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‘Gravity’ Soars in Visual Effects Society Nominations

Alfonso Cuaron’s film is so dominant that Sandra Bullock’s character is nominated as Outstanding Animated Character


“Gravity” led all films in nominations for the 12th annual VES Awards,  according to a Tuesday morning announcement by the Visual Effects Society that should surprise no one.

Alfonso Cuaron’s groundbreaking space thriller picked up eight nominations for its visual effects in eight live-action feature-film categories. “Pacific Rim” received six, while “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and Iron Man 3” received five each.

Also read: How ‘Gravity’ Revolutionized Visual Effects and Blasted Sandra Bullock Into Space

“Frozen,” “The Croods” and “Epic” led all animated features with four nominations each, while HBO’s “Game of Thrones” topped the TV nominations with four.

The most surprising and telling of the “Gravity” nominations may have come in the Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture category. Alongside the dragon Smaug from “The Hobbit,” China Girl from “Oz the Great and Powerful” and the alien monster Leatherback from “Pacific Rim,” VES members in eight cities voted for Ryan, the “Gravity” character played by Sandra Bullock (apparently with the help of four VFX artists).

Further proof of just how thoroughly “Gravity” dominated the 2013 visual-effects field: Even before VES voters made the film the year’s top nominee, the society selected Cuaron to be the recipient of its Visionary Award at the ceremony on Feb. 12 at the Beverly Hilton.

In addition to “Gravity,” nominees in the Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture, the VES Awards category that most closely corresponds to the Oscar visual-effects category most years, included “Iron Man 3,” “Pacific Rim,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and “The Hobbit.”

All of the nominated films are on the Oscar shortlist for visual effects.

Also read: Academy Announces 9 Films That ‘Gravity’ Will Beat for the VFX Oscar

The VES Awards give out prizes in eight categories for live-action feature films, four for animated features, three for broadcast television programs, two for commercials, four for either commercials or broadcast, and one each for videogames, special venue projects and student projects.

In the animated-feature categories, “Frozen,” “The Croods” and “Epic” scored four nominations each, while “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” and “Monsters University” received two and “Despicable Me 2” landed one.

“Game of Thrones” led a group of televison nominations that were spread among more than a dozen programs. The miniseries “Inseparable” was the only other TV program to receive multiple nominations, with two.

Other TV nominees included “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “DaVinci’s Demons,” “Mob City,” “The Borgias” and “Hawaii 5-0.”

Effects pioneer John Dykstra will receive the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Feb. 12 ceremony.

The nominees:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Tim Webber, Nikki Penny, Chris Lawrence, Richard Mcbride
“Iron Man 3”:
Christopher Townsend, Mark Soper, Guy Williams, Bryan Grill
“Pacific Rim”:
John Knoll, Susan Greenhow, Chris Raimo, Hal Hickel
“Star Trek: Into Darkness”:
Roger Guyett, Luke O’Byrne, Ron Ames, Ben Grossman
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, Kevin Sherwood, David Clayton

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Jody Johnson, Moriah Etherington-Sparks, Mark Hodgkins, Antoine Moulineau
“The Great Gatsby”: Chris Godfrey, Prue Fletcher, Joyce Cox
“The Lone Ranger”: Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Shari Hanson, Kevin Martel
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”: Guillaume Rocheron, Kurt Williams, Monette Dubin, Ivan Moran
“The Wolf of Wall Street”: Robert Legato, Mark Russell, Joseph Farrell, Lisa Spence
“White House Down”:  Marc Weigert, Volker Engel, Julia Frey, Ollie Rankin

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2”:
Peter Nash, Michael Ford, Chris Juen, Mandy Tankenson
“Despicable Me 2”: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
“Frozen”: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho, Lino Di Salvo
“Monsters University”: Kori Rae, Sanjay Bakshi, Jon Reisch, Scott Clark
“The Croods”: Jane Hartwell, Chris Sanders, Kirk Demicco, Markus Manninen

