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VFX Bakeoff 2018

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  • Ereyethirn
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    So here I was hoping I could get people discussing the VFX race in the context of the bake off that was held just this week. This is pretty important for nominations because every year there are a few “surprises” that occur because of the bake off (for example last year the Kubo presentation was apparently really impressive). There is an interesting article on this year’s bake off on next best picture .com but other than that nobody has really been mentioning it anywhere. Has anything heard anything? If not I recommend grabbing that article. What do you think?

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    Diet Teridax
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    Here’s a great article discussing the bake-off and each of the individual presentations, as well as the audience’s reaction to them: https://www.nextbestpicture.com/latest/takeaways-from-the-2018-visual-effects-bake-off

    Note to myself: Don’t ever feed the trolls. Don’t get involved in others drama. Don’t let myself be swayed by others predictions, trust my gut more often!

    Note to all others: If you don’t happen to like me, ignore me. It is that simple.

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    SamEckmann
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    I had been looking for Kris Tapleys article on the bake-off over the past few days and could only find the one linked above. Bizarrely, Tapley has been the only person I’ve found who has consistently covered the bake-off event (which I’ve always been thankful for since it helps me predict upsets…like getting 100/1 odds on Deepwater Horizon last year!)

    solely based on the reactions and takeaways presented in Wills article linked above: War of the Planet of the Apes and Blade Runner 2049 are the clear front runners. Dunkirk is much safer than many have thought. Which likely leaves Last Jedi, Shape of Water, and Okja fighting over the last 2 slots. With perhaps Valerian as a dark horse.

    I’m thinking Okja bumps one of the front runners I just haven’t figured out who.

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  SamEckmann.
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    Pollo crudo
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    Will Mavity from Next Best Picture tweets:

    All of Dunkirk’s underwater scenes were practical. No CGI work.

    Almost no questions from the audience for The Shape of Water team. Not sure what to make of that.

    Alien Covenant got a lot of gasps and nervous laughter during its gruesome bits. Impressive reel overall but only tame applause after

    The narrative for the Guardians team is good lord, there was a LOT of CGI. 98% of the shots used CGI

    Toby Kebbel repeatedly had to stuff his mouth full of twizzlers as reference for Kong eating shots

    The Apes team created an entire new software to create forests with each individual tree having its own characteristics and years of aging detailed

    That Valerian reel was a bit of a mess. Impressive CGI (and lots of it) but gives no clue as to what the film is about. Audio transitions were particularly clunky at times and then the reel ends super abruptly

    Lots of emphasis on how the team completely redesigned Snoke for the new Star Wars

    Weird, the Blade Runner reel basically didn’t include the climax at all. Almost none of the vegas fight or ocean fight

    Some takeaways from the crowd afterwards: one guy thinks Okja could even win the whole thing “because it’s got heart.” At least two said “the last Jedi brought nothing new to the table.” One guy said “Okja was kind of weird but I liked that one with the fish

    Overheard a LOT of people talking about Blade Runner afterwards. And several singled out Kong.

    He retweeted this two from another person who was on the crowd:

    Blade Runner came in stronger than I expected. And I think okja beats shape of water but it still might not make the cut. Strong year.

    I think the practical fx make Dunkirk the other lock besides Apes. The voters like to see a mix. Also Dunkirk is the only “reality” flick in the running. Also it’s classy and arty and the Academy rewards those whenever it can

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    SN
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    Reading about the last year bake-off, expected nominees like Arrival and Fantastic Beasts reels had mixed receptions, while Deepwater Horizon and Kubo and the Two Strings reels were very well received. So it obviously had a BIG impact in the nominees.

    If War for the Planet of the Apes, Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk (which now seems stronger than expected) reels had the better results, so they really are the safest choices. Star Wars: The Last Jedi reel had almost the same reception of the Rogue One reel, so I think it’s also safe. The Shape of Water looks a little bit weak now (as I was expecting), but I don’t know if Okja can be nominated.

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  SN.
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    Diet Teridax
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    Reading about the last year bake-off, expected nominees like Arrival and Fantastic Beasts reels had mixed receptions, while Deepwater Horizon and Kubo and the Two Strings reels were very well received. So it obviously had a BIG impact in the nominees.

