VES Awards 2013: 'Life of Pi' Wins Top Prize

The Hollywood Reporter
Judge Approves Studios' Loan to Rhythm & Hues
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Judge Approves Studios' Loan to Rhythm & Hues

The team that created the visual effects -- including a photoreal CG Bengal tiger -- for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi won four Visual Effects Society Awards, including the top prize for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature, on Tuesday during the 11th annual VES Awards ceremony.

Brave also took home four awards at the ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton. Additional feature winners included The Avengers (with two awards) and The Impossible and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (one award apiece).

PHOTOS: The Making of 'Life of Pi'

Meanwhile, while HBO's Game of Thrones dominated the TV categories, winning a total of four awards. The premium network's Boardwalk Empire also nabbed one award.

During the ceremony, Lee was presented the VES Visionary Award by visual effects pro Dennis Muren (Star Wars). Harrison Ford presented effects legend Richard Edlund (Star Wars) with the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

This year, four of the five nominees for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature are Oscar nominees, including Life of Pi, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Avengers and Prometheus. The fifth VES category nominee was Battleship, while the fifth Oscar nomination went to Snow White and the Huntsman.

In seven of the past 10 VES Awards, the winner of the category for outstanding VFX in a VFX-driven feature has gone on to win the Oscar in that category. Last year Hugo -- winner in the VES’ supporting VFX category -- claimed the VFX Oscar.

Another plus for Life of Pi is its best picture nomination from the Academy. Historically, if there is one film that has an Oscar nomination for best picture, in addition to one for visual effects, it has been the film that wins the VFX Oscar. This year, the one VFX Oscar contender with a best picture nomination is Life of Pi.

STORY: How 'Skyfall,' 'The Hobbit' and 'Life of Pi' Used Digital to Dazzle

The VES Awards recognize work in features, TV, commercials, games and special venue productions, as well as a student project.

The complete list of VES winners follows:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture

Life of Pi
Thomas Fisher
Susan Macleod
Guillaume Rocheron
Bill Westenhofer

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture

The Impossible
Felix Bergés
Sandra Hermida
Pau Costa Moeller

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program

Game of Thrones: Volar Morghulis
Rainer Gombos
Steve Kullback
Sven Martin
Juri Stanossek

Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game

Call of Duty: Black Ops II       
Jason Blundell
Barry Whitney
Colin Whitney

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Brave
Mark Andrews
Steve May
Katherine Sarafian
Bill Wise

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program

Boardwalk Empire: Episode 308
John Bair
Parker Chehak
Paul Graff
Lesley Robson-Foster

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

Nike: Biomorph
Rafael Colon
Aladino Debert
David Liu
Nicola Wiseman

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

Life of Pi: Richard Parker
Erik De Boer
Sean Comer
Betsy Asher Hall
Kai-Hua Lan

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Brave: Argument
Travis Hathaway
Olivier Soares
Peter Sumanaseni
Brian Tindall

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program

Game of Thrones: Training the Dragons
Irfan Celik
Florian Friedmann
Ingo Schachner
Chris Stenner

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

The Avengers: Midtown Manhattan
Richard Bluff
Giles Hancock
David Meny
Andy Proctor

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Brave: The Forest
Tim Best
Steve Pilcher
Inigo Quilez
Andy Whittock

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Matt Aitken
Victor Huang
Christian Rivers
R. Christopher White

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture

The Avengers: Helicarrier
Rene Garcia
Bruce Holcomb
Polly Ing
Aaron Wilson

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Brave
Chris Chapman
Dave Hale
Michael K. O'Brien
Bill Watral

Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or BroadcastProgram

Game of Thrones: Pyke
Rene Bors
Thilo Ewers
Adam Figielski
Jonas Stuckenbrock

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Commercial or Broadcast Program   

ZombiU
Dominique Boidin
Léon Bérelle
Rémi Kozyra
Maxime Luère

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

Life of Pi: Storm of God
Harry Mukhopadhyay
David Stopford
Mark Williams
Derek Wolfe

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Commercial or Broadcast Program

Guinness: Cloud
Tom Bussell
Neil Davies

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture

Life of Pi: Storm of God       
Ryan Clarke
Jose Fernandez
Sean Oharas
Hamish Schumacher

Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program

Game of Thrones: White Walker Army
Falk Boje
Esther Engel
Alexey Kuchinsky
Klaus Wuchta

Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial

Chevy 2012 Silverado
Dominik Bauch
Nicholas Kim
Benjamin Walsh

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Heather Drummons
Joel Friesch
Troy Griffin
Chris Hummel

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

Natalis
Daniel Brkovic
David Kirchner
Jan-Marcel Kuehn

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