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February 13, 2018

VES Awards Live Blog & Winners List

The 16th annual VES Awards are being handed out tonight at the Beverly Hilton, and Deadline is live-blogging the ceremony and updating winners as they are announced. Trophies will be awarded in 24 categories that recognize outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials and video games. Patton Oswalt is your host for a seventh time.

Warner Bros Pictures; 20th Century Fox

Blade Runner 2049, the long-germinating sequel to the 1982 cult classic, and War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest in a 50-year-old franchise, come in tied with seven noms apiece. They will vie for the Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature award with the VFX teams behind two other sequels — Star Wars: The Last Jedi, king of the 2017 domestic box office, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — and a third pic whose title character first hit screens 85 years ago: Kong: Skull Island.

The winner of the Visual Effects Society’s top film award has gone on to score the Visual Effects Oscar 10 out of 15 times including The Jungle Book last year. But the previous two VES champs – The Force Awakens and 2015’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, whose sequels as doing battle tonight – both missed out on the Academy Award.

Visual Effects Society

Despicable Me 3 penciled in five noms to lead to toon squad.

The TV side, as usual, is dominated by Game of Thrones, which has vanquished its VES rivals in recent years. HBO’s juggernaut racked up 11 nominations this year to lead both TV and film. The Visual Effects Society announced earlier that The Jungle Book helmer Jon Favreau will receive the VES Lifetime Achievement Award, and four-time VFX Oscar winner Joe Letteri will be honored with the VES Georges Méliès Award.

Diane Haithman is on scene at the Beverly Hilton and Erik Pedersen is at the editors desk, so grab a beverage and enjoy Deadline’s live blog of the 2018 VES Awards. And here is the list of winners thus far:

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
Dunkirk
Andrew Jackson, Mike Chambers, Andrew Lockley, Alison Wortman, Scott Fisher

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
Black Sails; XXIX
Erik Henry, Terron Pratt, Yafei Wu, David Wahlberg, Paul Dimmer

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature
War for the Planet of the Apes
Christoph Salzmann, Robin Hollander, Ben Warner, Beck Veitch

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode
Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Loot Train Attack
Dom Hellier, Thijs Noij, Edwin Holdsworth, Giacomo Matteucci

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial
Samsung; Do What You Can’t; Ostrich
Michael Gregory, Andrew Roberts, Gustavo Bellon, Rashabh Ramesh Butani

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Groot Dance/Opening Fight
James Baker, Steven Lo, Alvise Avati, Robert Stipp

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Avatar: Flight of Passage
Richard Baneham, Amy Jupiter, David Lester, Thrain Shadbolt

dhaithman February 13, 20188:19 pm

Dunkirk team praises collaboration, not just the effects team, but everyone involved with the film. Classy

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:19 pm

Visual Effects Society really sharing the wealth tonight: seven categories and seven different winning projects.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:18 pm

WINNER:

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
Dunkirk
Andrew Jackson, Mike Chambers, Andrew Lockley, Alison Wortman, Scott Fisher

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:17 pm

Starz finally has left behind the two-and-through season orders for its drama series.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:16 pm

That’s a solid win for the Black Sails team. And for HBO’s premium-channel rival Starz, really.

dhaithman February 13, 20188:15 pm

BIG team headed for the stage for Sails, thanking VES for recognizing the show in its last season. And Starz for “unwavering confidence in us.”

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:15 pm

What’s this? A TV winner other than Game of Thrones? Time for “Red Wedding 2: The Sequel”?

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:13 pm

WINNER:

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
Black Sails; XXIX
Erik Henry, Terron Pratt, Yafei Wu, David Wahlberg, Paul Dimmer

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:12 pm

93 Compositors? Pretty sure I saw them open for My Bloody Valentine once.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:11 pm

dhaithman February 13, 20188:10 pm

Apes team takes it for compositing:  “We are very honored”  and said they had a whopping total of 93 compositors to make it all happen

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:10 pm

That’s the first VES win tonight for War of the Planet of the Apes, which came in tied with Blade Runner 2049 for most nominations — seven.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:09 pm

Another winner:

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

War for the Planet of the Apes

Christoph Salzmann, Robin Hollander, Ben Warner, Beck Veitch

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:08 pm

Or, as Cheech and Chong once called him, “Horendo Revolver.”

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:08 pm

Can’t we get some of the Westeros folks to investigate this Russia thing? Or the Clinton emails? Or the JFK assassination? Or Geraldo Rivera’s moustache?

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:06 pm

Well played, Diane.

dhaithman February 13, 20188:06 pm

Where there be dragons, there be awards

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:05 pm

Thrones has been making mincemeat of its “rivals” at the VES Awards for years. Almost feels like decades.

dhaithman February 13, 20188:05 pm

This stuff really is magic. Compositing is cool!