    If War for the Planet of the Apes, Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk (which now seems stronger than expected) reels had the better results, so they really are the safest choices. Star Wars: The Last Jedi reel had almost the same reception of the Rogue One reel, so I think it’s also safe. The Shape of Water looks a little bit weak now (as I was expecting), but I don’t know if Okja can be nominated.

    Dunkirk didn’t have the best presentation though.

    “Other relevant factors to consider: Jackson’s delivery was perhaps too understated and a bit dry. He didn’t make much of an effort to play up the difficulty of the film’s achievements. “How much compositing did you guys do?” “Oh not much…we just used two plates.” Unlike the beautifully made film, the reel itself consisted of clips smashed together with no attempt made to create smooth transitions. There were also jarring gaps between music.”

    The only locks in this category are Blade Runner 2049 and War for the Planet of the Apes. I still think Guardians could get in, even though its Bafta snub for Visual Effects is notable because the first one got in, Okja seems safe because of the special effects bringing the creature to believable life provided the emotional backbone of the movie. I just took out The Last Jedi for The Shape of Water yesterday, but thinking more about the Bafta snub of Guardians 2 makes me want to take that out for the Disney Wars movie.

    Note to myself: Don’t ever feed the trolls. Don’t get involved in others drama. Don’t let myself be swayed by others predictions, trust my gut more often!

    Note to all others: If you don’t happen to like me, ignore me. It is that simple.

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    I seriously think that Valerian could make it in.

    Also Dunkirk is without a doubt going to get nominated IMO.

    FYC: Ready Player One. Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Original Score, Production Design, Director and BEST PICTURE (make it happen Oscars!!)

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    manakamana
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    I’ve been thinking Okja makes it since word from Cannes made it clear that it’d be candy to people who work in VFX. I think Dunkirk and Shape of Water have enough support as BP nominees, where as Star Wars installments always goes down in nominations in the second film* and The Last Jedi was generally less popular.

    *Empire Strikes Back got 3 nominations (+ a special achievement award) compared to Star Wars’s 10 nominations (+ a special achievement award), Attack of the Clones got 1 nomination when Phantom Menace had 3 nominations. I’m currently predicting Sound Editing and Score for The Last Jedi.

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    Pollo crudo
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    This might be a year Star Wars looses VFX and to be honest, a snub here would be deserving

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    Ereyethirn
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    I had been looking for Kris Tapleys article on the bake-off over the past few days and could only find the one linked above. Bizarrely, Tapley has been the only person I’ve found who has consistently covered the bake-off event (which I’ve always been thankful for since it helps me predict upsets…like getting 100/1 odds on Deepwater Horizon last year!)

    solely based on the reactions and takeaways presented in Wills article linked above: War of the Planet of the Apes and Blade Runner 2049 are the clear front runners. Dunkirk is much safer than many have thought. Which likely leaves Last Jedi, Shape of Water, and Okja fighting over the last 2 slots. With perhaps Valerian as a dark horse.

    I’m thinking Okja bumps one of the front runners I just haven’t figured out who.

    Yeah that is my issue! I went 5 for 5 predicting VFX last year because of Tapley. The next best picture article is helpful but nothing like Tapley’s normally is. He made me certain Kubo would get in (I otherwise wouldn’t have predicted it at all) and I put in deepwater horizon because of him, which got me to all 5. I really hoped he would do one this year as well but he just hasn’t! Still from what I have seen I think I am predicting definitely Apes and BR, probably Dunkirk, Okja and something? It sounds like the Star Wars panel wasn’t great so maybe it misses? And the Shape of Water presentation was apparently really good but people weren’t left talking about it? Who knows – I am not counting out Covenant either.

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    Ereyethirn
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    Dunkirk didn’t have the best presentation though.

    Yeah but it did lean heavily on practical effects and was one of the only ones that did so the practical effects crowd should get it across!

