‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ Earns Record 14 Visual Effects Society Award Nominations.

'Avatar: The Way of Water' - COURTESY OF 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS

To little surprise, James Cameron’s dazzling Avatar: The Way of Water dominated the 21st annual Visual Effects Society Award nominations, which were announced on Tuesday. The juggernaut earned 14 VES noms, a record number for a feature film or any single project in the Society’s awards history.


That includes a nomination in the top category for outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature. Alongside The Way of Water, the category nominees are Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick. Nominees in the category for supporting VFX are Death on the Nile, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, The Fabelmans, The Gray Man, The Pale Blue Eye and Thirteen Lives. 

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio leads the animated contenders, with six nominations including one for outstanding VFX in an animated feature. Meanwhile The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power topped the broadcast field with seven nominations including one for outstanding VFX in a photoreal episode.


All five of the nominees in the top feature category, as well as supporting VFX category nominee Thirteen Lives, are all shortlisted for the VFX Oscar. The Batman and Maverick received a total of three nominations apiece; Fantastic Beasts and Jurassic World Dominion receive two nominations apiece.


It was a disappointing morning for Marvel’s VFX Oscar contenders; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever received just one nomination, for effects simulation, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was snubbed. The final two VFX Oscar shortlisted movies, All Quiet On the Western Front and Nope, also failed to earn nominations.


This year, VES introduced a new category for emerging technology. The Way of Water earned a trio of nominations in this category, for its depth compositing, facial system and water toolset. The movie was also nominated for animated character (Kiri), practical effects, compositing and lighting (for the forest destruction scenes and water integration), effects simulations (fire/destruction and water), model (the sea dragon), environments (Metkayina Village and the reef), and virtual cinematography.


In addition to the top category, Top Gun: Maverick was nominated for models (for the F14) and compositing/lighting; and The Batman was additionally nominated for compositing/lighting and virtual cinematography.


Before today’s nominations for The Way of Water, the VES record for the most feature nominations was held by the original Avatar, which earned 11 VES noms (and won six awards) in 2010. The record for the most VES noms in broadcast/episodic work (and the second highest number of overall VES Awards nominations) is held by The Mandalorian, which received 13 noms (and won three awards) in 2021.


The 21st VES Awards will be presented Feb. 15 at the Beverly Hilton. As previously announced, Gale Anne Hurd will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony.


The complete list of nominees follows:


OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE


Avatar: The Way of Water – Richard Baneham, Walter Garcia, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, JD Schwalm


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – Christian Mänz, Olly Young, Benjamin Loch, Stephane Naze, Alistair Williams


Jurassic World: Dominion – David Vickery, Ann Podlozny, Jance Rubinchik, Dan Snape, Paul Corbould


The Batman – Dan Lemmon, Bryan Searing, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands, Dominic Tuohy


Top Gun: Maverick – Ryan Tudhope, Paul Molles, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson, Scott Fisher


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE


Death on the Nile – George Murphy, Claudia Dehmel, Mathieu Raynault, Jonathan Bowen, David Watkins


I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Paul Norris, Tim Field, Don Libby, Andrew Simmonds


The Fabelmans – Pablo Helman, Jennifer Mizener, Cernogorods Aleksei, Jeff Kalmus, Mark Hawker


The Gray Man – Swen Gilberg, Viet Luu, Bryan Grill, Cliff Welsh, Michael Meinardus


The Pale Blue Eye – Jake Braver, Catherine Farrell, Tim Van Horn, Scott Pritchard, Jeremy Hays


Thirteen Lives – Jason Billington, Thomas Horton, Denis Baudin, Michael Harrison, Brian Cox


OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – Aaron Weintraub, Jeffrey Schaper, Cameron Carson, Emma Gorbey, Mad God, Chris Morley, Phil Tippett, Ken Rogerson, Tom Gibbons


Strange World – Steve Goldberg, Laurie Au, Mark Hammel, Mehrdad Isvandi


The Bad Guys– Pierre Perifel, Damon Ross, Matt Baer, JP Sans


The Sea Beast – Joshua Beveridge, Christian Hejnal, Stirling Duguid, Spencer Lueders


Turning Red – Domee Shi, Lindsey Collins, Danielle Feinberg, Dave Hale


OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE


House of the Dragon “The Black Queen” – Angus Bickerton, Nikeah Forde, Sven Martin, Michael Bell, Michael Dawson


