The Visual Effects Society (VES) has weighed in with their 2012 awards and Paramount cleaned house beginning with their animated feature Rango which took home four awards followed by Hugo and Transformers: Dark of the Moon with two each. 20th Century Fox and their Oscar-frontrunner for the Visual Effects Award, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, also took home two.
This is a nice bit of notoriety for Rango, which is largely considered the best seen animated movie from 2011, though not many have seen fellow animated Oscar nominees A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita, the latter of which I will actually be seeing this Friday. Rango, however, was not nominated for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars while the other three films I mentioned above are along with fellow nominees Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Real Steel. Those two, however, can probably consider themselves on the outside looking in as the race here, I believe, begins and ends with Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Apes won for Best Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture and a second award for the work done on the film's lead ape, Caesar, a character the VES considered an "Animated Character" which continues to make me wonder why films such as Alvin and the Chipmunks are considered animated features at the Oscars while films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes or Avatar are not. Oh well, not like it really matters.
The one Paramount film that went home empty handed was the VES's leading nominee, The Adventures of Tintin. Nominated six times across four categories, Spielberg's film went home empty handed while Rango won for all four of its nominations.
Captain America: The First Avenger, another Paramount feature, was the only other feature film to take home an award, winning for Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture.
I have listed all of the night's winners, including television, below and as I look over the list, I don't really see any reason to update my Visual Effects Oscar predictions as I still think it will go to Apes. After all, the category for Best Effects in Visual Effects-Driven Film is essentially the equivalent to Oscar's Best Visual Effects category.
You can see all of my Oscar predictions right here and browse the rest of last night's VES winners directly below.
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, Cyndi Ochs, Kurt Williams
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Hugo: Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning, Rob Legato, Karen Murphy
Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango: Tim Alexander, Hal Hickel, Jacqui Lopez, Katie Lynch
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Caesar: Daniel Barrett, Florian Fernandez, Matthew Muntean, Eric Reynolds
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango - Rango: Frank Gravatt, Kevin Martel, Brian Paik, Steve Walton
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 155 Wacker Drive: Giles Hancock, John Hanson, Tom Martinek, Scott Younkin
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango - Main Street Dirt: John Bell, Polly Ing, Martin Murphy, Russell Paul
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Hugo: Martin Chamney, Rob Legato, Adam Watkins, Fabio Zangla
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango - The Dirt Saloon: Colin Benoit, Philippe Rebours, Nelson Sepulveda, Nick Walker
Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Driller: Tim Brakensiek, Kelvin Chu, David Fogler, Rene Garcia
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Captain America: The First Avenger - Skinny Steve: Casey Allen, Trent Claus, Brian Hajek, Cliff Welsh
Outstanding Created Environment in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
"Game of Thrones" - The Icewall: Markus Kuha, Dante Harbridge Robinson, Damien Mac, Fani Vassiadi
Outstanding Models in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
"Boardwalk Empire" - Georgia Peaches: Matthew Conner, Eran Dinur, David Reynolds, Szymon Weglarski
Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
"Boardwalk Empire" - Gimcrack & Bunkum: Anton Dawson. Eran Dinur, Austin Meyers, David Reynolds
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie, or Special
"Inside the Human Body": Phil Dobree, Sophie Orde, Dan Upton
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series
"Terra Nova" - Occupation & Resistance: Kevin Blank, Colin Brady, Adica Manis, Jason Zimmerman
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
"Game of Thrones" - Winter is Coming: Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor, Angela Barson, Ed Bruce, Adam McInnes
Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Commercial or Video Game Trailer
"Diablo III: The Black Soulstone": Nicholas S. Carpenter, Graham Cunningham, Chris Thunig, Taka Yasuda
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
"Gears of War 3" - Dust to Dust: Niles Heckman, Richard Morton, Vernon Wilbert Jr.
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Transformers the Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle: Lori Arnold, Yanick Dusseault, Delio Tramontozzi, Jeff White
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Live Action Commercial
Dior J'adore: Pascal Giroux, Julien Meesters, Stephane Pivron, Manuel Souillac
Outstanding Animated Character in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
Canal + The Bear: Laurent Creusot, Guillaume Ho, Olivier Mitonneau, Michal Nauzin
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
a.maize: Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper, Florian Wittmann