Visual Effects Society Awards 2017 winners: ‘The Jungle Book’ dominates with 5 trophies

The Jungle Book” stampeded into Tuesday’s Visual Effects Society Awards the frontrunner for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars, and solidified that status with five big wins, including Best Effects Driven Film. Oscar rival “Deepwater Horizon” took home two trophies, including Supporting Visual Effects. “Kubo and the Two Strings” won the animated feature award, and “Doctor Strange” reaped a prize for Best Created Environment. Those four films and “Rogue One” compete at the Academy Awards.

The 15th annual edition of the VES Awards was held on February 7 at the Beverly Hilton and was hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Oscar-winning visual effects pioneer Ken Ralston while the Visionary Award was presented to Marvel Studios exec Victoria Alonso.

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Last year, the Visual Effect Society snubbed the eventual Oscar champ “Ex Machina.” That “Ex Machina” was shut of the VES Awards is even more surprising given that there are six categories for feature films. Last year’s big winner was  “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which won four awards while “Mad Max” picked up one prize (effects simulation). Both of these sci-fi epics vied in the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature motion picture — along with rival Oscar nominee “The Martian” as well as “San Andreas” and “Furious 7.” “Star Wars” won that award as well as outstanding models, created environment and virtual cinematography.

“The Revenant,” which was the only Oscar contender among the supporting visual effects nominees won that race over “Bridge of Spies,” “Everest,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” and “The Walk.” It also claimed outstanding animated performance (the bear) and best compositing (the bear attack).

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In 2014, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” won three prizes here including the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Film. While “Interstellar” won only Created Environment, it rallied at the Oscars.

In 2013, “Gravity” won six of its eight VES bids, including the top prize. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

In 2012, “Life of Pi” won four of its six VES bids, including the big award, where it edged out Oscar rivals “The Avengers,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “Prometheus” as well as “Battleship.” It then claimed the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

In 2011, two of the Oscar nominees — “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Hugo” — each won two VES awards. “Hugo,” which won the supporting visual effects award, went on to claim the Oscar over, among others, “Apes,” which took the top prize at the VES.

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In 2010, “Inception” won all four of its bids including the top prize. It took home the Oscar too. 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.

In 2008, “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.”

Check out the full list of winners below:

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“The Jungle Book”

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE

“Game of Thrones” – “Battle of the Bastards”

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A COMMERCIAL

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PERFORMANCE IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“The Jungle Book” – King Louie

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PERFORMANCE IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Finding Dory” – Hank

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PERFORMANCE IN A COMMERCIAL

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PERFORMANCE IN AN EPISODE OR REAL-TIME PROJECT

“Game of Thrones” – “Battle of the Bastards” – Dragon

OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Doctor Strange” – New York City

OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Moana” – Motonui Island

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

“Game of Thrones” – “Battle of the Bastards” – Meereen City

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A REAL-TIME PROJECT

“Uncharted 4”

OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“The Jungle Book” – Nature Effects

OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Moana”

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

“Game of Thrones” – “Battle of the Bastards” – Meereen City

OUTSTANDING VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A PHOTOREAL PROJECT

“The Jungle Book”

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A SPECIAL VENUE PROJECT

“Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure”

OUTSTANDING MODEL IN A PHOTOREAL OR ANIMATED PROJECT

“Deepwater Horizon” – Deepwater Horizon Rig

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A STUDENT PROJECT

“Breaking Point”

OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING IN A PHOTOREAL PROJECT

“The Jungle Book”

OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING IN A PHOTOREAL COMMERCIAL

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer

OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE

“Game of Thrones” – “Battle of the Bastards” – Retaking Winterfell

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUALS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Deepwater Horizon”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUALS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE

“Black Sails” – “XX”

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