VES 2024 Winners Include ‘The Creator,’ ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ and ‘Nyad’

Liem Soeng

VES 2024 Winners Include ‘The Creator,’ ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ and ‘Nyad’

Gareth Edwards’ “The Creator” was the big winner at the 22nd Visual Effects Society Awards (held February 21 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel). The AI-themed, sci-fi actioner earned five awards, including the top photoreal feature VFX prize. The other awards were for modeling (Nomad), created environment (Floating Village), effects simulations, and compositing & lighting (Bar). 

“The Creator” utilized an innovative streamlining process in post, in which ILM designed and placed the naturalistic VFX over the actors playing AI simulants and the photographic plates as set extensions. This made the $80 million indie look like a $200 million blockbuster, with director Edwards shooting the entire film guerilla-style in 80 locations throughout Southeast Asia as the primary camera operator with a small crew and natural light.

Meanwhile, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” the animated feature Oscar favorite (snubbed by the Academy’s VFX branch), took home four awards, including the top animated VFX prize. Sony Pictures Imageworks innovated new tools and techniques for 2D stylization into 3D using pencil, pen and ink, markers, and paintbrushes. Other VES awards were for animated character (Spot), created environment (Mumbattan), and effects simulations.

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“Nyad,” the biopic about long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad (Best Actress nominee Annette Bening), earned the supporting VFX award for its realistic ocean current intensity, direction, and swells.

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) take on The Spot (Jason Schwartzman) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN™: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”Sony Pictures Animation

In terms of the Oscar race, it’s a tight one between “The Creator” and the surging “Godzilla Minus One,” which, despite being a non-factor at the VES Awards (Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3″ beat the mighty Kaiju in the photoreal animated character category) has momentum and box office success on its side. Directed and VFX supervised by Takashi Yamazaki (the first director to get nominated in the category since Stanley Kubrick won for “2001: A Space Odyssey”), the film earned $56.4 million domestically, the third highest grossing foreign language film in US history.

On the TV side, HBO’s “The Last of Us” won four awards, including best photoreal episode, thanks to the work of Wētā FX, DNEG, Digital Domain, and others.

As previously announced, acclaimed actor/producer/director William Shatner (“Star Trek”) received the VES Award for Creative Excellence, and VFX producer Joyce Cox (“Avatar” and “The Dark Knight”) received the VES Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here is the complete list of VES winners below (noted in bold):

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”
Ben Snow
Diana Giorgiutti
Khalid Almeerani
Scott Benza
Sam Conway

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
Stephane Ceretti
Susan Pickett
Alexis Wajsbrot
Guy Williams
Dan Sudick

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”
Andrew Whitehurst
Kathy Siegel
Robert Weaver
Julian Hutchens
Alistair Williams

“Oppenheimer”
Andrew Jackson
Mike Chambers, VES
Giacomo Mineo
Dave Drzewiecki
Scot Fisher

“The Creator”
Jay Cooper
Julian Levi
Ian Comley
Charmaine Chan
Neil Corbould, VES

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“John Wick: Chapter 4”
Janelle Croshaw Ralla
Reina Sparks
Jonathan Rothbart
Javier Roca
Gerd Nefzer

“Killers of the Flower Moon”
Pablo Helman
Brian Barlettani
Sam Bassett
Brandon Keys McLaughlin

“Napoleon”
Charley Henley
Sarah Tulloch
Luc-Ewen Martin-Fenouillet
Simone Coco
Neil Corbould, VES

“Nyad”
Jake Braver
Fiona Campbell Westgate
R. Christopher White
Mohsen Mousavi

“Society of the Snow”
Félix Bergés
Micaela Gagliano
Laura Pedro
Ezequiel Larrú
Pau Costa

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget”
Jon Biggins
Jim Lewis
Charles Copping
Matthew Perry

“Elemental”
Peter Sohn
Denise Ream
Sanjay Bakshi
Stephen Marshall

“Nimona”
Archie Donato
Yancy Lindquist
Theodore Ty
Anthony Kemp

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
Alan Hawkins
Christian Hejnal
Michael Lasker
Matt Hausman

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem”
Matthieu Rouxel
Marie Balland
Jacques Daigle
Vincent Leroy

