Saturday, February 13, 2016

Awards-Nazi Award Nominations: Visual Effects

There's so much swell work out there this year. Not only are the Visual Effects in these five movies extremely proficient, but what I love most about them is that they have personality. It's easy to take photoreal illusions for granted these days, so it bears reminding that thy are created by artists who truly are thinking about deeper things than "How real does it look?". Watch some of the embedded featurettes to see what I mean.

EX MACHINA
(Andrew Whitehurst, Sara Bennett,
Mark Ardington, Paul Norris)
The beautiful, translucent robotics are hypnotically alluring despite their minimalism. This is how supporting effects, when smartly used and lovingly realized, can enhance a film's overall impact.


THE GOOD DINOSAUR
(Jon Reisch, Sharon Calahan,
Sanjay Bakshi, Magnus Wrenninge)
If all you came for was a great-looking movie, you weren't let down. The photo-real environs are utterly majestic, especially those expansive skies and their painstakingly rendered volumetric clouds.


MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
(Andrew Jackson, Andy Williams,
Dan Oliver, Guy Norris)
Makes a strong case for the visceral power of practical in-camera effects and heart-stopping stunts. No way this movie would have felt as tangibly dangerous or heart-stopping without them.


STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS
(Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh,
Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan)
Neal Scanlan's creature workshop deserves an enormous back pat for putting in countless hours on puppets and animatronics that get very limited screen time; A charming compliment to the sturdy CG.


THE WALK
(Kevin Baillie, Viktor Müller,
Sébastien Moreau, Ryal Crosgrove)
The awe-inspiring climax is indeed spectacular, but it should not go overlooked that the entire film is buttressed by convincing, subtle illusions that depict time and place in stunning detail.


Other considerations:
Jurassic World
(Tim Alexander, Tony Plett, Glen McIntosh, Michael Meinardus)
The Martian
(Richard Stammers, Chris Lawrence, Anders Langlands, Steven Warner)
Spectre
(Steve Begg, Chris Corbould, Gary Powell)
The Revenant
(Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith, Cameron Waldbauer)
Avengers: Age of Ultron
(Christopher Townsend, Ben Snow, Marc Chu, Paul Corbould)

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