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‘Iron Man’ leads pack at VES noms

'Knight,' 'Skull' earn four honors each

Paramount and “Iron Man” lead a lineup of superheroes, aliens and monsters in the Visual Effects Society Award nominations.

The summer smash from Par and Marvel led all contenders with five noms, including visual effects in an f/x-driven motion picture.

Competing with it for those top honors are Disney’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” Par’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Cloverfield,” plus Universal’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.” “Benjamin Button” drew four mentions. Besides the top category, it will compete with “Iron Man” for single visual effect of the year, along with “Cloverfield,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

“The Dark Knight,” “Crystal Skull” and “Bolt” took four noms apiece. 

“The Dark Knight” mentions include two in the special-effects category and one for models and miniatures. Practical and in-camera f/x are honored separately from digital vfx at the VES

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Among visual effects shops, Industrial Light & Magic fared especially well as its two biggest releases for the year were “Iron Man” and “Crystal Skull.”

Three of the seven features that made last week’s Oscar visual-effects bakeoff were largely overlooked by the VES: “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” received only one nom, and “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Australia” were shut out entirely. 

Disney’s toon studios dominated animation mentions, with “Bolt” leading all nominees with four and Pixar’s “Wall-E” collecting three. Both are nommed for animation in an animated motion picture and animated character in an animated motion picture. DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda” also took three noms and will compete in the same categories. 

On the TV side, “Battlestar Galactica,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Heroes” compete for vfx in a broadcast series honors. “John Adams” led all TV programs with three noms. “Doctor Who,” “Generation Kill” and “Heroes” grabbed two. 

As previously announced, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will receive the VES lifetime achievement award and creature-effects ace Phil Tippett will receive the George Melies award for artistic excellence.

The VES Awards will be presented Feb. 21 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. 

Complete list of nominees:

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A VISUAL EFFECTS DRIVEN MOTION PICTURE

The Chronicles of Narnia — Prince Caspian
Wendy Rogers, Dean Wright, Andrew Fowler, Greg Butler

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Eric Barba, Edson Williams, Nathan Mcguinness, Lisa Beroud

Hellboy II The Golden Army
Michael J. Wassel, Lucy Killick, Adrian De Wet, Eamonn Butler

Cloverfield
Kevin Blank, Chantal Feghali, Michael Ellis, Eric Leven

Iron Man
Ben Snow, Hal Hickel, Victoria Alonso, John Nelson

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A MOTION PICTURE

Changeling
Michael Owens, Geoffrey Hancock, Jinnie Pak, Dennis Hoffman

Eagle Eye
Jim Rygiel, Jim Berney, Crys Forsyth-Smith, David Smith

Valkyrie
Richard R. Hoover, Maricel Pagulayan, Peter Nofz, Daniel Eaton

Nim’s Island
Camille Cellucci, Scott Gordon, Fred Pienkos, James Straus

Synecdoche, New York
Mark Russell, Richard Friedlander, Eric Robertson, Brett Miller

OUTSTANDING ANIMATION IN AN ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE

Bolt – The Chase
Chris Williams, Byron Howard, John Murrah, Doug Bennett

Kung Fu Panda – Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting – The Animation of Kung Fu Panda
Markus Manninen, Dan Wagner, Alex Parkinson, Raymond Zibach

A Matter of Loaf And Death – Piella’s Mansion
Nick Park, Steve Pegram, Dave Alex Riddett, David Mccormick

Wall-E
Andrew Stanton, Jim Morris, Lindsey Collins, Nigel Hardwidge

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A BROADCAST MINISERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL

Doctor Who – The Next Doctor – Cyber King
Dave Houghton, Marie Jones, Matt Mckinney, Murray Barber

Generation Kill – Episode 2
Adam Mcinnes, Anthony Bluff, Stephane Paris, David Sewell

John Adams – Join Or Die
Steve Kullback, Erik Henry, Robert Stromberg, Jeff Goldman

Knight Rider – PromeTheus
Sam Nicholson, Scott Ramsey, Chris Martin, Mike Enriquez

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A BROADCAST SERIES

Battlestar Galactica Season Four – BSG Space Battle
Gary Hutzel, Michael Gibson, Doug Drexler, Kyle Toucher

Sarah Connor Chronicles – Episode 108
James Lima, Raoul Bolognini, Andrew Orloff, Steve Meyer

Ghost Whisperer – Ghost In The Machine
Armen Kevorkian, Arthur J. Codron, Matt Scharf, Stefan Brederock

Heroes – The Second Coming
Eric Grenaudier, Mark Spatny, Diego Galtieri, Michael Cook

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A BROADCAST PROGRAM

Fringe – Episode 101 – Pilot
Kevin Blank, Jay Worth, Andrew Orloff, Barbara Genicoff