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE

“Ahsoka”; Season 1; “Dreams and Madness”
Richard Bluff
Jakris Smittant
Paul Kavanagh
Enrico Damm
Scott Fisher

“Loki;” Season 2; “Glorious Purpose”
Christopher Townsend
Allison Paul
Matthew Twyford
Christopher Smallfield
John William Van Der Pool

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters”
Sean Konrad
Jessica Smith
Jed Glassford
Khalid Almeerani
Paul Benjamin

“The Last of Us;” Season 1; “Infected”
Alex Wang
Sean Nowlan
Stephen James
Simon Jung
Joel Whist

“The Mandalorian;” Season 3; “The Return”
Grady Cofer
Abbigail Keller
Victor Schutz IV
Cameron Neilson
Scott Fisher

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL EPISODE

“A Murder at The End of the World;” Season 1; “Crypt”
Aaron Raff
Tavis Larkham
Douglas Stichbury
Mat Ellin

“Citadel;” Season 1; “Secrets in Night Need Early Rains”
Wesley Froud
Scott Shapiro
Aladino Debert
Greg Teegarden

“Ted Lasso;” Season 3; “Mom City”
Gretchen Bangs
Bill Parker
Lenny Wilson

“The Crown;” Season 6; “Dis-Moi Oui”
Ben Turner
Reece Ewing
Oliver Bersey
Joe Cork

“Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty;” Season 2; “BEAT LA”
Raymond McIntyre Jr.
Victor DiMichina
Javier Menéndez Platas
Damien Stantina

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

Alan Wake 2
Janne Pulkkinen
Johannes Richter
Daniel Kończyk
Damian Olechowski

“Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty”
Jakub Knapik
Paweł Mielniczuk
Maciej Włodarkiewicz
Kacper Niepokólczycki

“Immortals of Aveum”
Joseph Hall
Kevin Boyle
Dave Bogan
Julia Lichtblau

“Marvel’s Spider-Man 2”
Jacinda Chew
Jeannette Lee
Bryanna Lindsey
Alan Weider

“Mortal Kombat 1”
Christopher Chapman
Scott Quinn
James DeSousa
Jeff Palmer
Matt Gilmore

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

Accenture; “Changing Tree”
Simon French
Vic Lovejoy
David Filipe
Matteo La Motta

Apple; Air Pods Pro; “Quiet The Noise”
Iain Murray
Oscar Wendt
Dean Robinson
Sergio Morales Paz

Coca-Cola; “Masterpiece
Ryan Knowles
Antonia Vlasto
Gregory McKneally
Dan Yargici

Jean Paul Gaultier; “Divine Perfume”
Stéphane Pivron
Cécile Hubin
Guillaume Dadaglio
Mathias Barday

Virgin Media; “Goat Glider”
Ben Cronin
George Reid
Sam Driscoll
Christian Baker

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project (Tie)

“Hypersphere 360”; SeaWorld Abu Dhabi
Daren Ulmer
Cedar Connor
Lindsey Sprague
Ryan Kravetz

Postcard From Earth
Aruna Inversin
Eric Wilson
Corey Turner
Bill George

Rembrandt Immersive Artwork
Andrew McNamara
Sebastian Read
Andrew Kinnear
Sam Matthews

“The Marvels: Goose the Flerken Cat”
Tim Kafka
Mari Suarez
Toya Drechsler
Sebastian Niño Florez

“Zootopia: Hot Pursuit”
Blaine Kennison
Jeanne Angel
Darin Hollings
Aaron Arendt

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom;” Topo the Octopus
Thomas Ward
Andrew Butler
Felix Slinger-Thompson
Jacob Burstein

“Godzilla Minus One;” Godzilla
Kosuke Taguchi
Takashi Yamazaki

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3;” Rocket
Nathan McConnel
Andrea De Martis
Antony Magdalinidis
Rachel Williams

“Wonka;” Oompa Loompa
Dale Newton
Kunal Ayer
Valentina Ercolani
Gabor Foner

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Elemental;” Ember
Gwendelyn Enderoglu
Jared Fong
Jonathan Hoffman
Patrick Witting

