‘Life of Pi’ mauls Visual Effects Society Awards rivals with 4 wins

Life of Pi” won four of its six bids at the 11th annual Visual Effects Society awards on Tuesday. 

Among its prizes was  the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature motion picture — where it edged out Oscar rivals “The Avengers,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”  and “Prometheus” as well as”Battleship.” 

The final Oscar contender for Best Visual Effects — “Snow White and the Huntsman” — was shut out of these kudos. Not surprisingly, “Life of Pi” has leading odds to claim that Academy Award

“The Hobbit” won just one of its leading seven bids — virutal cinematography. (See full list of winners here.)

-ADDPREDICTION:85:23:Click to predict Visual Effects Oscar:ADDPREDICTION-

 “The Impossible” took the supporting visual effects award over “Argo,” “Flight,”  “Rust and Bone” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Among animated fare, “Brave” won all four its races. It beat “Hotel Transylvania”, “ParaNorman,” “Rise of the Guardians” and “Wreck-It Ralph” in the animated feature race. “ParaNorman” was shut out despite a leading five animation bids. 

Last year, 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. 

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.”

The nominees in 24 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 were announced in a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Richard Edlund received the lifetime achievement award while “Life of Pi” helmer Ang Lee was feted with the Visionary Award. 

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