Jericho – Episode 7 – Patriots And Tyrants
Andrew Orloff, Blyth Dalton, Chris Jones, Michael Cliett

Life – Frozen Solid
Max Ivins, Jenny Foster, Danny Kim, Shawn Lipowski

Pushing Daisies – The Legend of Merle McQuoddy
William Powloski, Elizabeth Castro, Melanie Tucker, Eric Chauvin

BEST SINGLE VISUAL EFFECT OF THE YEAR

Cloverfield – Statue of Liberty Crash And Woolworth Tower Collapse
Michael Ellis, Chantal Feghali, David Vickery, Ben Taylor

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Benjamin’s Secret
Eric Barba, Lisa Beroud, Steve Preeg, Jonathan Litt

The Day The Earth Stood Still – Newborn Klaatu
Jeffrey A. Okun, R. Christopher White, Thomas M. Boland, Ben Thompson

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull – Valley Destruction
Stephanie Hornish, Pablo Helman, Jeff White, Craig Hammack

Iron Man
Ben Snow, Wayne Billheimer, Victoria Alonso, John Nelson

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A COMMERCIAL

Bacardi – Sundance
Alex Thiesen, Nikos Kalaitzidis, Jay Barton, Zsolt Kalaitzidis

Coke – It’s Mine
Angus Kneale, Asher Edwards, Ben Smith, Dan Williams

FedEx ‘Pigeon’
Satoko Iinuma, Murray Butler, David Hulin, Spencer Lueders

Monster ‘Stork’ – Stork
William Bartlett, Helen Stanley, Dan Seddon, David Mellor

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A SPECIAL VENUE PROJECT

Grand Canyon Adventure – River At Risk – Main Title Sequence
Mark Freund, Alan Markowitz, Lee Nelson, Josh Mossotti

U2 3D – Selected Shots
Peter Anderson, Jon Shapiro, David Franks, Jeremy Nicolaides

OUTSTANDING REAL TIME VISUALS IN A VIDEO GAME

Crysis Warhead
Zoltan Pocza, Gabor Mogyorosi, Tamas Schlagl

Dead Space
Ian Milham, Ben Wanat, Christopher Stone

Need For Speed Undercover – Xbox 360
Henry Labounta, Steve Barcia, Dave Taylor, Carl Jarrett

OUTSTANDING PRE-RENDERED VISUALS IN A VIDEO GAME

Command And Conquer – Red Alert 3 – Chrono-Lab, Empire And Allied Scenes
Richard Taylor, Benjamin Hopkins, Katai Tang, Mical Pedriana

Need For Speed Undercover – Cinematics
Henry Labounta, Steve Barcia, Dave Taylor, Mark Raham

World of Warcraft – Wrath of The Lich King – Intro Cinematic
Jeff Chamberlain, Phillip Hillenbrand

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A LIVE ACTION MOTION PICTURE

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Benjamin Button
Steve Preeg, Matthias Wittmann, Tom St. Amand, David Mclean

Hellboy II: The Golden Army – Elemental Sequence
Colin Mcevoy, Christoph Ammann

Iron Man
Hal Hickel, Bruce Holcomb, James Tooley, John Walker

The Spiderwick Chronicles – Hogsqueal
Todd Labonte, Michael Brunet, Nathan Fredenburg, Aharon Bourland

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN AN ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE

Bolt – Various Sequences – Bolt
Becky Bresee, Bob Davies, Renato Dos Anjos, Wayne Unten Jr.

Bolt – Various Sequences – Rhino
Adam Dykstra, Dave Gottlieb, Clay Kaytis, Hyrum Osmond

Kung Fu Panda – This Kung Fu Stuff Is Hard Work – The Animation of Po
Jack Black, Dan Wagner, Nico Marlet, Peter Farson

Wall-E — Wall-E And Eve Truck Sequence
Ben Burtt, Victor Navone, Austin Lee, Jay Shuster

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A LIVE ACTION BROADCAST PROGRAM OR COMMERCIAL

Bacardi – Sundance
James Atkinson, John Cooper, Phillip Prahl, Charles Felix Chabert

Brains Dance
James Sindle, Jesus Parra, Josh Fourtwells

Coke – Stewie
Ben Smith, Andrew Proctor, Jong Jim Choi, Keith Kim

Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
Thomas Tannenberger, Olcun Tan

OUTSTANDING EFFECTS ANIMATION IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE MOTION PICTURE

Bolt – Various Sequences
John Murrah, Michael Kaschalk, Dale Mayeda, Adolph Lusinsky

Kung Fu Panda – The Secret Ingredient – Visual Effects of Kung Fu Panda
Markus Manninen, Alex Parkinson, Amaury Aubel, Lawrence Lee

