Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Interstellar" Wins The Oscar

Congratulations to the entire visual effects team behind "Interstellar", the winner of the visual effects Oscar in the 87th Academy Awards.

Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

And, as for The VFX Predictinator... well, we got this one wrong. I'll be writing an article in the coming days about how and, perhaps, why we got it wrong.  And here it is.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oscar Pool Ballot, 87th Academy Awards

It's time for the Awesomest Oscar Pool Ballot In The History Of Oscar Pool Ballots.

Every year I create a special ballot based on a typical Academy Awards printable ballot -- but on my ballot, each category has a different point value. The highest valued category is "Best Picture," while the mainstream films' categories are valued at two points. The non-mainstream categories (like the documentary and short film categories) are valued at one point.

This way, in a tight race for the winner of the pool, the winner most likely would not be determined by the non-mainstream films (in other words, blind guesses).  This year, I started with a ballot from The Gold Knight, since didn't make a pretty, printable ballot this year.

Download the ballot here for the 87th Academy Awards and use it at your Oscar party.

And if you're wondering why Tom Cruise is on my ballot... he's been on every one of my Oscar ballots. Because he's soooooooooo cool.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Unfinished Graphic Comparing VES, BAFTA and Oscar Nominees

Many months ago I began creating a graphic that compared all of the visual effects award nominees from the VES Awards, The British Academy Awards (BAFTAs), and the Academy Awards, to look for commonalities and patterns. The graphic tracked nominees and winners from 2002-2013, since 2002 was the first year of the VES Awards.

I never was happy with how the graphic turned out, so I abandoned the project. Rifling through my files the other day, I came across it again, and although I'm still not happy with it, I decided to post it in its unfinished state, just in case anyone else would be interested in this kind of data.

I was trying to visually illustrate years in which commonalities exist amongst the three awards show nominees and winners. For example, 2012 showed a great deal of commonalities within the nominees and winners, while 2006 had an extremely diverse group of nominees (although "Pirates 2" won each award).

Friday, February 06, 2015

Visual Effects, Oscars and the Box Office in 2014

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is the top earner of this year's visual effects Oscar nominees, at $774M global box office.

Just as I did for 2013 films, 2012 films and 2011 films, I thought it would be interesting to track the average global box office grosses from this year's Academy Award nominees, per category.

 The five nominees for this year's visual effects earned a total global box office gross of over $3.6B. All of this year's films were huge hits, unlike other years which usually include at least one monster hit, and a few sub-$200M earners. Unlike the three previous years, no single 2014 visual effects nominee grossed over $1B.

The last four years at a glance:

Average global box office of Best Visual Effects films:
2014 (87th Academy Awards) - $723M
Top Grosser: Guardians of the Galaxy, $774M

2013 (86th Academy Awards) - $698M
Top Grosser: Iron Man 3, $1.2B

2012 (85th Academy Awards) - $763M
Top Grosser: The Avengers, $1.5B

2011 (84th Academy Awards) - $662M
Top Grosser: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, 1.35B

Repeating what I've said in the past, this chart should surprise no one.  I wrote all my caveats and explanations in previous articles, so I won't rehash them here.  Put simply, the average box office earnings from 'the best' visual effects films films far exceeds any other discipline's 'best' work, according to the Academy Awards.

I wrote this concerning the 2011 box office when I charted the box office averages for the 84th Academy Awards, and unfortunately, this still is true.

It also illustrates the sad state of the visual effects community. The average Oscar nominee for visual effects made over $662 million globally, and yet our industry has relatively little power in Hollywood.

All data from .

Thursday, February 05, 2015

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" Wins Big at VES Awards

The big winner at the 13th VES Awards was "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes", taking home three awards out of its four nominations. (See all of the VES Awards nominees here.)  Earning two wins was the Quicksilver sequence from "X-Men: Days of Future Past". "Interstellar" took home a trophy for its Tesseract sequence, and "Birdman" won the award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects.

Listed below are all of the live-action feature film category winners. To see all of the winners visit FXGuide's coverage here.  To learn more about the Visual Effects Society, visit their web site, which now has photos of the event online.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Joe Letteri, Ryan Stafford, Matt Kutcher, Dan Lemmon, Hannah Blanchini

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Ara Khanikian, Ivy AgreganSebastien MoreauIsabelle Langlois

Outstanding Performance of an Animated Character in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Paul StoryEteuati TemaAndrea MerloEmiliano Padovani

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Tom BrachtGraham PageThomas DøhlenKirsty Clark

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Media Project (mixed formats)
Austin BonangCasey SchatzDennis JonesNewton Thomas Sigel

Outstanding Models in any Motion Media Project (mixed formats)
BIG HERO 6; City of San Fransokyo
Brett AchornMinh DuongScott WatanabeLarry Wu

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST; Quicksilver Pentagon Kitchen
Adam PaschkePremamurti PaetschSam HancockTimmy Lundin

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Christoph SalzmannFlorian SchroederQuentin HemaSimone Riginelli

Monday, February 02, 2015

"Tomorrowland" Superbowl Trailer

The Superbowl spot for Brad Bird's "Tomorrowland" hit the internet yesterday. The Walt Disney picture stars George Clooney, Britt Robertson, and Hugh Laurie, and hits theaters May 22.

The film features nifty visual effects by Industrial Light and Magic. The frame above is from the Superbowl commercial, and was chosen by the Randomizer 2015 Edition.

YouTube link - iTunes link
And if you visit, you'll find some crazy high resolution images of (what looks like) Tomorrowland itself.