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:04 pm

WINNER:
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode
Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Loot Train Attack
Dom Hellier, Thijs Noij, Edwin Holdsworth, Giacomo Matteucci

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:04 pm

Man, those birds are big. Anyone see that BBC nature show where three lion brothers took down an ostrich? This cat fan digs it.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:02 pm

Here is Samsung’s winning ad, the 60-second version:

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:02 pm

There’s no denying it’s a clever ad. I think I want one of those VR helmetcam deals.

That’s the technical term, I believe.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20188:01 pm

First winner on the commercials side:

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial
Samsung; Do What You Can’t; Ostrich
Michael Gregory, Andrew Roberts, Gustavo Bellon, Rashabh Ramesh Butani

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:59 pm

I’m guessing Patton Oswalt wouldn’t shy away from doing a speech for anyone at any time.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:58 pm

Two categories and 22 to go. 

dhaithman February 13, 20187:58 pm

Guardians team says they wished Patton Oswald could give their speech
 

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:57 pm

WINNER:

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Groot Dance/Opening Fight

James Baker, Steven Lo, Alvise Avati, Robert Stipp

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:56 pm

Raise your hand if you knew there was a new Avatar product in 2017.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:53 pm

We have our first winner of the night:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

Avatar: Flight of Passage

Richard Baneham, Amy Jupiter, David Lester, Thrain Shadbolt

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:50 pm
Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:48 pm

VES said this in its press notes for tonight’s shindig: “The artistry, ingenuity and passion of visual effects practitioners around the world have come together to tell the most amazing stories imaginable. This year, more than ever, we have seen the fantastic become normal, the unimaginable become reality and the artistry of VFX drive box office. The VES Awards is proud that it is the only place that showcases and honors these amazing artists in depth and across a wide range of fields.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:47 pm

Jon Landau – James Cameron’s producing partner on Avatar, Titanic, et al. – will give the Georges Méliès Award to Weta Digital’s four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri, with whom he worked on Avatar and its upcoming sequels.

dhaithman February 13, 20187:46 pm

Breaking the record for the most former Dungeon Masters in one room, says Oswald, noting this is his 5th time hosting these awards.  He’s cracking everybody up with his nerd jokes.  He can get away with it because he’s a member of the club.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:46 pm

Last part from Roth:

“In addition, I’d also like to salute Brooke and a few of her colleagues, including Camille Celluci, Lisa Cooke, Rose Duignan, Kim Bromley and others, who made sure that one very notable person, an extraordinary visual effects head of production whose career spanned more than 20 years — and who was a true pioneer for women in this industry — had a chance to be recognized earlier this evening in a special ceremony. Patty Blau!”

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:46 pm

Roth continued:

“Women must have a real voice in our industry and while I realize that as a white male I am an imperfect messenger for this task, I want to thank a very talented woman — Brooke Breton, visual effects producer and VES Board member — who will take the lead in dealing with this issue. Brooke will head a committee to be formed by the Board to come up with a plan of action, with recommendations and ideas for moving forward.”

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:45 pm

More from Roth:

“With that in mind, let me state the obvious: we not only need more women in the entertainment industry at large … we need more women in visual effects. And we need more women in positions of power. And most importantly, we need to make sure that if there are instances, situations, or questionable moments of abuse, harassment, or power inequities that are impacting the lives of ANY ONE, it must stop IMMEDIATELY.”

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:45 pm

Eric Roth’s opening comments: 

As you know, every year it falls to me to thank our wonderful sponsors and volunteers, and shortly I will. But this year, I must first acknowledge that we are in the midst of a critical moment in time, galvanized by the brave leadership and widespread support of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements.

dhaithman February 13, 20187:44 pm

Patton Oswald calls Eric Roth the human dynamo, Mr. Charisma, Eric Diamond David Lee Roth. Hah!  Says he’s exhausted and loopy from jury duty today downtown.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:43 pm

Marvel honcho Kevin Feige will present the VES Lifetime Achievement Award to his Iron Man helmer and Avengers: Infinity War producer Jon Favreau

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:42 pm

Tonight’s parade of presenters will include Kumail  Nanjiani, Diane Warren, Lee Unkrich, Sydelle
Noel, Chris Sullivan, Jaime Camil, Elizabeth Henstridge, Ana De La Reguera and
Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:42 pm

The Last Jedi is in the running two years after Star Wars: The Force Awakens swept the 2016 VES Awards. And last year, spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story scored seven nominations to lead the field last year — but it went home empty-handed.

Erik Pedersen February 13, 20187:40 pm

Welcome to Deadline’s live blog of the 16th annual VES Awards.

Read more from Deadline