“Elemental;” Wade
Max Gilbert
Jacob Kuenzel
Dave Strick
Benjamin Su

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse;” Spot
Christopher Mangnall
Craig Feifarek
Humberto Rosa
Nideep Varghese

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem;” Superfly
Gregory Coelho
Anne-Claire Leroux
Simon Cuisinier
Olivier Pierre

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL, GAME CINEMATIC, OR REAL-TIME PROJECT

“Diablo IV;” Inarius and Lilith Cinematic; Lilith
Matt Onheiber
Jason Huang
Maia Neubig

“Shadow and Bone;” Season 2; “No Funerals;” Nichevo’ya the Shadow Monster
José María del Fresno
Matthieu Poirey
Carlos Puigdollers
Guillermo Ramos

“The Last of Us;” “Endure & Survive;” Bloater
Gino Acevedo
Max Telfer
Pascal Raimbault
Fabio Leporelli

“The Nevers;” “It’s a Good Day;” Robot Dog
Christian Leitner
Bernd Nalbach
Sebastian Plank
Martin Wellstein

Virgin Media; Goat Glider; The Goat
Sam Driscoll
Kanishk Chouhan
Suvi Jokiniemi
Chloe Dawe

OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3;” Knowhere
Omar Alejandro Lavrador Ibanez
Fabien Julvecourt
Klaudio Ladavac
Benjamin Patterson

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny;” Underwater Wreck Environment
Johan Gabrielsson
Adrian Tsang
Stefan Andersson
Martin Eneroth

“John Wick: Chapter 4;” Place de L’Étoile
Manuel Gaudreau
Fabrice Vienne
Vignesh Ravi
Laurent Makowski

“The Creator;” Floating Village
John Seru
Guy Williams
Vincent Techer
Timothée Maron

OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget;” Chicken Island
Charles Copping
Matthew Perry
Jim Lewis
Jon Biggins

“Elemental;” Element City
Chris Bernardi
Brandon Montell
David Shavers
Ting Zhang

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse;” Mumbattan City
Taehyun Park
YJ Lee
Pepe Orozco
Kelly Han

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem;” Midtown Manhattan
Olivier Mitonneau
Eddy Frechou
Guillaume Chevet
Arnaud Philippe-Giraux

OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL, GAME CINEMATIC, OR REALTIME PROJECT

“Loki;” Season 2: 1983; World’s Fair White City
Christian Waite
Ben Aickin
Francesco Ferraresi
Pieter Warmington

“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds;” The Broken Circle
Nathaniel Larouche
Owen Deveney
Mujia Liao
Alex Morin

“The Last Of Us;” “Look for the Light;” Salt Lake City
Pascal Raimbault
Nick Cattell
Jasper Hayward
Kristine -Joeann Jasper

“The Last of Us:” Post-Outbreak Boston
Melaina Mace
Adrien Lambert
Juan Carlos Barquet
Christopher Anciaume

OUTSTANDING VIRTUAL CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A CG PROJECT

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
Joanna Davison
Cheyana Wilkinson
Michael Cozens
Jason Desjarlais

“Migration”
Guylo Homsy
Damien Bapst
Antoine Collet
David Dangin

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
Rich Turner
Randolph Lizarda
Daniela Campos Little
Thomas Campos

“The Creator”
Roel Coucke
Christopher Potter
Amanda Johnstone-Batt
Jeremy Bloch

OUTSTANDING MODEL IN A PHOTOREAL OR ANIMATED PROJECT

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3;” The Arête
Kenneth Johansson
Jason Galeon
Tim Civil
Artur Vil

“Peter Pan & Wendy;” Jolly Roger
Patrick Comtois
Thomas Gallardo
Harrison Stark
David Thibodeau

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse; “Spider HQ
Dongick David Sheen
Mark JeongWoong Lee
Mikaela Bantog
René Völker

“The Creator;” Nomad
Oliver Kane
Mat Monro
Florence Green
Serban Ungureanu

OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN A PHOTOREAL FEATURE

“Napoleon”
Koen Hofmeester
Gianmichele Mariani
Clair Bellens
Hernan Llano Duque

“Nyad;” Stormy Waters
Korbinian Meier
Sindy Saalfeld
David Michielsen
Andreas Vrhovsek

