UPDATED with the full list of winners: George Clooney’s Netflix sci-fi thriller Midnight Sky, Disney / Pixars animated Soul and the Disney + Star Wars spin-off series Mandalorianen were the tent winners on Tuesday at the 19th annual VES Awards.
The Visual Effects Society’s annual celebration, which pays tribute to the best of the year in film, animation, television, commercials and video games, hosted Patton Oswalt (and his green monster alter ego) as usual and was presented almost because of the pandemic.
The well-constructed and engaging show (leave it to the VFX crews to pull it off during the year of the zoom ceremony) included honorary awards given to Peter Jackson, who received the VES Lifetime Achievement Award presented by his LOTR star Cate Blanchett and with a tribute to Andy Serkis, Naomi Watts, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, James Cameron and Gollum even in one of several pieces of DIY effects works from some of the industry̵
Peter Jackson receives the Visual Effects Society Lifetime Achievement Award
Speaking externally from his New Zealand outpost, Jackson traced his career arc, which included everything from Tolkien to King, referring to himself as “the guy trying to make life for VFX artists as difficult as he can.”
Midnight Sky, who is also nominated for an Oscar for Visual Effects this year, won two awards tonight, including for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature, prevalent in a category that included other Oscar nominees Tenet from Warner Bros. along with other Netflix movies Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Project Power and HBO Max’s Witches.
That Midnight Sky victory was appropriate in a year in which four of the five nominees streamed films in a category specializing in big-screen, high-impact films. There was very little of this this year with cinemas closing almost all over the world, with only Christopher Nolan’s tent pole in the mix.
Since the launch of the VES Awards in 2002, the main film winner has continued to take the Visual Effects Oscar for 10 out of the last 18 years. Last year, Disney’s Lions King won VES honor but Universal 1917 took Oscar.
Disney + / Lucasfilms Mandalorianen came in tonight and directed all the TV shows and movies with 13 tracks, including for the outstanding visual effects in a photorealistic episode considered the TV honor of the community; that Star wars spinoff won here twice last year. It won that honor along with two others. HBOs Lovecraft Country also has two wins on the TV side.
Disney / Pixars animated Soul, which topped the movie page with five noms overall at night, swept all of its categories. Project Power also had two wins.
The VES Award for Creative Expertise was awarded to visual effects supervisor / director of photography Rob Legato, ASC. Legato, who was busy at this event last year accepting the trophy for the big winner on the film side Lions King, received his honor tonight by his Borat subsequently Moviefilm collaborator Sacha Baron Cohen.
Check the list below when we update when the winners will be announced during the ceremony:
Excellent visual effects in a photoreal feature
Unique visual effects in a photorealistic episode
Excellent visual effects in an animated feature
Excellent visual effects in a commercial
WALMART; Famous visitors
Chris “Badger” Knight
Excellent supporting visual effects in a photoreal feature
Excellent supporting visual effects in a photorealistic episode
THE CROWN; Gold stick
Unique animated character in a photoreal feature
THE ONLY IVAN; Ivan
Andrea De Martis
Unique animated character in an advertisement
ARM & HAMMER; Once upon a time; Smoking Tom
Tiago Dias Mota
Unique animated character in an animated feature
Unique animated character in a real-time episode or project
MANDALORIES; Jedien; The child
Excellently created environment in a photoreal function
MULAN; Imperial City
Excellently created environment in an animated function
SOUL; This seminar
Excellently created environment in a section, a commercial or real-time project
MANDALORIES; The believer; Morak Jungle
Simulations of excellent effects in a photoreal function
Yin Lai Jimmy Leung
Jonathan Edward Lyddon-Towl
Excellent effect simulations in an animated function
Keith Daniel Klohn
Simulations of excellent effects in a section, a commercial or real-time project
LOVECRAFT-LAND; Strange case; Chrysalis
Excellent virtual movie in a CG project
Excellent visual effects in a real-time project
SPEAR OF TSUSHIMA
Unique model in a photo-realistic or animated project
MIDNIGHT SKY; Eat
Excellent visual effects in a student project
Unique composition in one function
Unique composition in an episode
LOVECRAFT-LAND; Strange case; Chrysalis
Unique composition in a commercial
BURBERRY; Singin ‘In the Rain
Excellent visual effects in a special site project
Unique special (practical) effects in a photorealistic or animated project
Fear the wandering dead; Bury her next to Jasper’s legs
Daniel J. Yates
VES Lifetime Achievement Award
VES Award for Creative Excellence
Rob Legato, ASC