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – Pilot:
Mark Kolpack, Sabrina Arnold, David Altenau, H Haden Hammond
“Almost Human”: Jay Worth, Robert Habros, Michael Cliett, David Beedon
“Battlestar Galactica” – “Blood & Chrome”:  Gary Hutzel, Michael Gibson, Derek Ledbetter, Heather Mcauliff
“Game of Thrones” – “Valar Dohaeris”:  Steve Kullback, Joe Bauer, Jörn Großhans, Sven Martin
“Inseparable” – “Chernobyl”: Egor Olesov, Egor Borschevsky, Dmitry Ovcharenko, Mykhailo Datsyk

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
“Banshee” – Pilot:
Armen Kevorkian, Mark Skowronski, Jeremy Jozwik, Ricardo Ramirez
“Da Vinci’s Demons” – “The Lovers”: Kevin Blank, Simon Frame, Ante Dekovic, Oliver Arnold
“Hawaii 5-0” – “Ho’onani Makuakane”: Armen Kevorkian, Alexander Soltes, Jane Sharvina, Andranik Taranyan
“Mob City” – “A Guy Walks in to A Bar”: Jason Sperling, Michael Morreale, Valeri Pfahning, Mike Enriquez
“Moonfleet” – “Episode 2”: Ed Bruce, Alan Collins, John O’Connell, Joe Courtis
“The Borgias” – “Relics”: Wojciech Zielinski, Neishaw Ali, Bill Halliday, Jp Giamos

Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game
“Call of Duty” – “Ghosts”:
Mark Rubin, Richard Kriegler, David Johnson, Alessandro Nardini
“Crysis 3”: Magnus Larbrant, Tiago Sousa, Steven Bender, Cevat Yerli
“Killzone Shadow Fall”: Marijn Giesbertz, Jan-Bart Van Beek, Angie Smets
“NBA 2K14”: Heather Marshall, Joseph Clark, Jeff Thomas, Anton Dawson
Ryse: Son of Rome”: Cevat Yerli, Peter Gornstein, Chris Evans, Brian Chambers

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
“Call of Duty: Epic Night Out”:
Leighton Greer, Robert Sethi, Felix Urquiza, Chris Knight
“Galaxy Chauffeur”: Helen Hughes, Simon French, William Bartlett, Stephen Cullingford
“Liberty Group Limited: Answer”: James Atkinson, Rachel Mariscal, Scott Meadows, David Liu
“PETA: 98% Human”: Angus Kneale, Vince Baertsoen, Colin Blaney, Kyle Cody
“Sony PlayStation: Perfect Day”: Charlotte Arnold, Joji Tsuruga, Gavin Wellsman, Olivier Mitonneau

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
“Hayden Planetarium’s Dark Universe”:
Vivian Trakinski, Jon Parker, Carter Emmart, Andreas Wetteborn
“Mysteries of the Unseen World”: Sean Phillips, Andy Yamada, Fred Pienkos, Matthew Sugars
“Mystic Manor”: Tim Landry, John Guerra, Mark Schirmer, Ken Horii
“Space Shuttle Atlantis”: Daren Ulmer, John Gross, Cedar Connor, Christian Bloch
“SpongeBob SquarePants 4D: The Great Jelly Rescue!”: Kate Crandall, Brent Young, Michael “Oz” Smith, Andrei Brovcenco

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
“Gravity” – Ryan:
Max Solomon, Mathieu Vig, Michael Brunet, David Shirk
“Oz the Great and Powerful” – China Girl: Troy Saliba, In-Ah Roediger, Carolyn Vale, Kevin Souls
“Pacific Rim” –
Kaiju – Leatherback: Jakub Pistecky, Frank Gravatt, Cyrus Jam, Chris Havreberg
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” – Smaug
: Eric Reynolds, David Clayton, Myriam Catrin, Guillaume Francois

