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Big winners at VES Awards: Inception, How to Train Your Dragon, The Pacific

February 2, 2011
Big winners at VES Awards:  Inception, How to Train Your Dragon, The Pacific BEVERLY HILLS — It was, no doubt, a difficult decision: Which film deserved the top prize for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture. Also vying for the award at the Ninth Annual VES Awards were Iron Man 2, Tron: Legacy, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Yet, there had to be a winner, and that movie was Inception.

In fact, Inception took home awards in all four categories for which it was nominated—Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture, Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding Models & Miniatures in a Feature Motion Picture, and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture—making it the evening’s most honored project. Meanwhile, How to Train Your Dragon and The Pacific both garnered three awards each. Among the awards bestowed upon the animated feature film How to Train Your Dragon was the prize for Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture. That movie claimed the win over Tangled, Toy Story 3, Shrek Forever After, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. Like Inception, How to Train Your Dragon won in every one of its nominated categories. Winning large for its small-screen work was The Pacific.

Double Negative made a big impact at the awards, winning three of the awards for Inception. The studio won awards in the following categories: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture. DNeg's CEO, Matt Holben, says, "We're thrilled for the winners and for the entire team on Inception. Everybody at DNeg works hard to create the finest work we can, and these awards are a great tribute to the team effort as well as each individual.  We'd also like to extend our congratulations to Christopher Nolan on receiving the inaugural VES Visionary Award last night and thank him for the opportunity to work on such an amazing film." Double Negative created all the visual effects for Christopher Nolan's critically acclaimed film, with miniatures being provided by New Deal Studios, which also won the award for Models and Miniatures.  Some of the highlights of the work included the surreal Paris folding sequence and Limbo city. 

The Visual Effects Society announced the winners of the 9th Annual VES Awards Tuesday evening, February 1, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The annual event recognizes outstanding visual effects in more than 20 categories of film, animation, television, commercials, and video games.

Filmmakers, producers, and guests joined more than 1000 attendees from the visual effects industry for the sold-out gala, which honored Christopher Nolan with the inaugural VES Visionary Award and Ray Harryhausen with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Inception’s Tom Hardy was on hand to present the award to Nolan, while Harryhausen was feted by video tributes throughout the evening. Randy Cook and Dennis Muren presented from the stage to Harryhausen, who appeared via video to thank VES for this honor. The event was hosted by Patton Oswalt.

The 9th Annual VES Awards will premiere on REELZCHANNEL on Saturday,
February 19, 2011, at 10p ET/PT, with encore presentations throughout February.

The following is the complete list of winners of the 9th Annual VES Awards:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture
Inception: Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Mike Chambers, Matthew Plummer

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Hereafter: Michael Owens, Joel Mendias, Bryan Grill, Danielle Plantec

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
How to Train Your Dragon: Simon Otto, Craig Ring, Bonnie Arnold

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or a Special
The Pacific: John Sullivan, David Taritero, William Mesa, Marco Requay

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series
Caprica: Michael Gibson, Gary Hutzel, Davey Morton, Jesse Mesa Toves

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Boardwalk Empire: Robert Stromberg, Dave Taritero, Richard Friedlander, Paul Graff

Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short
Day & Night: Teddy Newton, Kevin Reher, Michael Fu, Tom Gately

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Live Action Commercial
Halo: Reach: Dan Glass, Dan Seddon, Matt Dessero, Stephanie Gilgar

Outstanding Animated Commercial
“Cadbury's Spots V Stripes”: Jake Mengers, Julie Evans, Jorge Montiel Meurer, Michael Gregory

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
King Kong 360 3D: Matt Aitken, Kevin Sherwood, Eric Reynolds, R. Christopher White

Outstanding Real-Time Visual Effects in a Video Game
Halo: Reach: Marcus Lehto, Joseph Tung, Stephen Scott, CJ Cowan

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Video Game Trailer
World of Warcraft: Marc Messenger, Phillip Hillenbrand, Jr.

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – Dobby:  Mathieu Vig, Ben Lambert, Laurie Brugger, Marine Poirson

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
How to Train Your Dragon – Toothless: Gabe Hordos, Cassidy Curtis, Mariette Marinus, Brent Watkins

Outstanding Animated Character in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
Citron C3 The Spacebox – Citro: Michael Nauzin, Anne Chatelain, Gregory Mougne, Cedric Nicolas

Outstanding Animated Character in a Video Game
StarCraft II — Sarah Kerrigan: Fausto De Martini, Xin Wang, Glenn Ramos, Scott Lange

Outstanding Effects Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
How to Train Your Dragon: Andy Hayes, Laurent Kermel, Jason Mayer, Brett Miller

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Inception - Paris Dreamscape:  Bruno Baron, Dan Neal, Graham Page, Per Mork-Jensen

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Broadcast Program
The Pacific - The Battle of Iwo Jima:  Marco Recuay, Morgan McDermott, Nick Lund-Ulrich

Outstanding Models & Miniatures in a Feature Motion Picture
Inception - Hospital Fortress Destruction: Ian Hunter, Scott Beverly, Forest Fischer, Robert Spurlock

Outstanding Models & Miniatures in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
Boardwalk Empire - The Ivory Tower:  J. John Corbett, Matthew Conner, Brendan Fitzgerald

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Inception:  Astrid Busser-Casas, Scott Pritchard, Jan Maroske, George Zwier

Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
The Pacific - Peleliu landing:  Jeremy Nelson, John P. Mesa, Dan Novy, Tyler Cote

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
LOOM: Regina Welker, Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Csaba Letay

The VES is a professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. The VES is the entertainment industry's only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives. Its over 2,000 global members contribute to all areas of entertainment from film, animation, television, and commercials to music videos, games and new media. VES strives to enrich and educate its members and the entertainment community at large through many domestic and international events, screenings and programs. Visual effects professionals constitute a vital creative force in content creation and are literally shaping the future of entertainment.