Visual Effects Society Awards 2021: ‘The Midnight Sky’ wins big at VES Awards

The Visual Effects Society Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, April 6. “The Midnight Sky” won the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race – Best Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature. It bested Oscar frontrunnerTenet” in that category, as well as “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey,” “Project Power” and “The Witches.” George Clooney‘s sci-fi drama won an additional prize for Best Model in a Photoreal of Animated Project. Scroll down for a complete list of winners and nominees at the 2021 Visual Effects Society Awards.

“Tenet” shouldn’t get too discouraged about its Oscar chances. Last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Visual Effects, “1917,” wasn’t even nominated in the top category at the VES. That award went to “The Lion King,” which lost at the Oscars to Sam Mendes‘ WWI epic. “1917” did compete at the Visual Effects Society for Best Supporting Visual Effects, losing to “The Irishman.”

This years winner for Best Supporting Visual Effects was “Mank,” which failed to earn an Oscar nomination. David Fincher‘s Hollywood biopic beat out “Da 5 Bloods,” “Extraction,” “News of the World” and “Welcome to Chechnya” in that category. “Soul” was the animated film winner in a field that also included “The Croods: A New Age,” “Onward,” “Over the Moon” and “Trolls World Tour.”

The five Best Visual Effects nominees at the Oscars are “Love and Monsters,” “The Midnight Sky,” “Mulan,” “The One and Only Ivan” and “Tenet.” Of those titles, only “Love and Monsters” was missing from the Visual Effects Society’s list in any category.

On the TV side, “The Mandalorian” took home three prizes, while “Lovecraft Country” won two awards. “The Crown” also picked up an award for its supporting visual effects.

Nominees in 25 categories spanning both film and television were selected by VES members via virtual events hosted by 10 sections, including Australia, Bay Area, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

FILM

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey”
X — “The Midnight Sky”
“Project Power”
“Tenet”
“The Witches”

BEST SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Da 5 Bloods”
“Extraction”
X — “Mank”
“News of the World”
“Welcome to Chechnya”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“The Croods: A New Age”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
X — “Soul”
“Trolls World Tour”

BEST ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Die Känguru-Chroniken” (Kangaroo)
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Don Juan Diego)
X — “The One and Only Ivan” (Ivan)
“The Witches” (Daisy)

BEST ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Onward” (Dad Pants)
“Over the Moon” (Chang’e)
X — “Soul” (Terry)
“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” (SpongeBob)

BEST CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Bloodshot” (Neuralspace)
“The Eight Hundred” (1937 Shanghai Downtown)
“The Eight Hundred” (Shanghai Warehouse District)
X — “Mulan” (Imperial City)

BEST CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Onward” (Swamp Gas)
X — “Soul” (You Seminar)
“Trolls World Tour” (Techno Reef)
“Trolls World Tour” (Volcano Rock City)

BEST EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Bloodshot”
“Greyhound”
“Monster Hunter”
“Mulan”
X — “Project Power”

BEST EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
X — “Soul”
“Trolls World Tour”
“The Willoughbys”

BEST COMPOSITING IN A FEATURE

“Greyhound”
“Mulan”
X — “Project Power”
“Underwater”

TELEVISION

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE

“Lovecraft Country” (“Jig-A-Boo”)
X — “The Mandalorian” (“The Marshal”)
“Star Trek: Discovery” (“Su’Kal”)
“Timmy Failure”
“Westworld” (“Crisis Theory”)

BEST SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE

X — “The Crown” (“Gold Stick”)
“I Know This Much Is True” (“Episode 1”)
“Mrs. America” (“Shirley”)
“Survive”
“Vikings” (“Best Laid Plans”)
“Warrior” (“Learn to Survive, Or Hire a Bodyguard”)

BEST ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN EPISODE OR REAL-TIME PROJECT

“The Crown” (“The Balmoral Test”: Imperial Stag)
X — “The Mandalorian” (“The Jedi” – The Child)
“The Mandalorian” (“The Marshal” – Krayt Dragon)
“Timmy Failure” (“Mistakes Were Made” – Total)

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

“Brave New World” (“New London”)
“Cyberpunk 2077” (“Night City”)
“Lovecraft Country” (“Tulsa 1921”)
X — “The Mandalorian” (“The Believer”; “Morak Jungle”)
“The Mandalorian” (“The Siege”; “Nevarro Canyon”)

BEST COMPOSITING IN AN EPISODE

X — “Lovecraft Country” (“Strange Case”; “Chrysalis”)
“The Mandalorian” (“The Believer”)
“The Mandalorian” (“The Marshal”)
“The Mandalorian” (“The Passenger”)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS IN A COMMERCIAL

“Arm & Hammer” (“Once Upon a Time”)
“Burberry” (“Festive”)
“Hornbach” (“It Seems Impossible Until You Do It”)
“Playstation” (“The Edge”)
X — “Walmart” (“Famous Visitors”)
“Xbox” (“Us Dreamers”)

BEST ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A COMMERCIAL

“AFK Arena” (“Toilet” – Uzgahk)
X — “Arm & Hammer” (“Once Upon a Time” – Tuxedo Tom)
“Far Cry” (“Legacy” – Anton)
“Legends of Runeterra” (“Breathe” – Darius)
“TK Max” (The Lil Goat)

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

X — “Lovecraft Country” (“Strange Case”; “Chrysalis”)
“The Mandalorian” (“The Marshal”; “Krayt Dragon”)
“Playstation” (“The Edge”)
“Tales from the Loop” (“Loretta’s House”)

BEST COMPOSITING IN A COMMERCIAL

X — “Burberry” (“Festive”)
“Perrier” (“Heat”)
“Playstation” (“The Edge”)
“Walmart” (“Famous Visitors”)

BEST SPECIAL (PRACTICAL) EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL OR ANIMATED PROJECT

X — “Fear the Walking Dead” (“Bury Her Next to Jasper’s Leg”)

FILM AND TELEVISION

BEST VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A CG PROJECT

“Ghosts of Tsushima” (“A Storm is Coming”)
X — “Soul”
“The Mandalorian” (“The Believer”)
“The Mandalorian” (“The Siege”)

BEST MODEL IN A PHOTOREAL OR ANIMATED PROJECT

“The Mandalorian” (Boba Fett’s Ship)
“The Mandalorian” (The Rescue; Light Cruiser)
X — “The Midnight Sky” (Aether)
“The Witches” (Rollercoaster)

SPECIAL PROJECTS

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS IN A REAL-TIME PROJECT

“Assassin’s Creed Valhalla”
“Cyberpunk 2077”
X — “Ghosts of Tsushima”
“The Last of Us Part II”
“Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS IN A SPECIAL VENUE PROJECT

“Asteroid Hunters”
X — “The Bourne Stuntacular”
“The March”
“Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS IN A STUDENT PROJECT

“Aral”
X — “Migrants”
“Strands of Mind”
“Time’s Down”

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