Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End drew a leading seven nominations for the sixth annual Visual Effects Society Awards. Transformers, another Industrial Light + Magic-led project, followed with five nominations.
Of the titles that received four or more VES nominations, three of them -- Pirates, Transformers and Legend -- also were named to the Academy' visual effects category short list released Friday. The three also are nominees in VES' top category of visual effects in a visual effects-driven film.
In four of the past five years, the winner of the VES' top prize went on to win the Oscar category. The exception was in 2004, when the VES recognized Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Academy honored Spider-Man 2.
Meanwhile, the selections of Ratatouille and Surf's Up -- which included nods in categories typically dominated by live-action films -- demonstrates a distinction between visual effects and animation, a topic that has been getting a lot of attention of late.
The Academy's initial list of 15 VFX contenders included Ratatouille and Beowulf -- also reflecting this direction of thinking as the selections are rare feats for animated films.
Along these lines, VES introduced a new category this year for outstanding effects in an animated motion picture. In this new competition, Ratatouille earned two nominations (for food and for the rapids), and Surf's Up, Beowulf and Shrek the Third rounded out the category. Beowulf and Shrek earned a total of two VES nominations apiece.
The Pirates sequel is nominated for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven film, single visual effect of the year, created environment in a live-action film, compositing in a film (two nominations recognizing different individuals), models and miniatures in a film and animated character in a live-action film.
The previous Pirates film, Dead Man's Chest won all six categories last year as well as the Oscar.
This year, Transformers is nominated in the same categories as Pirates with the exception of created environments, where Transformers was not nominated.
Steven Spielberg will receive the VES Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony Feb. 10 at Hollywood & Highland that will recognize visual effects in film, television, commercials and video games.
The nominees for the 6th Annual VES Awards are:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture
I AM LEGEND
Janek Sirrs, Mike Chambers, Jim Berney, Crys Forsyth-Smith
Scott Farar, Shari Hanson, Russel Earl, Scott Benza
THE GOLDEN COMPASS
Michael Fink, Susan MacLeod, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END
John Knoll, Jill Brooks, Hal Hickel, Charlie Gibson
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture
Michael Fong, Apurva Shah, Christine Waggoner, Michael Fu
Eric Barba, Craig Barron, Janelle Croshaw, Chris Evans
WE OWN THE NIGHT
Kelly Port, Julian Levi, Brad Parker, Olivier Sarda
THE KITE RUNNER
David Ebner, Les Jones, Todd Perry, Leif Einarsson
BLADES OF GLORY
Mark Breakspear, Randy Starr, Shauna Bryan, Kody Sabourin
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - Razor
Mike Gibson, Gary Hutzel, Sean Jackson, Pierre Drolet
RACE TO MARS - Getting to Mars
Manon Barriault, Jacques Levesque, Olivier Goulet, Benoit Girard
DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2007 - Voyage of the Damned
David Houghton, Will Cohen
BEN 10: RACE AGAINST TIME - VFX Compilation
Dina Benadon, Evan Jacobs, Brent Young, Chris Christman
TIN MAN - Night One
Lee Wilson, Lisa Sepp-Wilson, Sebastien Bergeron
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series
HEROES - Episode 208 - Four Months Ago
DOCTOR WHO THE LAST OF THE TIME LORDS - Series 3, Episode 13
David Houghton, Will Cohen
STARGATE ATLANTIS - Adrift
Mark Savela, Shannon Gurney, Erica Henderson, Jamie Yukio Kawano
FIGHT FOR LIFE - Episode 4
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - Episode 316 - Maelstrom
Mike Gibson, Gary Hutzel, Michael J.
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