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    Diet Teridax
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    I just took out Guardians of the Galaxy for Visual Effects and replaced it with Dunkirk. I think GotG’s overuse of CGI and lack of practical effects while Dunkirk had the latter, will hurt the former and help the latter. I had been hesitant to take out Guardians since I had it at 100/1 odds, but Bafta shut it out completely, and recently they have been more open to MCU movies than the Oscars! The Baftas nominated Doctor Strange for 3 awards last year while the Oscars nominated it just once, they nominated Ant-Man for Visual Effects while the Oscars snubbed it completely, and they nominated the first GotG movie for the exact same 2 categories the Oscars would end up nominating it in.

    Note to myself: Don’t ever feed the trolls. Don’t get involved in others drama. Don’t let myself be swayed by others predictions, trust my gut more often!

    Note to all others: If you don’t happen to like me, ignore me. It is that simple.

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    Filmatelist
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    Well, no Best Picture nominees among the finalists, but BLADE RUNNER seems the prohibitive favorite because it’s (a) got the most nods overall, showing broadest support, and (b) it’s got a Cinematography nod, which has helped usher a VFX win 5 times in the last 10 years–a category that BR is also well-positioned to win.

    Personally, I’d love to see APES take it, but there’s no indication at all that the Academy holds any particular sentiment for the franchise (an argument that didn’t help Harry Potter either), particularly outside of the effects branch.

    And as much as I liked the latest Star Wars, I also don’t see it bringing anything so spectacularly new to the table that it can overshadow the fact that the last film to win any Oscar was 34 years ago. And the other two? It’s JustNHonor2Bnominated status for both.

    So while DUNKIRK will certainly give the film a run for its money in the sound categories, might BLADE pull off two wins here and for Deakins?

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  Filmatelist.
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    Riley
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    War for the Planet of the Apes will obviously win VES, as the last two did.  It already won Critics’ Choice, as the last two did.

    So all eyes are on BAFTA, but BAFTA happened to like Blade Runner 2049 more than any group this whole awards season, nominating it for Directing, Editing, Makeup and Score.  Given that the Oscars did not nominate it in those four categories, I am not sure that we can put too much stock into BAFTA awarding Blade Runner 2049.  This is not to mention that BAFTA awarded The Force Awakens over Ex Machina.

    Conventional wisdom is that whatever is closest to Best Picture wins this category.  That favours Blade Runner 2049, nominated for five Oscars, over War for the Planet of the Apes, nominated for one.  It certainly helped Hugo over VES/Critics winner Rise of the Planet of the Apes and BAFTA winner Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

    But the academy seems to be voting differently lately.  They keep splitting picture and director, went with Hacksaw Ridge over La La Land in editing and even split the sound categories last year.  For visual effects, I would say that War for the Planet of the Apes is the closest that we have to what they have been awarding the last two years, choosing intimate effects over green screens, with Ex Machina and The Jungle Book.

    Have not actually seen either Planet of the Apes or Blade Runner movies, but I get the feeling that the Blade Runner 2049 effects are relatively unmemorable and not instrumental to the story.

    Notably, SAG nominated War for the Planet of the Apes over Blade Runner 2049 for Best Stunt Ensemble, even though they tend to favour titles that are remotely in the conversation above the line (Nocturnal Animals, All is Lost) and have never nominated the Planet of the Apes franchise before. Does War for the Planet of the Apes stealthily have the actors’ branch in its back pocket, offsetting Blade Runner 2049 carrying the voters in the sound categories?

    "I don't even believe in god, but I'm going to thank her tonight."

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    Filmatelist
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    For visual effects, I would say that War for the Planet of the Apes is the closest that we have to what they have been awarding the last two years, choosing intimate effects over green screens, with Ex Machina and The Jungle Book.

    I’m not quite sure how you can possible say this when THE JUNGLE BOOK was entirely green-screened! Virtually nothing we saw was real (outside of Mowgli) and is as far a pendulum-swing in the opposite direction from EX MACHINA’s restrained subtlety as one can get.

    In 3 outings, the APES trilogy has amassed a total of 3 nods, all in this category. It’s a series that the crafts people and critics will love, but I am skeptical that the Academy will automatically follow suit when they have BLADE RUNNER (whose effects may not be ground-breaking but whose look is visually sumptuous).

    I should also note that GOTG2 is now the 8th film in the Marvel Universe franchise to earn a VFX nod–now officially the franchise with the most total Oscar nominations (10) without a win yet.

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