Warner Bros’ Dune and Disney’s Encanto scored a leading four wins each at the 20th annual VES Awards, which were handed out tonight at the Beverly Hilton.
Denis Villeneuve’s epic starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya won the marquee Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature prize — presented by Villeneuve himself. Dune also took trophies for Model, Effects Simulations and Compositing & Lighting. Even though the film opened day-and-date on HBO Max, it still was able to thrive in theaters with a $41 million opening weekend that exceeded expectations and led to a quick greenlight for a sequel weeks later.
Encanto, from directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard, danced away with the top toon honor — Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature — and also won for Animated Character, Created Environment and Virtual Cinematography.
Dune and Encanto came into the ceremony tied with six nominations to lead the field. The other winning features tonight were Last Night in Soho (Supporting Visual Effects), Spider-Man: No Way Home (Created Environment), Jungle Cruise (Special [Practical] Effects), Raya and the Last Dragon (Simulation) and Finch (Animated Character).
Apple TV+ drama Foundation was the only multiple winner on the TV side tonight, scooping trophies for VFX in a Photoreal Episode for and Effects Simulations for different episodes. Disney+’s Marvel series Loki came in with a leading four nominations but went home win a lone statuette for Compositing & Lighting. See and The Witcher also scooped one trophy each.
Sheba; Hope Reef (watch it here) topped the commercials field with two wins, and vidgame Call of Duty: Vanguard won for Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project.
Two-time Oscar winner and current nominee Guillermo del Toro is this year’s recipient of the VES Award for Creative Excellence, but he was under the weather and not in attendance. His longtime producing partner J. Miles Dale accepted on del Toro’s behalf.
Lucasfilm EVP/GM Lynwen Brennan, who oversees businesses including including Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, got a standing-O as she accepted the VES Lifetime Achievement Award.
Visual Effects Society Executive Director Eric Roth opened the show — which was going to be hosted by veteran Patton Oswalt, but he has a broken leg. So the organization called for backup: Drew Carey. Alas, he had “an emergency” and couldn’t make it either, Roth said.
After a wild VFX reel set to Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” — classic rock was the music of choice tonight — followed by some an announcements. Roth noted that VES’ growing international reach will be reflected in the web domain VESglobal.com, and the inaugural VES Technology Award will be launched at next year’s gala.
There also was a shout-out to VFX legends Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters Blade Runner) and Bill Taylor (Blade Runner, Star Trek: The Next Generation), who died during the past year.
Here are the winners of the 20th annual VES Awards:
OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE
Last Night in Soho
OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE
Thaddeus P. Miller
OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE
Foundation, “The Emperor’s Peace”
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE
OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A REAL-TIME PROJECT
Call of Duty: Vanguard
Yi-chao Sandy Lin-Chiang
OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A COMMERCIAL
Sheba; “Hope Reef”
OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A SPECIAL VENUE PROJECT
Jurassic World Adventure
Eugénie von Tunzelmann
Maximilian McNair MacEwan
OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE
OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE
Encanto; Mirabel Madrigal
Jose Luis “Weecho” Velasquez
OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN EPISODE OR REAL-TIME PROJECT
The Witcher; Nivellen the Cursed Man
OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A COMMERCIAL
Smart Energy; “Einstein Knows Best”; Einstein
OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE
Spider-Man: No Way Home; The Mirror Dimension
Eric Le Dieu de Ville
Claire Le Teuff
OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE
Encanto; Antonio’s Room
Chris Patrick O’Connell
OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL, OR REAL-TIME PROJECT
Sheba; “Hope Reef”
OUTSTANDING VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A CG PROJECT
Encanto, “We Don’t Talk about Bruno”
Nathan Detroit Warner
OUTSTANDING MODEL IN A PHOTOREAL OR ANIMATED PROJECT
Dune; Royal Ornithopter
OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE
Dune; Dunes of Arrakis
Zuny Byeongjun An
OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE
Raya and the Last Dragon
Le Joyce Tong
OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL, OR REAL-TIME PROJECT
Foundation, “Collapse of the Galactic Empire”
OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN A FEATURE
Dune; Attack on Arrakeen
OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN AN EPISODE
Loki, “Lamentis”; Shuroo City Destruction
OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN A COMMERCIAL
Verizon; “The Reset”
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL (PRACTICAL) EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL PROJECT
OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A STUDENT PROJECT
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