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June 08
2021

ISSUE

Summer 2021

VISUAL EFFECTS ARTISTRY IN THE SPOTLIGHT

By NAOMI GOLDMAN

Comedian Patton Oswalt kicks off the 19th Annual VES Awards – gone virtual!

 The Visual Effects Society held the 19th Annual VES Awards in April, the prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials, video games and special venues. But this time, the Society delivered the signature event with a twist, as the show was a virtually-produced celebration with viewers tuning in to the streaming show worldwide. 

 Comedian Patton Oswalt served as host of the dynamic virtual show, marking his 10th time at the helm, and appeared as a supersized green ogre, roasting VES Executive Director Eric Roth in the forest and musing with the iconic Man in the Moon. The VES Awards honored talent in 25 categories – showcasing the depth of VFX contributions to all forms of filmed entertainment – from nominees selected by VES members via 32 virtual nomination events conducted across the globe. 

VES Executive Director Eric Roth delivers his welcome from the woods.

VES Chair Lisa Cooke hands out the show’s first award.

The VES Award, in homage to the Georges Méliès iconic Man in the Moon.

The Midnight Sky was named photoreal feature winner, garnering two awards. Soul was named top animated film, winning five awards. The Mandalorian was named best photoreal episode and garnered three awards. Walmart won top commercial honors. 

Sacha Baron Cohen presented the VES Award for Creative Excellence to acclaimed visual effects supervisor, second unit director and director of photography Robert Legato, ASC. Cate Blanchett presented the VES Lifetime Achievement Award to award-winning filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson – along with a star-studded tribute from Andy Serkis, Naomi Watts, Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, James Cameron and Gollum.

Sir Peter Jackson, recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cate Blanchett presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Peter Jackson.
Gollum makes an appearance in tribute to Peter Jackson.

Naomi Watts honors Peter Jackson.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project – Ghost of Tsushima.

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project – The Midnight Sky; Aether.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature – The Midnight Sky.

Winning team for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature – The Midnight Sky.

Presenters also included: directors Zack Snyder and Pete Docter, actors Lauren Cohan, Danny DeVito, Jenna Elfman, Marcus Scribner, Chris Sullivan, Colman Domingo, Demian Bichir and Anson Mount and VES Chair Lisa Cooke. Jocelyn Moffatt, Autodesk Entertainment Industry Marketing Manager, presented the Autodesk Student Award. 

“Traditions find a way to persist,” said Lisa Cooke, VES Board Chair. “With vision and a lot of hard work, we were proud to host our annual celebration of the artistry, ingenuity and passion of visual effects practitioners worldwide – virtually. We are seeing best in class work that elevates the art of storytelling and engages the audience in new and innovative ways. The VES Awards is the only venue that showcases and honors these outstanding artists across a wide range of disciplines, and we are extremely proud of all our nominees and winners.” 

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature – Soul.

VES Awards presenter and winner for Soul Pete Docter.

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project – Soul.

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature – Soul; Terry.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature – Soul.

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature – Soul; You Seminar.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode – The Crown; Gold Stick.

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature – Soul.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode – The Mandalorian, The Marshal.

Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project – The Mandalorian; The Jedi; The Child.

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project – The Mandalorian; The Believer; Morak Jungle.

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature – Project Power.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature – Project Power.

Outstanding Compositing in an Episode – Lovecraft Country; Strange Case; Chrysalis.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project – Lovecraft Country; Strange Case; Chrysalis.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode – The Mandalorian, The Marshal.

Sacha Baron Cohen presents the Creative Excellence Award to Rob Legato, ASC.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial – Walmart; Famous Visitors.

Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal Project – Fear the Walking Dead; Bury Her Next to Jasper’s Leg.

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature – Mulan; Imperial City.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature – Mank.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project – The Bourne Stuntacular.

Rob Legato, ASC, recipient of the VES Award for Creative Excellence.

Andy Serkis pays tribute to Peter Jackson.

Ian McKellen applauds Peter Jackson.

Elijah Wood congratulates Peter Jackson.

Autodesk Entertainment Industry Marketing Manager Jocelyn Moffatt presents the Autodesk Student Award.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project – Migrants.

Jon Landau and James Cameron celebrate Peter Jackson.

VES Awards presenter Danny DeVito.

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature – The One and Only Ivan; Ivan.

VES Awards presenter Jenna Elfman.

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial – Arm & Hammer; Once Upon a Time; Tuxedo Tom.

VES Awards presenter Anson Mount.

VES Awards presenter Colman Domingo.

VES Awards presenter director Zack Snyder.

10-time VES Awards host Patton Oswalt wraps the show.

VES Awards presenter Marcus Scribner.

Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial – Burberry; Festive.

VES Awards presenter Lauren Cohan.

VES Awards presenter Chris Sullivan.

VES Awards presenter Demian Bichir.

The dynamic VES Awards streamed worldwide to members in 40+ countries.

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