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April 05
2023

ISSUE

Spring 2023

VISUAL EFFECTS ARTISTRY IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Captions list all members of each Award-winning team even if some members were not present or out of frame. Some winners provided a video acknowledgment. For more Show photos and a complete list of nominees and winners of the 21st Annual VES Awards, visit vesglobal.org.

All photos by Danny Moloshok, Phil McCarten and Josh Lefkowitz.

1.Nearly 1,200 guests gathered from around the globe for the 21st Annual VES Awards.

Nearly 1,200 guests gathered from around the globe for the 21st Annual VES Awards.

2.Comedian Patton Oswalt hosted the show.

Comedian Patton Oswalt hosted the show.

The 2023 Visual Effects Society Awards, VES Awards, on February 15, 2023 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Danny Moloshok/Moloshok Photography, Inc.

The Visual Effects Society held the 21st Annual VES Awards, the prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials, video games and special venues.

Comedian Patton Oswalt served as host for the 10th time to the nearly 1,200 guests gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on February 15, 2023 to celebrate VFX talent in 25 awards categories.

Avatar: The Way of Water was named the Photoreal feature winner, garnering nine awards. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was named top Animated film, winning three awards. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was named best Photoreal episode, winning three awards. Frito-Lay: Push It topped the Commercial field.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron presented the VES Lifetime Achievement award to acclaimed writer-producer Gale Anne Hurd.

The Society’s current and former Board Chairs presented the VES Board of Directors Award to former Executive Director Eric Roth. The group included Lisa Cooke, current VES Chair; Jim Morris, VES, President of Pixar Animation and founding VES Chair; and former Chairs Jeffrey A. Okun, VES; Mike Chambers, VES; Carl Rosendahl, VES; and Jeff Barnes.

Award presenters included: Academy-Award nominated filmmaker Rian Johnson, Academy-Award-winning filmmaker Domee Shi; actors Jay Pharoah, Tyler Posey, Randall Park, Angela Sarafyan, Bashir Salahuddin, Josh McDermitt and Danny Pudi. Dara Treseder, Autodesk’s Chief Marketing Officer, presented the VES-Autodesk Student Award.

For the first time, the VES presented The Emerging Technology Award, with the recipient being Avatar: The Way of Water; Water Toolset.

4. The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water and the team of Richard Baneham, Walter Garcia, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon and JD Schwalm.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water and the team of Richard Baneham, Walter Garcia, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon and JD Schwalm.

The award for OutstandingSupporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature went to Thirteen Lives and the team of Jason Billington, Thomas Horton, Denis Baudin, Michael Harrison and Brian Cox.

The award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature went to Thirteen Lives and the team of Jason Billington, Thomas Horton, Denis Baudin, Michael Harrison and Brian Cox.

The award for OutstandingVisual Effects in an Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and the team of Aaron Weintraub, Jeffrey Schaper, Cameron Carson and Emma Gorbey.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and the team of Aaron Weintraub, Jeffrey Schaper, Cameron Carson and Emma Gorbey.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode went to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power; Udûn and the team of Jason Smith, Ron Ames, Nigel Sumner, Tom Proctor and Dean Clarke.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode went to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power; Udûn and the team of Jason Smith, Ron Ames, Nigel Sumner, Tom Proctor and Dean Clarke.

The award for OutstandingSupporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode went to Five Days at Memorial; Day Two and the team of Eric Durst, Danny McNair, Matt Whelan, Goran Pavles, and John MacGillivray.

The award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode went to Five Days at Memorial; Day Two and the team of Eric Durst, Danny McNair, Matt Whelan, Goran Pavles, and John MacGillivray.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project went to The Last of Us Part I and the team of Erick Pangilinan, Evan Wells, Eben Cook and Mary Jane Whiting.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project went to The Last of Us Part I and the team of Erick Pangilinan, Evan Wells, Eben Cook and Mary Jane Whiting.

10.The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial went to Frito-Lay; Push It and the team of Tom Raynor, Sophie Harrison, Ben Cronin and Martino Madeddu.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial went to Frito-Lay; Push It and the team of Tom Raynor, Sophie Harrison, Ben Cronin and Martino Madeddu.

11.The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project went to ABBA Voyage and the team of Ben Morris, Edward Randolph, Stephen Aplin and Ian Comley. Accepting the award was Janet Lewin, Senior Vice President, Lucasfilm VFX and General Manager ILM.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project went to ABBA Voyage and the team of Ben Morris, Edward Randolph, Stephen Aplin and Ian Accepting the award was Janet Lewin, Senior Vice President, Lucasfilm VFX and General Manager ILM.

12.The award for Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Kiri and the team of Anneka Fris, Rebecca Louise Leybourne, Guillaume Francois and Jung Rock Hwang.

