fxguide would like to congratulate all of the VFX artists who worked on the 2010 Oscar-nominated films, and especially the nominees themselves.
We spoke to a few of the nominees today to get their first reactions, but we will also be continuing our series of Tech behind the major facilities, so keep an eye out for those podcasts and stories in the lead up to the Oscars themselves next month. Also check out the links at the bottom of this story to all our detailed VFX Oscar film in-depth stories.
Double Negative UK/Singapore (DNeg) scored well this year. Of course, facilities are not directly nominated, but the work of the DNeg teams who worked on Inception and Iron Man 2 were acknowledged with nominations for several key DNeg staff. Inception's VFX Supervisor and founding member of Double Negative, Paul Franklin: "Being nominated by the Academy is a fantastic honour which recognises all the hard work from so many artists, technicians and producers that went into the making of Inception's VFX. We were very lucky to have a great script, a great director and a fantastic cast and crew - everything lined up for us," he commented in an email to fxguide after hearing the news.
It should be noted that Inception was not only nominated for an Academy Award for Visual Effects, but also nominated for Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Original Score, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
Franklin was nominated along with SFX Supervisor, Chris Corbould, and DNeg's VFX Supervisors, Peter Bebb and Andrew Lockley.
Iron Man 2's supervisors were also nominated, including DNeg's VFX Supervisor on the film, Ged Wright, who commented from London that. "film in general but in particular VFX is a team effort. I know it means a great deal to everyone involved at Dneg." Alex Hope, DNeg’s MD, commented that "this is amazing news for all those nominated and all the DNeg teams who put their heart and souls into every film we work on. We're tremendously honored to be included and wish the best of luck to all the nominees."
Also nominated for Iron Man 2 was the film's overall VFX Supervisor, Janek Sirrs and ILM's Ben Snow and also Daniel Sudick. Janek Sirrs previously won the Oscar for the ground breaking The Matrix in 2000. This is Ben Snow's fourth Oscar nomination and Daniel Sudick's fourth nomination in just seven years (Master and Commander, War of the Worlds, Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2).
For Alice in Wonderland, this is Ken Ralston's eighth nomination. "The nomination is wonderful because working on Alice in Wonderland was one of the best creative experiences of my entire career. Tim Burton trusted us with his vision and the work on the screen is the result of an amazing collaboration with hundreds of brilliant artists, including my fellow nominees and a great team on set. You hope to have an experience like this at least once in your career and I am so happy that our peers recognized the extraordinary complexity, detail and accomplishment that the visual effects in Alice in Wonderland represent," he said. Ralston was Senior Visual Effects Supervisor on the film and Creative Head of Sony Pictures Imageworks. He was previously nominated for Return of the Jedi, Forrest Gump, Cocoon, Death Becomes Her, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future II, DragonSlayer . He has won four times.
He is nominated with David Schaub, Sean Phillips and Carey Villegas, who commented, "As an artist who has been working in the VFX industry for a long time now, I am very excited to receive this honor and recognition. Thanks to the many artists and technicians, especially those at Sony Pictures Imageworks, who helped make Alice In Wonderland possible." This was a comment echoed by Sean Phillips who wants to "share the honor with the entire visual effects crew that was responsible for all the spectacular work in Alice in Wonderland."
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (HP7) saw nominations for overall VFX supervisor Tim Burke who previously won the Oscar for Gladiator (2000), as well as John Richardson who has worked on every Potter film and won an Oscar previously for his work on Aliens (1986). Nominations also for Christian Manz, who at Framestore lead the character animation team on Dobby the house-elf and Kreacher, and for MPC visual effects supervisor Nicolas Aithadi who lead the team on a range of shots including the multiple Harrys sequence and the following escape sequence.
"It's truly great news to see Harry Potter nominated for an Academy Award, says Aithadi. "To be personally credited is an honour. I am flattered to be listed with the other 3 nominees. Of course everyone at MPC and elsewhere who worked on the project deserves credit. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the big night."
Hereafter delivered nominations for Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell. Michael Owens has worked with director Clint Eastwood on such films as the critically acclaimed Invictus. This is the first nomination for each of the four Hereafter senior artists. Stephan Trojanski is VFX supe and president of Scanline VFX. Their fluid sims are at the heart of the film's VFX work.
"It's exciting to be nominated for a movie that isn't primarily visual effects driven, but instead uses the visual effects purely to support the story," says Stephan Trojansky, VFX Supervisor. "We're honored to be recognized by our peers, and we're especially proud of the Scanline VFX team in Los Angeles. They really pushed our technologies to the limit and delivered work to be proud of."
Joe Farrell and Bryan Grill, who were both previously at DD, are now key members of the Scanline team. "Having the opportunity to work for a filmmaker like Clint Eastwood makes you want to do your best," says Grill. "His fearless approach to storytelling inspired us as we tackled the emotional and technical challenges of the film." Joe Farrell adds: "To have learned from amazing artists in my career and to have been fortunate on this film to be so creatively involved, truly makes this nomination so special."
Above: Bryan Grill (L) and Joe Farrell
fxguide coverage of these films
We have two Iron Man 2 podcasts with ILM's Ben Snow, the first podcast is just on the film
You can see Ged Wright talk about Iron Man 2 in fxguidetv (#83)
We have both a written article and a podcast on Inception here.
We also have a followup podcast with Paul Franklin here.
You can read about Hereafter here at fxguide.
ALICE in WONDERLAND.
You can read about Alice in Wonderland here at fxguide.
We also have an fxguidetv ep (#85) on the film here.
Note we will be having more on Alice and its vfx tools coming up on fxguide.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1
We have several written stories on HP7:
We look at the amazing Deathly Hallows animation from Framestore here.
Ian Failes rounds up an overview of all the effects in HP7 here.
And we speak to DNeg's Visual Effects Supervisor David Vickery in this podcast,
and to Framestore’s vfx sup. Christian Manz about the character animation of Dobby and Kreacher.
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