Prehistoric Planet “Ice Worlds” – Lindsay McFarlane, Fay Hancocks, Elliot Newman, Kirstin Hall


Stranger Things 4 “The Piggyback” – Jabbar Raisani, Terron Pratt, Niklas Jacobson, Justin Mitchell, Richard E. Perry


The Boys “Payback” – Stephan Fleet, Shalena Oxley-Butler, Tristan Zerafa, Anthony Paterson, Hudson Kenny


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power “Udûn” – Jason Smith, Ron Ames, Nigel Sumner, Tom Proctor, Dean Clarke


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE


Five Days at Memorial “Day Two” – Eric Durst, Danny McNair, Matt Whelan, Goran Pavles, John MacGillivray


See “I See You” – Chris Wright, Parker Chehak, Tristan Zerafa, Oscar Perea, Tony Kenny


Severance “Pilot” – Vadim Turchin, Nicole Melius, David Piombino, David Rouxel


The Old Man “Episode III” – Erik Henry, Matt Robken, Jamie Klein, Sylvain Théroux, J.D. Streett


Vikings: Valhalla “The Bridge” – Ben Mossman, Melanie Callaghan, Matt Schofield, Chris Cooper, Paul Byrne


OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A REAL-TIME PROJECT


God of War: Ragnarok – Christopher Lloyd, Carrie Watts, James Adkins, Kevin Huynh


Gotham Knights – Jay Evans, Bryan Theberge, Mathieu Houle, Alexandre Bélanger


Supermassive Games “The Quarry” – Aruna Inversin, Paul Pianezza, Kevin Williams, Kimberly Cheifer


The Callisto Protocol – Glen Schofield, Steve Papoutsis, Chris Stone, Demetrius Leal


The Last of Us Part I – Erick Pangilinan, Evan Wells, Eben Cook, Mary Jane Whiting


OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A COMMERCIAL


B&Q “Flip” – Patrick Krafft, Holly Treacy, Alex Snookes


Frito-Lay “Push It” – Tom Raynor, Sophie Harrison, Ben Cronin, Martino Madeddu


Ladbrokes “Rocky” – Greg Spencer, Alex Fitzgerald, Mickey O’Donoghue, Adame Boutrif


Minions: The Rise of Gru – Gerome Viavant, Gilles de Lusignan, Benjamin Le Ster


Virgin Media “Highland Rider” – Amir Bazzazi, George Reid, Sebastian Caldwell, Alex Kulikov


OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A SPECIAL VENUE PROJECT


ABBA: Voyage – Ben Morris, Edward Randolph, Stephen Aplin, Ian Comley


Avengers: Quantum Encounter – Alan Woods, Bernice Howes, Scott Sohan, Jason Fox


Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Christopher Smith, Meghan Short, William George, Jon Alexander


Jumanji: The Adventure – Martin Cutbill, Liam Thompson, Baptiste Roy, Marco Parenzi


Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser – Rob Blue, Patrick Kearney, Khatsho Orfali, Gabe Sabourin, Daniel Joseph


Stranger Things: The Experience – Javier Roca, Antoine Sitruk, Cale Jacox, Julien Forest, Camille Michaud


OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE


Avatar: The Way of Water: Kiri – Anneka Fris, Rebecca Louise Leybourne, Guillaume Francois, Jung-Rock Hwang


Beast: Lion – Alvise Avati, Bora Şahin, Chris McGaw, Krzysztof Boyoko


Disney’s Pinocchio: Honest John – Christophe Paradis, Valentina Rosselli, Armita Khanlarpour, Kyoungmin Kim


Slumberland: Pig – Fernando Lopes Herrera, Victor Dinis, Martine Chartrand, Lucie Martinetto


OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: Geppetto – Charles Greenfield, Peter Saunders, Shami Lang-Rinderspacher, Noel Estevez-Baker


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: Pinocchio – Oliver Beale, Richard Pickersgill, Brian Leif Hansen, Kim Slate


Strange World: Splat – Leticia Gillett, Cameron Black, Dan Lipson, Louis Jones


Turning Red: Panda Mei – Christopher Bolwyn, Ethan Dean, Bill Sheffler, Kureha Yokoo


OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL OR REAL-TIME PROJECT


She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: She-Hulk – Elizabeth Bernard, Jan Philip Cramer, Edwina Ting, Andrew Park