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
“Epic” – Bomba
: Thom Roberts, Haven Gordon Cousins, Tim Bower, Daniel Lima
“Epic” – Mary Katherine: Jeff Gabor, Dylan C. Maxwell, Sang Jun Lee, Chris Pagoria
“Frozen” – Bringing the Snow Queen to Life: Alexander Alvarado, Joy Johnson, Chad Stubblefield, Wayne Unten
“The Croods” – Eep: Line Andersen, Won Young Byun, Koji Morihiro, Chris De St. Jeor

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
“Game of Thrones” – Raising the Dragons
: Philip Meyer, Ingo Schachner, Travis Nobles, Florian Friedmann
“PETA — 98% Human”: Vince Baertsoen, Alex Allain, Henning Koczy
“Smithwick’s” – Squirrel: Tom Bussell, Jorge Montiel, Tom Raynor, Leonardo Costa
“Three, The Pony”: Carsten Keller, Jake Mengers, Tim Van Hussen
“Toy Story of Terror”: Paul Aichele, Kiki Mei Kee Poh, Andrew Coats

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
“Elysium” – Torus:
Votch Levi, Joshua Ong, Barry Poon
“Gravity” – Interior
: Harry Bardak, Nathan Walster, Jonathan Fawkner, Claire Michaud
“Gravity” – Exterior
: Paul Beilby, Kyle Mcculloch, Stuart Penn, Ian Comley
“Iron Man 3” – Shipyard
: John Stevenson-Galvin, Greg Notzelman, Paul Harris, Justin Stockton
“Pacific Rim” – Virtual Hong Kong: Johan Thorngren, Jeremy Bloch, David Meny, Polly Ing

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
“Epic” – Pod Patch
: Aaron Ross, Travis Price, Jake Panian, Antelmo Villarreal
“Frozen” – Elsa’s Ice Palace: Virgilio John Aquino, Alessandro Jacomini, Lance Summers, David Womersley
“Monsters University” – Campus: Robert Kondo, Eric Andraos, Dale Ruffolo, Peter Sumanaseni
“The Croods” – The Maze: Jonathan Harman, Violette Sacre-Shaik, Benjamin Venancie, Philippe Brochu

Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
“Game of Thrones” – The Climb
: Patrick Zentis, Mayur Patel, Nitin Singh, Tim Alexander
“Hell On Wheels” – “Big Bad Wolf”: Steve Meyer, Matt Von Brock, Mitch Gates, Antonio Chang
“Inseparable” – “Chernobyl”: Dmitry Ovcharenko, Igor Chopenko, Dmitry Eremenko, Andrey Bogdanov
Liberty Group Limited — “Answer”: Greg Teegarden, Kevin Bouchez, Brian Creasey, Kurt Lawson

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Tim Webber, Emmanuel Lubezki, Richard Mcbride, Dale Newton
“Iron Man 3”: Mark Smith, Aaron Gilman, Thelvin Cabezas, Gerardo Ramirez
“Man of Steel”: Daniel Paulsson, Edmund Kolloen, Joel Prager, David Stripinis
“Pacific Rim” – Hong Kong Ocean Brawl: Colin Benoit, Nick Walker, Adam Schnitzer, Victor Schutz
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: Christian Rivers, Phil Barrenger, Mark Gee, Thelvin Tico Cabezas

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Commercial or Broadcast Program
“Mad Max” – “Ethos”:
Aladino Debert, Neil Huxley, David Liu, Michael Harbour
“Murdered” – “Soul Suspect”: Vernon Wilbert, Tim Jones, Rafael Colon, April Warren
Qualcomm Snapdragon – “A Dragon is Coming”: Joshua Wassung, Shannon Justison, Shayne Ryan, Seth Gollub
“The Crew”: Dominique Boidin, Rémi Kozyra, Léon Bérelle, Maxime Luère