The award for Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Kiri and the team of Anneka Fris, Rebecca Louise Leybourne, Guillaume Francois and Jung Rock Hwang.

13.Comedian and actor Jay Pharoah appeared as a presenter.

Comedian and actor Jay Pharoah appeared as a presenter.

14.Academy-Award- winning filmmaker Domee Shi was on hand as a presenter.

Academy-Award- winning filmmaker Domee Shi was on hand as a presenter.

15.The award for Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; Pinocchio and the team of Oliver Beale, Richard Pickersgill, Brian Leif Hansen and Kim Slate.

The award for Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; Pinocchio and the team of Oliver Beale, Richard Pickersgill, Brian Leif Hansen and Kim Slate.

16.The award for Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project went to The Umbrella Academy; Pogo and the team of Aidan Martin, Hannah Dockerty, Olivier Beierlein and Miae Kang.

The award for Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project went to The Umbrella Academy; Pogo and the team of Aidan Martin, Hannah Dockerty, Olivier Beierlein and Miae Kang.

17. The award for Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; The Reef and the team of Jessica Cowley, Joe W. Churchill, Justin Stockton and Alex Nowotny.

The award for Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; The Reef and the team of Jessica Cowley, Joe Churchill, Justin Stockton and Alex Nowotny.

18.The award for Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; In the Stomach of a Sea Monster and the team of Warren Lawtey, Anjum Sakharkar, Javier Gonzalez Alonso and Quinn Carvalho.

The award for Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature went to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; In the Stomach of a Sea Monster and the team of Warren Lawtey, Anjum Sakharkar, Javier Gonzalez Alonso and Quinn

19.Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Rian Johnson attended as a presenter.

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Rian Johnson attended as a presenter.

20. Actor Randall Park took part as a presenter.

Actor Randall Park took part as a presenter.

21. Actor Tyler Posey was on hand as a presenter.

Actor Tyler Posey was on hand as a presenter.

22.The award for Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project went to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power; Adar; Númenor City and the team of Dan Wheaton, Nico Delbecq, Dan Letarte and Julien Gauthier.

The award for Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project went to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power; Adar; Númenor City and the team of Dan Wheaton, Nico Delbecq, Dan Letarte and Julien Gauthier.

23.Actor Danny Pudi was a presenter.

Actor Danny Pudi was a presenter.

24.Actor Bashir Salahuddin attended as a presenter.

24. Actor Bashir Salahuddin attended as a presenter.

25. The award for Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project went to Avatar: The Way of Water and the team of Richard Baneham, Dan Cox, Eric Reynolds and AJ Briones.

The award for Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project went to Avatar: The Way of Water and the team of Richard Baneham, Dan Cox, Eric Reynolds and AJ

26.The award for Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project went to Avatar: The Way of Water; The Sea Dragon and the team of Sam Sharplin, Stephan Skorepa, Ian Baker and Guillaume Francois.

The award for Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project went to Avatar: The Way of Water; The Sea Dragon and the team of Sam Sharplin, Stephan Skorepa, Ian Baker and Guillaume

27. The award for Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Water Simulations and the team of Johnathan Nixon, David Moraton, Nicolas James Illingworth and David Caeiro Cebrian.

The award for Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Water Simulations and the team of Johnathan Nixon, David Moraton, Nicolas James Illingworth and David Caeiro

28.The award for Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature went to Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and the team of Derek Cheung, Michael Losure, Kiem Ching Ong and Jinguang Huang.

The award for Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature went to Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and the team of Derek Cheung, Michael Losure, Kiem Ching Ong and Jinguang

29.The award for Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project went to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Udûn; Water and Magma and the team of Rick Hankins, Aron Bonar, Branko Grujcic and Laurent Kermel.

The award for Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project went to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Udûn; Water and Magma and the team of Rick Hankins, Aron Bonar, Branko Grujcic and Laurent

30.The award for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in a Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Water Integration and the team of Sam Cole, Francois Sugny, Florian Schroeder and Jean Matthews.

The award for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in a Feature went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Water Integration and the team of Sam Cole, Francois Sugny, Florian Schroeder and Jean Matthews.

31. The award for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in an Episode went to Love, Death and Robots; Night of the Mini Dead and the team of Tim Emeis, José Maximiano, Renaud Tissandié and Nacere Guerouaf.

The award for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in an Episode went to Love, Death and Robots; Night of the Mini Dead and the team of Tim Emeis, José Maximiano, Renaud Tissandié and Nacere Guerouaf.

32.The Award for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in a Commercial went to Ladbrokes; Rocky and the team of Greg Spencer, Theajo Dharan, Georgina Ford and Jonathan Westley.

The Award for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in a Commercial went to Ladbrokes; Rocky and the team of Greg Spencer, Theajo Dharan, Georgina Ford and Jonathan Westley.

