Five Visual Effects Nominees

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Hollywood Z
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Postby Hollywood Z » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:18 pm

OscarGuy wrote:I preferred Truman Show and Armageddon easily to What Dreams May Come.

Wow, I found Armageddon to be completely disgusting to look at every second, especially after they took off into space. The crappy editing, the horrible camera angles, the unflattering lighting, it was just one miserable experience from beginning to end. I preferred Dreams, if only because it was nice to appreciate the grandeur of the environment it crated. Was it artificial looking? Yes, but I took it that it was supposed to be made up like a gigantic painting, which would also explain why the sense of perspective felt more like a two dimensional painting rather than a three dimensional motion picture.

But this debate may be for another board, so I'll just stop by saying that I think we both get something different from the overall effect of the film.




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Postby OscarGuy » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:46 am

Granted, the nomination slate wasn't bad, but I detested the visual effects in What Dreams May Come. It felt entirely artificial, lacked any sense of perspective, was hard to even look at at times. I preferred Truman Show and Armageddon easily to What Dreams May Come.
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Postby Hollywood Z » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:21 pm

While What Dreams May Come may not have aged well in it's narrative, I still think it's one of the more visually impressive films from that decade. Sure, we take for granted computer effects to this day, but back then, they had to take two years just to develop the software to make the paint world effects. Add on top of that the fantastic set design by Eugenio Zanetti and I would gladly have had this film win Best Visual Effects over the vile, unwatchable and laughable Armageddon and even over the dismissable Mighty Joe Young. Heck, I even prefered the sets to the recycled and already available Shakespeare in Love. For further proof what kind of a year it was for visual effects, the other four finalists were Small Soldiers, Godzilla, The Truman Show and Babe: Pig in the City with the latter being the only one I could have seen besting What Dreams May Come. However, it would have been a more amazing year in that category had the academy let Dark City and Pleasantville compete.
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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:18 am

The only reason more commercial fare would win is if the nominees are nothing but commercial fare. Although the old process of selecting nominees was different, the selection of winners was not. All categories, even the bake-off ones, selected winners the same way. So, we can still get all those surprise victories, but fewer ones like What Crap May Come would be welcome.
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Postby Hollywood Z » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:27 pm

Crap, guess that means look for more commercial fare to win instead of surprises like The Golden Compass winning over Transformers or What Dreams May Come winning over Armageddon. God, I shudder to think what might happen when the next Michael Bay film comes out. Of course, I do that any way.
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Postby OscarGuy » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:20 pm

The rules have changed a little more substantially than that.

They no longer have their rated bake-offs. This means that the selections are ranked in the standard way other categories are: order of preference. While the rating system still was able to achieve that, it was more likely to create a general consensus through an averaging/weighting system than the not-so-preferential system the Academy uses in general.
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Postby Hollywood Z » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:45 pm

Thanks for the link! :)

Interesting that they're still using the 7 finalists rule, but have only cut out the word three and replaced it with five, it seems. You're right, will that mean they will release the 7 finalists or won't they? Especially when they have the same language as the Sound Effects rule: "The five productions receiving the highest number of votes shall become the nominations for final voting for the Visual Effects award."
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Postby OscarGuy » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:42 am

Here's a link to the rules for the Visual Effects award:

http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/rule22.html

The way I read it, they will still do seven selections, but I don't think they will reveal the contenders, but they may. But that will make it much easier to predict the nominees than before.
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Postby Hollywood Z » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:20 pm

Hmm, I guess that means we won't have our standard list of 7 finalists like we've had since 1995. That being said, I wonder if we'll still have our 15 semi finalists list come out. If so, I'd like to take a stab at predicting those (the technical categories are always so much fun. All of the pomp and circumstance, none of the drama, outside the whole ongoing Kevin O'Connell drama):

- The A-Team: I know, I'm speaking blasphemy, but do consider that this movie has previous Oscar winner Bill Westenhofer (& Rhythm & Hues) behind it's effects, along with 2012 SFX supervisor Mike Vezina.

- Alice In Wonderland: A no-brainer, but previous winners Craig Barron and Michael Lantieri might be enough to help this one be remembered.

- Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore: Okay, at least one surprise kiddie film nominee makes the list each year (The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Water Horse, etc) and the original was even one of 2001's finalists. Will it be dismissible and probably forgotten by the end of the year? No doubt. Does that matter in the world of Visual Effects? Not unless your rendering wasn't impressive.

- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: This one will sneak in, regardless of box office success or not, if only on the pedigree of the series' name. However, imdb isn't listing any major names in terms of VFX supervisors, so I'm not expecting it to sneak in the final five.

- Clash of the Titans: Yeah, yeah, it was bad, but the FX team of Nick Davis, Rob Harvey and Neil Corbould will be enough for it to make it on the semi-finalist list at least.

- Gulliver's Travels: I know, this movie is barely a blip on the winter release radar. Didn't stop Night at the Museum from sneaking into the finalist list in 2006 (that and a disappointing line-up of studio driven FX films). That and with WETA guru Jim Rygiel behind it, Travels is probably a safe bet for this spot.

- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I: There's really no arguments as to why this won't be in the final five. Not to mention, we'll probably be hearing the name Paul J. Franklin (The Dark Knight) twice this year, also for...

- Inception: Again, Paul J. Franklin's team (along with SFX Supervisor Chris Corbould) is the film that probably has the best chance at getting a Best Picture nod here, so it's slot in the final 5 is a guarantee, if not already a winner.

- Iron Man 2: While this one didn't quite live up to the entertaining factor of the first movie, the effects were still wall to wall and still pretty impressive. Tack onto that the FX team of Janek Sirrs, Edson Williams and Daniel Sudick, it seems pretty safe that it'll be in the final five.

- The Last Airbender: Okay, get the bile out of your throat, the only reason this is on the list is because it's a major ILM production and still a summer film. It's probably a safe semi-finalist, but don't expect a single nomination for this global-wide disappointment.

- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: Kevin Scott Mack (What Dreams May Come) supervises the team behind this fairly big spring film. It may slide in here, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was upseated.

- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: Sure, it was a bomb, but it had sand. Lots and lots of CG sand blowing every which way. It's the kind of FX that techie geeks love, so it's guaranteed to be a semi-finalist.

- The Sorcerer's Apprentice: So is that other Jerry Bruckheimer bomb. Highly revered previous winners John Nelson and John Fraiser headed the team for this film, but making it into the final five is pretty doubtful.

- Tron: Legacy: Now, here, we have to see how successful this film will be. Once that's determined, it'll gauge how influential it'll be with the nominations, which could get into the Sound Mixing (of which the original was nominated) & Sound Effects also. Also, having passed up the original's effects back in 1982 (when there also should have been five nominees), this could be it's way into the final five.

- The Wolfman: Okay, here's another spring time bomb that may not be remembered come nomination time, but the work done by Rick Baker and his team may be able to stretch (no pun intended) further than just a Best Make-Up consideration.
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Postby rudeboy » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:39 pm

Mixed feelings about this, although I think we knew it was coming. Certainly there are years where there are plenty of very worthy candidates - but there are lean years of seen-it-all-before extravaganzas, and this opens the door for regular nominations for dreadful but big-budget movies like the Transformers franchise. Couldn't they use a points system as they do with the song Oscar (sorry, I've never bothered to learn exactly how it works) so there would still be three nominees in weaker years?

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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:57 pm

It's about time. This is something they needed for some time. Maybe we won't get as many lame exclusions as we've had in recent years?
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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:14 pm

What some around here have been crying for.


Visual Effects Oscar noms upped to five
Academy confirms augmentation of vfx category
By DAVID S. COHENT

he Motion Picture Academy made it official today: There will be five nominees from now on for the Visual Effects Oscar.

As first reported in Variety (May 18, 2010) the Acad's visual effects branch asked for the change, but not without some controversy.

Move recognizes the growing importance of visual effects and the large number of movies with high-level f/x released each year.

Concerns included the number of nominees, the length of the telecast and the possibility that the voting membership at large would award an inferior production.

Acad's announcement did not reveal the fate of the popular visual effects bakeoff in which the vfx branch narrowed the contenders from seven to three. The event could be expanded.

The Academy also announced a minor rule change to the Animated Feature rules, defining a "feature" as 40 minutes or longer. That brings the definition of "feature" and "short" in line with live-action films.


Previously the rules had defined a "short" as 40 minutes or less and a feature as 70 minutes or longer, leaving no category for movies from 40-70 minutes.


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