Visual effects bake-off leaves seven

Posted by · 10:28 am · January 6th, 2010

AvatarAnd they are, via AMPAS press release:

“District 9”
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“Star Trek”
“Terminator Salvation”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

And the three I still expect to get in are in the mix, so, whew.  I think we all know what will eventually win here, but if there’s a surprise nomination waiting to happen, I’d say it’s “2012.”

“On Thursday, January 21, all members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films,” the release reads.  “Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.”

What are your visual effects predictions?

→ 27 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

27 responses so far

  • 1 1-06-2010 at 10:29 am

    Morgan said...

    Not too sure Avatar is a shoo-in here. What do we know about the psychology of the visual effects voters?

  • 2 1-06-2010 at 10:30 am

    Morgan said...

    Wait a second – that was dumb. The entire Academy votes on the award, correct?

  • 3 1-06-2010 at 10:35 am

    Sean Stangland said...

    Why would “2012” be a surprise nomination? I can’t imagine that anyone who saw that movie in a theater would say that; the limo scene looked like pixel overload on YouTube, but was truly shocking on the big screen.

    That being said, “Avatar” and “Star Trek” should be locks for creating seamless, immersive worlds, and I’m guessing “District 9” will get the nod for appreciation of what it accomplished with that budget.

  • 4 1-06-2010 at 10:38 am

    AdamA said...

    Hm. No Wild Things? (Or was it not on the previous short list?)

    It would seem that Avatar, District 9, and Star Trek (in that order) are the most likely, especially since all three are in the Best Picture mix. But I agree with Kris: 2012 could supplant Star Trek. (Which would suck, but based on precursors, it could absolutely happen.)

    Avatar for the win, obviously. Its effects are THE story of the year. (Though I agree with a commenter from a few days ago that D9 would be a real dark horse if only sfx folk were voting. It’s a craftsman’s movie.)

  • 5 1-06-2010 at 10:40 am

    AdamA said...

    And by “based on precursors,” I mean I remember thinking ‘holy crap, 2012?!’ on more than one occasion. Don’t ask me to remember which times! :)

  • 6 1-06-2010 at 10:46 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Sean: Because most expect the three to come from Transformers, Star Trek, Avatar and D9, so it would be a “surprise.” Not that outlandish a thing to say, really.

  • 7 1-06-2010 at 10:47 am

    Morgan said...

    Yeah, I had a brain fart and forgot the entire Academy votes on SFX. OK, carry on with the enshrinement of Avatar. At least I know when to take my bathroom break during the ceremony since there will be no suspense. :-)

  • 8 1-06-2010 at 10:50 am

    Benito Delicias said...

    Star Trek
    District 9
    are still my predictions.

    Avatar is the lock. The other two, Star Trek specially, might miss due to 2012.

    And I saw Terminator the other day, pretty cool effects.

  • 9 1-06-2010 at 10:57 am

    aspect ratio said...

    Hopefully it’ll be Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek making the cut, but as I’ve said many times before, this category deserves to be expanded to five nominees.

    Too bad Where the Wild Things Are didn’t make the cut. Didn’t expect it to, but a shame nevertheless as the creature costumes by Jim Henson Co. were considered apart of the visual effects.

  • 10 1-06-2010 at 10:57 am

    cineJAB said...

    I remember thinking they could go with Transformers out of guilt for picking Golden Compass over the first film…but that was before I saw Avatar, Star Trek, and District 9.

  • 11 1-06-2010 at 11:23 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    The Academy might as well skip all of this and just declare Avatar the winner outright. No other film comes close.

  • 12 1-06-2010 at 11:38 am

    david said...

    Avatar, Star Trek, and District 9 seem like not only the most obvious choices, but also the most deserving.

  • 13 1-06-2010 at 11:39 am

    Alex in Movieland said...

    Isn’t it interesting that they only have to see 15 minutes from the films?

