‘Tintin,’ Harry Potter’ and ‘Transformers’ lead Visual Effects Society nominations

The Adventures of Tintin” reaped a leading six bids for the 10th annual Visual Effects Society awards (full nominations list here). For visual effects in an animated feature, it competes against “Arthur Christmas,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Puss in Boots” and “Rango.” In addition, it contends for the title character, virtual cinematography and three times in the created environment category. 

In the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature motion picture — the nominees are: “Captain America,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

Those films are among the 10 still vying for the five Visual Effects slots at the Oscars. The others are “Hugo,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Real Steel,” “The Tree of Life” and “X-Men: First Class.”

Hugo” is among the VES nominees for supporting visual effects in a motion picture as are “Anonymous,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Source Code” and “War Horse.” “Hugo” celebrates the life of movie pioneer George Meilies and the VES bestows an honorary award in his name; this year’s recipient is Douglas Trumbull

Among TV shows, “Boardwalk Empire” is tops for the second year in a row with four nominations, including a nod in the supporting visuals race against “Bones,” “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones” and “Pan Am.”

Last year, “Inception” won all four of its bids including the top prize. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. In 2009, “Avatar” won six of the seven VES races in which it contended and also prevailed at the Academy Awards. At the VES, “Avatar” is tied with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” for second place while “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” reigns supreme with seven awards. 

Three years ago, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” won the top prize with both the VES and the Oscars. However, in 2007, the top VES winner “Transformers” lost the Visual Effects Oscar to “The Golden Compass.” Over the first five years of the VES kudos, the winners matched four times — in 2006 (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”), 2005 (“King Kong”), 2003 (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”) and 2002 (“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”). In 2004, the VES chose “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” while the Oscar went to “Spider-Man 2.”

The nominees in 23 categories of film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games were chosen by VES members who viewed submissions at the FotoKem screening facilities in Burbank and New York, FotoKem’s Spy in San Francisco, and facilities in London, Sydney, Vancouver and Wellington.

Winners will be announced Feb. 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Stan Lee is to receive the lifetime achievement award and Reelz Channel is to air the ceremony. 


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