“War for the Planet of the Apes” from Weta Digital could well be on its way to the elusive VFX Oscar after winning four VES trophies Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton (including the top feature prize). Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” won for supporting VFX, Pixar’s “Coco” earned four awards (including VFX for animation), and “Game of Thrones” took home five awards (including VFX for TV).
The “Apes” finale, directed by Matt Reeves, benefited from a Shakespearean performance from Andy Serkis as Caesar, with Weta working its wizardry in much harsher conditions for the performance-captured animation. Not surprisingly, “Apes” additionally won for Caesar, the effects simulations for the thrilling avalanche, and compositing. However, although both “Rise” and “Dawn” captured VES prizes, neither won the Oscar, so “War” is not a certainty in its race with “Blade Runner 2049.”
Speaking of which, Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner” sequel won two awards for the brutal LA environment and the model of LAPD Headquarters.
“Coco,” the animated Oscar frontrunner, also took home prizes for the skeleton Hector, the City of the Dead environment, and effects simulations.
The biggest loser was “The Last Jedi,” which marked the second year in a row that “Star Wars” was shut out after taking the VES award for “The Force Awakens.” But Luke Skywalker’s Mark Hamill made a surprise appearance to hand out the final award to “War.”
Oscar winner Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book”) scored the VES Lifetime Achievement Award, and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri, Weta’s senior VFX supervisor, earned the Georges Méliès Award.
Winners of the 16th Annual VES Awards are as follows:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
Darla K. Anderson
Michael K. O’Brien
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
“Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall”
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
“Black Sails; XXIX”
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project
“Assassin’s Creed Origins”
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
“Samsung; Do What You Can’t; Ostrich”
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
“Avatar: Flight of Passage”
Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature
“War for the Planet of the Apes; Caesar”
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature
“Coco”; …read more