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When the 21st annual Visual Effects Society Awards are presented Feb. 15 at The Beverly Hilton, the question might not be will Avatar: The Way of Water win, but just how many awards will it collect? The juggernaut earned 14 nominations this year, a record for a feature — or any single project — in the society’s history.
The noms include one in the top category of outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature. Alongside The Way of Water, the category nominees are Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick.
This year, VES introduced a category for emerging technology, in which The Way of Water earned a trio of nominations for some of the innovations that helped propel the movie to more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office. They included depth compositing, a new facial system and water tool set. The movie also was nominated for animated character (the teen Kiri, played by Sigourney Weaver), practical effects, compositing and lighting (for the forest destruction scenes and water integration), effects simulations (fire/destruction and water), model (the sea dragon), environments (Metkayina Village and the reef) and virtual cinematography.
James Cameron will be on hand at the gala, not only to support his VFX team but to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to acclaimed filmmaker (and his former wife) Gale Anne Hurd, whose producing credits include the director’s The Terminator (for which she also shares a screenplay credit), Aliens and The Abyss.
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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