'Scott Pilgrim,' 'Alice,' 'Harry Potter' among noms

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ visual effects branch has chosen the seven films for its annual bake-off, to be held Jan. 20.

Pics are “Alice in Wonderland,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” “Hereafter,” “Inception,” “Iron Man 2,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and “Tron: Legacy.”

Many of the selections come as no surprise, as the Academy branch tends to favor VFX pics that use technology to creatively enhance the story, as opposed to creating spectacle for its own sake.

On Dec. 10, the org had announced a list of 15 semi-finalists. The new shortlist excludes high-profile 3D conversions “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “The Last Airbender” and “Clash of the Titans.” By not including those, the Academy sidestepped the issue of whether to consider 3D conversion as part of the visual effects category.

The VFX branch, generally disfavoring of sequels, may have passed over the third installment “Narnia,” but “Potter” and “Iron Man 2″ made the cut.

AMPAS’ bake-off includes a 15-minute screening of work from each film, followed by a Q&A.

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