33.The award for Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal Project went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Current Machine and Wave Pool and the team of JD Schwalm, Richard Schwalm, Nick Rand and Robert Spurlock.

The award for Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal Project went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Current Machine and Wave Pool and the team of JD Schwalm, Richard Schwalm, Nick Rand and Robert

34.The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project (Award Sponsored by Autodesk) went to A Calling. From the Desert. To the Sea and the team of Mario Bertsch, Max Pollmann, Lukas Löffler and Till Sander- Titgemeyer. The award was presented to the team by Dara Treseder, Autodesk’s Chief Marketing Officer.

The award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project (Award Sponsored by Autodesk) went to A Calling. From the Desert. To the Sea and the team of Mario Bertsch, Max Pollmann, Lukas Löffler and Till Sander- Titgemeyer. The award was presented to the team by Dara Treseder, Autodesk’s Chief Marketing Officer.

35. The Emerging Technology Award went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Water Toolset and the team of Alexey Stomakhin, Steve Lesser, Sven Joel Wretborn and Douglas McHale.

The Emerging Technology Award went to Avatar: The Way of Water; Water Toolset and the team of Alexey Stomakhin, Steve Lesser, Sven Joel Wretborn and Douglas

36.Actor Angela Sarafyan participated as a presenter.

Actor Angela Sarafyan participated as a presenter.

37.Pixar’s Chief Technology Officer Steve May and Chair of the VES Technology Committee Sebastian Sylwan, VES were on hand to present the first ever Emerging Technology Award.

Pixar’s Chief Technology Officer Steve May and Chair of the VES Technology Committee Sebastian Sylwan, VES were on hand to present the first ever Emerging Technology Award.

38.Actor Josh McDermitt attended as a presenter.

Actor Josh McDermitt attended as a presenter.

39. Former Executive Director Eric Roth makes an impassioned speech upon receiving his VES Board of Directors Award.

Former Executive Director Eric Roth makes an impassioned speech upon receiving his VES Board of Directors Award.

40. Director James Cameron presented the VES Lifetime Achievement Award to Gale Anne Hurd.

Director James Cameron presented the VES Lifetime Achievement Award to Gale Anne Hurd.

41. Honorees Gale Anne Hurd and Eric Roth share a backstage moment.

Honorees Gale Anne Hurd and Eric Roth share a backstage moment.

42.Former VES Executive Director Eric Roth and host Patton Oswalt reminisce about their friendly verbal jousts over the years at the Awards Show.

Former VES Executive Director Eric Roth and host Patton Oswalt reminisce about their friendly verbal jousts over the years at the Awards Show.

43. VES Awards Committee enjoys a moment on the red carpet. From left to right: Dave Gouge, Olun Riley, Stephen Chiu, Rob Blau, DJ Johnson, Katie Brillhart, Dan Rosen, Martin Rushworth, Lopsie Schwartz, Diego Rojas, Den Serras (Co-Chair), Scott Kilburn and Reid Paul (Chair). Not pictured: Brent Armstrong, Emma Clifton Perry, Chuck Finance, Chris Ingersoll, Sarah McGee, Jeff Okun and David Valentin.

VES Awards Committee enjoys a moment on the red From left to right: Dave Gouge, Olun Riley, Stephen Chiu, Rob Blau, DJ Johnson, Katie Brillhart, Dan Rosen, Martin Rushworth, Lopsie Schwartz, Diego Rojas, Den Serras (Co-Chair), Scott Kilburn and Reid Paul (Chair). Not pictured: Brent Armstrong, Emma Clifton Perry, Chuck Finance, Chris Ingersoll, Sarah McGee, Jeff Okun and David Valentin.

44.Eric Roth, former VES Executive Director, is flanked by former VES Board Chairs Jeff Okun, VES; Jeff Barnes; Mike Chambers, VES; Roth; current Chair Lisa Cooke; Pixar GM & President Jim Morris, VES; and Carl Rosendahl, VES.

Eric Roth, former VES Executive Director, is flanked by former VES Board Chairs Jeff Okun, VES; Jeff Barnes; Mike Chambers, VES; Roth; current Chair Lisa Cooke; Pixar GM & President Jim Morris, VES; and Carl Rosendahl, VES.

45.Producer Gale Anne Hurd holds her VES Lifetime Achievement Award, flanked by VES Executive Director Nancy Ward, left, and current VES Chair Lisa Cooke.

Producer Gale Anne Hurd holds her VES Lifetime Achievement Award, flanked by VES Executive Director Nancy Ward, left, and current VES Chair Lisa Cooke.

46. Jim Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd show off Hurd’s VES Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jim Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd show off Hurd’s VES Lifetime Achievement Award.

47. Jeffrey A. Okun, VES celebrates his 21st year as the VES Awards show producer.

Jeffrey A. Okun, VES celebrates his 21st year as the VES Awards show producer.


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