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
“Gravity” – ISS Exterior:
Ben Lambert, Paul Beilby, Chris Lawrence, Andy Nicholson
“Pacific Rim”: David Fogler, Alex Jaeger, Aaron Wilson, David Behrens
“Star Trek: Into Darkness”:  Bruce Holcomb, Ron Woodall, John Goodson, Thomas Fejes
“The Lone Ranger” – Colby Locomotive: Rene Garcia, Steve Walton, Brian Paik, Gerald Gutschmidt

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
“Gravity” – Parachute and ISS Destruction
: Alexis Wajsbrot, Sylvain Degrotte, Horacio Mendoza, Juan-Luis Sanchez
“Man of Steel”: Brian Goodwin, Gray Horsfield, Mathieu Chardonnet, Adrien Toupet
“Pacific Rim” – Fluid Simulation & Destruction: Ryan Hopkins, Michael Balog, Patrick Conran, Rick Hankins
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: Areito Echevarria, Andreas Soderstrom, Ronnie Menahem, Christoph Sprenger

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2”:
Andrew Hofman, Alex Moaveni
“Epic” – Boggan Crowds: Thierry Dervieux-Lecocq, David Gatenby, Mark Adams, Matthew D. Simmons
“Frozen” – Elsa’s Blizzard: Eric W. Araujo, Marc Bryant, Dong Joo Byun, Tim Molinder
“The Croods”: Jeff Budsberg, Andre Le Blanc, Jason Mayer, Michael Losure

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
“PETA: 98% Human”:
Vince Baertsoen, Jimmy Gass, Dave Barosin
Sony PlayStation – “Perfect Day”: Joji Tsuruga, Gavin Wellsman, Nick Couret, Hassan Taimur
Toyota Avalon – “Formula”: Ed Laag, Eugene Gauran, Josh Hatton
“Toy Story of Terror”: Jane Yen, Rogan Griffin, Amit Baadkar, Keith Daniel Klohn

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Jean Lapointe, Jordan Benwick, Robin Hackl, Janeen Elliott
“Gravity”: Mark Bakowski, Anthony Smith, Theodor Groeneboom, Adrian Metzelaar
“Iron Man 3” – Barrel of Monkeys: Michael Maloney, Francis Puthanangadi, Justin Van Der Lek, Howard Cabalfin
“Iron Man 3” – House Attack: Darren Poe, Stefano Trivelli, Josiah Howison, Zach Zaubi
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: Charles Tait, Robin Hollander, Giuseppe Tagliavini, Sean Heuston

Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program
“Banshee” – Pilot
: Gevork Babityan, Andranik Taranyan, Matt Kelly, Matthieu Perin
“Game of Thrones” – The Climb: Kirk Brillon, Steve Gordon, Geoff Sayer, Winston Lee
“The Conquering of Yunkai”: Sean Faden, Greg Szafranski, Florian Friedmann, Travis Nobles
“Vikings” – “Dispossessed”: Ovidiu Cinazan, Gary Couto, Marco Lee, Maria Gordon

Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial
“Call of Duty”– “Epic Night Out”
: Chris Knight, Daniel Thuresson, Nick Tayler, Dag Ivarsory
Jean-Paul Gaultier – “The Sailor”: Jerome Billet, Arnaud Leviez
“Mercedes Sensations”: Laurent Creusot, Pierre Emmanuel Genin, David Roubah, Damien Canameras
“Sony PlayStation — Greatness Awaits”: Kyle Cody, Dan Difelice
“Sony PlayStation — Perfect Day”: Gavin Wellsman, John Mangia, Leonardo Costa, Kristen Johnson

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
Alexandre Dechel, Adrien Lambert, Larochette Emeric, James Ross-Greetham
“Morphium”: Linus Stetter
“Rugbybugs”: Alexandra Stautmeister
“Runaway”: Ludovic Fregé, Quentin Medda, Romain Chauliac, Yoann Gouraud
“Where the Dream Begins”: Dun Ma, Dan Wen Lei, Xuan Xia