The Umbrella Academy – "The White Violin"
    Everett Burrell, Misato Shinohara, Chris White, Jeff Campbell, Sebastien Bergeron

    The Man in the High Castle – "Jahr Null"
    Lawson Deming, Cory Jamieson, Casi Blume, Nick Chamberlain, William Parker, Saber Jlassi, Chris Parks // Barnstorm VFX

    Chernobyl – "1:23:45"
    Lindsay McFarlane
    Max Dennison, Clare Cheetham, Steven Godfrey, Luke Letkey // DNEG

  • Outstanding Visual Effects – Television (Over 13 Episodes)

    'The Orville'
    'The Orville'
    Michael Becker/Fox

    WINNER The Orville – "Identity: Part II"
    Tommy Tran, Kevin Lingenfelser, Joseph Vincent Pike // FuseFX
    Brandon Fayette, Brooke Noska // Twentieth Century FOX TV

    Hawaii Five-O – "Ke iho mai nei ko luna"
    Thomas Connors, Anthony Davis, Chad Schott, Gary Lopez, Adam Avitabile // Picture Shop

    9-1-1 – "7.1"
    Jon Massey, Tony Pizadeh, Brigitte Bourque, Gavin Whelan, Kwon Choi // FuseFX

    Star Trek: Discovery – "Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2"
    Jason Zimmerman, Ante Dekovic, Aleksandra Kochoska, Charles Collyer, Alexander Wood // CBS Television Studios

    The Flash – "King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd"
    Armen V. Kevorkian, Joshua Spivack, Andranik Taranyan, Shirak Agresta, Jason Shulman // Encore VFX