Skull & Bones: Sam – Jonas Skoog, Jonas Törnqvist, Goran Milic, Jonas Vikström


The Callisto Protocol: Jacob Lee – Martin Contel, Glauco Longhi, Jorge Jimenez, Atsushi Seo


The Umbrella Academy: Pogo – AIdan Martin, Hannah Dockerty, Olivier Beierlein, Miae Kang


OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE


Avatar: The Way of Water: Metkayina Village – Ryan Arcus, Lisa Hardisty, Paul Harris TaeHyoung David Kim


Avatar: The Way of Water: The Reef – Jessica Cowley, Joe W. Churchill, Justin Stockton, Alex Nowotny


Jurassic World Dominion: Biosyn Valley – Steve Ellis, Steve Hardy, Thomas Dohlen, John Seru


Slumberland: The Wondrous Cuban Hotel Dream – Daniël Dimitri Veder, Marc Austin, Pavan Rajesh Uppu, Casey Gorton


OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: In the Stomach of a Sea Monster – Warren Lawtey, Anjum Sakharkar, Javier Gonzalez Alonso, Quinn Carvalho


Lightyear: T’Kani Prime Forest – Lenora Acidera, Amy Allen, Alyssa Minko, Jose L. Ramos Serrano


Strange World: The Windy Jungle – Ki Jong Hong, Ryan Smith, Jesse Erickson, Benjamin Fiske


The Sea Beast: The Hunting Ship – Yohan Bang, Enoch Ihde, Denil George Chundangal, John Wallace


Wendell & Wild: The Scream Fair – Tom Proost, Nicholas Blake, Colin Babcock, Matthew Paul Albertus Cross


OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL, OR REAL-TIME PROJECT


Andor “Reckoning”: Ferrix – Pedro Santos, Chris Ford, Jeff Carson-Bartzis, Alex Murtaza


The Book of Boba Fett “In the Name of Honor”: Mos Espa – Daniel Schmid Leal, Phi Tran, Hasan Ilhan, Steve Wang


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power “Adar”: Númenor City – Dan Wheaton, Nico Delbecq, Dan LeTarte, Julien Gauthier


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power “Adrift”: Khazud Dûm – James Ogle, Péter Bujdosó, Lon Krung, Shweta Bhatnagar


OUTSTANDING VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A CG PROJECT


ABBA: Voyage – Pär M. Ekberg, John Galloway, Paolo Acri, Jose Burgos


Avatar: The Way of Water – Richard Baneham, Dan Cox, Eric Reynolds, A.J Briones


Prehistoric Planet – Daniel Fotheringham, Krzysztof Szczepanski, Wei-Chuan Hsu, Claire Hill


The Batman: Rain Soaked Car Chase – Dennis Yoo, Michael J. Hall, Jason Desjarlais, Ben Bigiel


OUTSTANDING MODEL IN A PHOTOREAL OR ANIMATED PROJECT


Avatar: The Way of Water: The Sea Dragon – Sam Sharplin, Stephan Skorepa, Ian Baker, Guillaume Francois


The Sea Beast – Maxx Okazaki, Susan Kornfeld, Edward Lee, Doug Smith


Top Gun: Maverick: F-14 Tomcat – Christian Peck, Klaudio Ladavac, Aram Jung, Peter Dominik


Wendell & Wild: Dream Faire – Peter Dahmen, Paul Harrod, Nicholas Blake


OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE


Avatar: The Way of Water: Fire and Destruction – Miguel Perez Senent, Xavier Martin Ramirez, David Kirchner, Ole Geir Eidsheim


Avatar: The Way of Water: Water Simulations – Johnathan M. Nixon, David Moraton, Nicolas Illingworth, David Caeiro Cebrian


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: City Street Flooding – Matthew Hanger, Alexis Hall, Hang Yang, Mikel Zuloaga


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – Jesse Parker Holmes, Grayden Solman, Toyokazu Hirai, Rob Richardson


OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE


Lightyear – Alexis Angelidis, Chris Chapman, Jung-Hyun Kim, Keith Klohn


Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – Derek Cheung, Michael Losure, Kiem Ching Ong, Jinguang Huang


