Recipe for an effects bake-off

Committee begins with list that contains 260 titles

Visual effects Oscar nominees come by way of the category’s famous bake-off. First, the branch’s 35-person exec committee selects five industry professionals to create a 40-member steering committee. This panel then examines films from an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences list of titles that are officially described as containing visual effects.

“The list we get starts with around 260 titles and around 40 films have significant effects,” says Richard Edlund, the Academy’s visual f/x executive committee chair. “Through a lot of discussion, we get to a shortlist of around 20 and then we winnow it down to the final list.” The short list is due to be announced Dec. 17.

The committee then invites the producers of the finalists from the bake-off to list the most deserving people — up to four — to receive credit for the effects work. The people named by the producers are asked to prepare a 15-minute reel of f/x from the film and speak to the panel about their work at the bake-off event, set for Jan. 19. The committee votes and the top three films are the official Oscar nominees, which will be announced Jan. 25.

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