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Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon are among the 15 films have been selected for consideration for this year’s Oscar for visual effects.
The AMPAS list also includes Captain America: The First Avenger, Cowboys & Aliens, Hugo, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Real Steel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Sucker Punch, Super 8, Thor, The Tree of Life, and X-Men: First Class.
Going into this year’s competition, one question will be whether the Academy will reward the VFX wizards behind the Harry Potter finale.
No movie in the series has ever won an Oscar for visual effects. Only two—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1—have been nominated.
There are numerous VFX veterans in the race; among them are:
—Apes senior VFX supervisor Joe Letteri, who has won 4 Oscars during the past decade for films including: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, King Kong and Avatar.
—Super 8 VFX supervisor Dennis Muren from ILM has won 8 Oscars for visual effects—a record in the VFX field. He received his first Academy Award for The Empire Strikes Back; Additional Oscars were awarded for Jurassic Park and The Abyss.
—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’s senior VFX supervisor Tim Burke has worked on ever Harry Potter film with the exception of the first, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. He previously won an Oscar for Gladiator.
—Transformers: Dark of the Moon VFX supervisor Scott Farrar of ILM had led the VFX on all of the Transformers movies. He previously won an Oscar for Cocoon.
—Hugo’s VFX supervisor Rob Legato won an Oscar for the VFX in Titanic.
In early January, the members of the Academy’s visual effects branch executive committee, who selected the 15 films, will narrow the list to 10. A VFX bake off will then be held on Jan. 19, when members of the branch will view 10-minute excerpts from each of the 10 films. That evening the members will also vote to nominate five films for the Oscar.
The Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 24.
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