Strange World – Deborah Carlson, Scott Townsend, Stuart Griese, Yasser Hamed


The Sea Beast – Spencer Lueders, Dmitriy Kolesnik, Brian D. Casper, Joe Eckroat


OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL, OR REAL-TIME PROJECT


Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities: Graveyard Rats – Amit Khanna, Oleg Memukhin, Mario Marengo, Josh George


Stranger Things 4: Hawkins Destructive Fissures – Ahmad Ghourab, Gavin Templer, Rachel Ajorque, Eri Ohno


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: “Udûn” Volcano Destruction – Kurt Debens, Hamish Bell, Robert Kelly, Gabriel Roccisano


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: “Udûn” Water and Magma – Rick Hankins, Aron Bonar, Branko Grujcic, Laurent Kermel


OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN A FEATURE


Avatar: The Way of Water: Landing Rockets Forest Destruction – Miguel Santana Da Silva, Hongfei Geng, Jonathan Moulin, Maria Corcho


Avatar: The Way of Water: Water Integration – Sam Cole, Francois Sugny, Florian Schroeder, Jean Matthews


The Batman: Rainy Freeway Chase – Beck Veitch, Stephen Tong, Eva Snyder, Rachel E. Herbert


Top Gun: Maverick – Saul Davide Galbiati, Jean-Frederic Veilleux, Felix B. Lafontaine, Cynthia Rodriguez del Castillo


OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN AN EPISODE


House of the Dragon: “The Black Queen” Dance of Dragons – Kevin Friederichs, Sean Raffel, Florian Franke, Andreas Steinlein


Love, Death and Robots: Night of the Mini Dead – Tim Emeis, José Maximiano, Renaud Tissandié, Nacere Guerouaf


The Book of Boba Fett: “From the Desert Comes a Stranger” – Luke Alike, Peter Demarest, Tami Carter, Brandon McNaughton, Sirak Ghebremusse


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power “Udûn” Tirharad Cavalry Charge – Sornalingam P, Ian Copeland, Nessa Mingfang Zhang, Yuvaraj S


OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN A COMMERCIAL


Cartier “Tank” – Stephane Pivron, Mathias Barday, Valentin Lesueur, Eric Lemains


Ladbrokes “Rocky” – Greg Spencer, Theajo Dharan, Georgina Ford, Jonathan Westley


Samsung “Playtime is Over” – Damien Canameras, Guillaume Dadaglio, Sébastien Podsiadlo, Christophe Plouvier


Samsung “The Spider and the Window” – Marta Carbonell Amela, Stefan Susemihl, Lonni Wong, Jiyoung Lee


OUTSTANDING SPECIAL (PRACTICAL) EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL PROJECT


Avatar: The Way of Water: Current Machine and Wave Pool – JD Schwalm, Richie Schwalm, Nick Rand, Robert Spurlock


Black Adam: Robotic Flight – JD Schwalm, Nick Rand, Andrew Hyde, Andy Robot, Mad God, Phil Tippett, Chris Morley, Webster Colcord, Johnny McLeod


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power “Adrift” Middle Earth Storm – Dean Clarke, Oliver Gee, Eliot Naimie, Mark Robson


OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A STUDENT PROJECT (AWARD SPONSORED BY AUTODESK)


A Calling. From the Desert to the Sea – Mario Bertsch, Max Pollmann, Lukas Löffler, Till Sander-Titgemeyer


Boom – Romain Augier, Charles Di Cicco, Gabriel Augerai, Laurie Pereira De Figueiredo


Macula – Hady Abou Ghazale, Lothaire Rialhe, Marta Rodriguez-Noriega Nava, Jules Machicot


Maronii – Maxime Guitet, Dimitri Allonneau, Lucas Plata, Ngoc Mai Nguyen


EMERGING TECHNOLOGY AWARD


Avatar: The Way of Water: Depth Comp – Dejan Momcilovic, Tobias B. Schmidt, Benny Edlund, Joshua Hardgrave


Avatar: The Way of Water: Facial System – Byungkuk Choi, Stephen Cullingford, Stuart Adcock, Marco Revelant


Avatar: The Way of Water: Water Toolset – Alexey Dmitrievich Stomakhin, Steve Lesser, Sven Joel Wretborn, Douglas McHale


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: 3D Printed Metal Armature – Richard Pickersgill, Glen Southern, Peter Saunders, Brian Leif Hansen


Turning Red: Profile Mover and CurveNets – Kurt Fleischer, Fernando de Goes, Bill Sheffler

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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