The VES Awards ceremony will be held on February 7th, but the nominees in film, animation, television, commercials and video games are already known and there is a fierce battle for the top places, as usual.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story received the most feature film nominations with seven, while Doctor Strange and The Jungle Book follow, with six each. When it comes to animated film, Kubo and the Two Strings is the top contender, with six nominations. Game of Thrones leads the broadcast field and scores the most nominations overall with 11.
As the nominations indicate, the competition is strong, demonstrating the interested created by this prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials and video games and the VFX supervisors, VFX producers and hands-on artists who bring this work to life.
This edition of the VES Awards will herald the organization’s milestone 20th anniversary. Nominees in a total of 24 categories were selected by VES members via events hosted by its ten sections, including Australia, Bay Area, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Toronto and Vancouver. The VES Awards will be held on February 7th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The event will also be the moment the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to multiple Academy Award-winning visual effects pioneer Ken Ralston. The Visionary Award will be presented to acclaimed producer and Marvel Studios Executive Vice President of Physical Production, Victoria Alonso.
Ken Ralston’s career began at the seminal commercial animation and visual effects company, Cascade Pictures in Hollywood, where he worked on more than 150 memorable advertising campaigns in the early 1970s. He built sets, sculpted models, animated puppets, created optical effects and stop motion animation for such iconic commercial characters as Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, and The Jolly Green Giant.
Ralston is Senior Visual Effect Supervisor and Creative Head at the Academy Award winning visual effects studio, Sony Pictures Imageworks. He has earned five Academy Awards including a Special Achievement Oscar for the visual effects in the 1984 phenomenon, Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi. In addition to this, he received Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects for his work as visual effects supervisor on Forrest Gump (which was also awarded the Oscar for Best Picture), Death Becomes Her, the revolutionary Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Cocoon. Ralston followed his Academy Award-nominated work as senior visual effects supervisor on Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (3D), with Columbia Picture’s Men in Black III and most recently Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award have included James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, John Dykstra, Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy and Sir Ridley Scott.
Victoria Alonso’s career began at the nascency of the visual effects industry, when she served as a commercial VFX producer. From there, she VFX-produced numerous feature films, working with such directors as Ridley Scott (Kingdom of Heaven), Tim Burton (Big Fish) and Andrew Adamson (Shrek), to name a few.
Alonso is currently executive producing James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. In her executive role, she oversees post-production and visual effects for the studio slate. She executive produced Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange, Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: Civil War, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man, Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World, Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, as well as Marvel’s The Avengers for Joss Whedon. She co-produced Iron Man and Iron Man 2 with director Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, and Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger.
Previous winners of the VES Visionary Award have been Christopher Nolan, Ang Lee, Alfonso Cuarón, J.J. Abrams and Syd Mead.
“The artistry, ingenuity and passion of visual effects practitioners around the world have come together to create truly remarkable imagery in a variety of media,” said Mike Chambers, VES Chair. “We are seeing best in field work that elevates the art of storytelling and engages the audience in new and innovative ways. The VES Awards is the only venue that showcases and honors these outstanding artists across a wide range of disciplines, and we are extremely proud of all our nominees!”
“The VES Student Award presented by Autodesk spotlights the year’s most stellar work from budding VFX artists and innovators around the world, and we’re proud to be a sponsor of the award again this year. The nominees’ submissions are outstanding, and we look forward to collaborating with this fantastic organization to recognize and celebrate this next generation of filmmakers,” said Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk’s Senior Vice President, Media & Entertainment, Education Experiences, and Impact.
Follow the link for a complete list of the 15th Annual VES Awards Nominees.