    With the right fragment, TRANSFORMERS is in. The movie sucks for many, but finding 15 minutes with killer visual effects is easy for this movie!

    STAR TREK can go with that winter animal thing.

    But how about DISTRICT 9?! The movie needs to count more on popularity than on the 15 minutes themselves.

  • 14 1-06-2010 at 12:04 pm

    Morgan said...

    I think District 9’s 15 minutes ought to involve the part where Wikus first goes up to Christopher’s shack during the evictions (the bit with little CJ throwing the lollipop, and Christopher coming out and interacting with Wikus). That shows off the whole cinema-verite, harsh-sunlight realism very well.

  • 15 1-06-2010 at 12:04 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    Harry Potter actually deserves some love here I think.

  • 16 1-06-2010 at 12:07 pm

    Morgan said...

    I mean this scene

  • 17 1-06-2010 at 12:47 pm

    Joel said...

    My predicted three are obvious:

    District 9
    Star Trek

    With “Avatar” winning, of course.

    If there’s a surprise:

    District 9

    With “Avatar” still winning.

  • 18 1-06-2010 at 1:03 pm

    Alex in Movieland said...

    oh, yes, I forgot.

    I’m saying.

    Star Trek

    if there’s a movie on the list needing replacement with District 9, I think it should be Star Trek.

    Let’s be honest, getting past the ‘it sucks so much’ phase, Transformers had better visual effects than Star Trek

  • 19 1-06-2010 at 1:18 pm

    A.J said...

    Isn’t the 15 minutes like a “special effects featurette” of sorts? Like they explain the techniques of how they did what and show a scene how it’s film then the first layer of effects then the second and so on.

  • 20 1-06-2010 at 2:12 pm

    Hans said...

    I’m fairly surprised Harry Potter is on here, considering how many complained that there wasn’t “enough magic”. I rather enjoyed it, it’s on my year-end best list, and that cave scene is one of te finest pieces of filmmaking I’ve seen.

  • 21 1-06-2010 at 3:22 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    No Watchmen? That movie really is as dead as can be. Wow.

    Nominees will be:
    Star Trek

  • 22 1-06-2010 at 4:45 pm

    Jim said...

    Star Trek
    District 9

  • 23 1-06-2010 at 5:45 pm

    Me. said...

    District 9
    Star Trek

    I loved the effects in “Avatar”. The designs of the creatures, the spaceships, the recreation of Pandora… all stunning.

    I loved the “District 9” effects when it came to the spaceship designs as well as the effects concerning the transformation of the lead, but the aliens looked incredibly fake to me. I would not nominate it. (I didn’t care for “D9” anyway, I thought it was lame and I felt like getting out of the theater multiple times. All this buzz and love is really odd).

    I have to see “Star Trek”.

  • 24 1-06-2010 at 10:16 pm

    Glenn said...

    I’ve though “2012” could show up in an “I Robot” sort of way for a while now. Like “Oh, yeah, okay. You were good, I just didn’t expect you to be nominated” sort of thing.

  • 25 1-07-2010 at 1:18 pm

    Ryan G said...

    As everyone else has said, Avatar, District 9, and Star Trek will be the nominees.

    But I’m not impressed by District 9’s visuals. It’s a movie that needed to have a seamless integration of CGI, but the aliens just end up popping off the screen in an obviously fake kind of way. They’re excellent for the film’s budget, though.

  • 26 1-07-2010 at 2:33 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    A 15 minute excerpt makes it impossible to determine if the effects actually served their purpose, which is to enhance the storytelling of the film. Not a surprise then that this is one of the worst categories at the Oscars, consistently rewarding the film with the “Most” visual effects and not the “Best”.

  • 27 1-13-2010 at 7:26 am

    Matsunaga said...

    Avatar- no brainer

    Star Trek- big visual effects

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince- properly used of visual effects


    2012- made my head ache

    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen- Academy reewards good story. This was a crap so they would propabably give it to someone which has a good one.