“The Creator”
Ludovic Ramisandraina
Raul Essig
Mathieu Chardonnet
Lewis Taylor

“The Nun 2”
Laurent Creusot
Sebastien Podsiadlo
Michael Moercant
Benjamin Saurine

OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Elemental”
Kristopher Campbell
Greg Gladstone
Jon Reisch
Kylie Wijsmuller

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
Pav Grochola
Filippo Maccari
Naoki Kato
Nicola Finizio

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem”
Louis Marsaud
Paul-Etienne Bourde
Serge Martin
Marine Pommereul

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie”
Simon Pate
Christophe Vazquez
Milo Riccarand

OUTSTANDING EFFECTS SIMULATIONS IN AN EPISODE, COMMERCIAL, GAME CINEMATIC, OR REAL-TIME PROJECT

“Citadel;” Secrets in Night Need Early Rains; Ocean Water
James Reid
Mathew Rotman
Filipp Elizarov
Nardeep Chander

“Invasion;” Season 2; A Voice from the Other Side
Zybrand Jacobs
Alex Marlow
Tim Jenkinson
Tobias Grønbeck Andersen

“Loki;” Season 2; Science/Fiction; Spaghettification
Rafael Camacho
Jonathan Lyddon-Towl
Julien Legay
Benedikt Roettger

“The Mandalorian;” Season 3; Lake Monster Attack Water
Travis Harkleroad
Florian Wietzel
Rick Hankins
Aron Bonar

“Willow;” Children of the Wyrm; Crone Duststorm and Magical Effects
Michael Cashmore
Robert Zeltsch
Jiyong Shin
Audun Ase

OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN A FEATURE

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
Indah Maretha
Beck Veitch
Nathan Abbot
Steve McGillen

“John Wick: Chapter 4;” Apartment Massacre Videogame Style
Javier Roca
Julien Forest
Thomas Bourdis
Dominik Kirouac

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
Bret St.Clair
Kieron Cheuk-Chi Lo
Kelly Christophers
Rowan Young

“The Creator;” Bar
Phil Prates
Min Kim
Nisarg Suthar
Toshiko Miura

“The Creator;” Spaceships
Ben O-Brien
Juan Espigares Enriquez
Wesley Roberts
Hayes Brien

OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING & LIGHTING IN AN EPISODE

“The Last of Us;” Endure and Survive; Infected Horde Battle
Matthew Lumb
Ben Roberts
Ben Campbell
Quentin Hema

“The Last of Us;” Infected; Boston
Casey Gorton
Francesco Dell’Anna
Vaclav Kubant
Natalia Valbuena

“The Mandalorian;” Season 3; The Return
Sam Wirch
Tory Mercer
Donny Rausch
Erich Ippen

“Willow;” Children of the Wyrm
Jeremy Sawyer
Steve Hardy
Martin Tardif
Miguel Macaya Ten

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL (PRACTICAL) EFFECTS IN A PHOTOREAL PROJECT

“I’m a Virgo”
John McLeod
Scott Kirvan
Alec Gillis
Carl Miller

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”
Neil Corbould, VES
Ray Ferguson
Keith Dawson
Chris Motjuoadi

“Oppenheimer”
Scott Fisher
James Rollins
Mario Vanillo

“Society of the Snow”
Pau Costa
Carlos Laguna
Guillermo F. Aldunate
Eloy Cervera

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY AWARD

“Blue Beetle;” Machine Learning Cloth
JohnMark Gibbons
Allen Ruilova
Momme Carl
David Minor

“Elemental;” Volumetric Neural Style Transfer
Vinicius C. Azevedo
Byungsoo Kim
Raphael Ortiz
Paul Kanyuk

“The Flash;” Volumetric Capture
Stephan Trojansky
Thomas Ganshorn
Oliver Pilarski
Lukas Lepicovsky

“Wish;” Dynamic Screen Space Textures for Coherent Stylization
Brent Burley
Daniel Teece
Brian J. Green

“Silhouette”
Alexis Lafuente
Antoni Nicolaï
Chloé Stricher
Elliot Dreuille

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