Madagascar Escape 2 Africa – Effects In Africa
Scott Peterson, Laurent Kermel, Andrew Wheeler, Greg Gladstone

Wall-E – Effects In Wall-E
Jason Johnston, Keith Daniel Klohn, Enrique Vila, Bill Watral

OUTSTANDING MATTE PAINTINGS IN A FEATURE MOTION PICTURE

Changeling – 1928 Downtown L.A.
Romain Bayle, Abel Milanes, Allan Lee, Debor Dunphy

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull
Richard Bluff, Barry Williams, Yanick Dusseault, Yusei Uesugi

Synecdoche, New York – Matte Paintings
Brett Miller, Garrett Eaton, MatThew Conner

Speed Racer – Overall Matte Painting Presentation
Lubo Hristov, Dennis Martin, Ron Crabb

OUTSTANDING MATTE PAINTINGS IN A BROADCAST PROGRAM OR COMMERCIAL

Doctor Who – Series 4 – Silence In The Library
Simon Wickers, Charlie Bennett, Tim Barter, Arianna Lago

Generation Kill – Episode 2
Christian Irles, Yannick Bourgie

Merlin The Mark of Nimueh Series 1 – The Mark of Nimueh
Dave Early, Simon Wickers, Bryan Bartlett, Sara Bennet

OUTSTANDING MODELS AND MINIATURES IN A FEATURE MOTION PICTURE

The Dark Knight – Garbage Truck Crash Models And Miniatures
Ian Hunter, Forest Fischer, Branden Seifert, Adam Gelbart

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull
David Fogler, Craig Hammack, Brian Gernand, Geoff Heron

Iron Man – Suit Up Machine
Aaron Mcbride, Russell Paul, Gerald Gutschmidt, Keiji Yamaguchi

My Darling of The Mountains – Hot Springs
Taro Kiba, Kenji Nagatani, Yuki Minagawa, Hideo Udo

OUTSTANDING MODELS AND MINIATURES IN A BROADCAST PROGRAM OR COMMERCIAL

New Balance – AnThem
Ian Hunter, Jon Warren, Matt Burlingame, Raymond Moore

Ghost Whisperer – Episode 404 – ‘Claridon Ship Shots’
Eric Hance

OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN A FEATURE MOTION PICTURE

Cloverfield – Brooklyn Bridge Sequence
David Vickery, Phil Johnson, Victor Wade, Sean Stranks

The Dark Knight – Imax Gotham City Scapes
Peter Bebb, David Vickery, Philippe Leprince, Andrew Lockley

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull – Temple Heart
Michael Halsted, David Fogler, Steve Walton, David Weitzberg

The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor – Avalanche Sequence
Mike Meaker, Rich Mahon, Jason Iverson, Sho Hasegawa

Synecdoche, New York – Created Environment
Brett Miller, Garrett Eaton, MatThew Conner

OUTSTANDING CREATED ENVIRONMENT IN A BROADCAST PROGRAM OR COMMERCIAL

Audi – Living Room – Living Room
Jack Zaloga, Jake Montgomery, Andy Boyd, Sean Durnan

Heroes – Tokyo
Meliza Fermin, Michael Cook, Daniel Kumiega, Anthony Ocampo

John Adams – Join Or Die – Episode 1 – The Boston Harbor
Paul Graff, Robert Stromberg, Adam Watkins

Wrigley’s 5 – Fruit Shredder
Ludo Fealy, Dean Robinson, Adam Leary, Michael Gregory

OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING IN A FEATURE MOTION PICTURE

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Stuart Lashley, Arundi Asregadoo, Mark Curtis, Richard Baker

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Benjamin Comes TogeTher
Janelle Croshaw, Paul Lambert, Sonja Burchard, Sarahjane Javelo

Iron Man — Head Under Display – Hud Compositing
Jonathan Rothbart, Dav Rauch, Kyle Mcculloch, Kent Seki

Quantum of Solace – Sienna Chase And Fight Sequence
Anthony Smith, Christian Kaestner, Adrian Metzelaar, Jon Thum

OUTSTANDING COMPOSITING IN A BROADCAST PROGRAM OR COMMERCIAL

Coke – It’s Mine – ‘Balloons’
Angus Kneale, Dan Williams, Andrew Proctor

FedEx – ‘Pigeon’- Pigeon
Andy Walker, Spencer Lueders, Maryanne Butler, Murray Butler

John Adams – Join Or Die – Episode 1 – The Boston Harbor
Paul Graff, Joshua Lacross, Matt Collorafice

Time Sculpture
Richard De Carteret, Paul Downes, Oliver Dadswell, John Price

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL EFFECTS IN A MOTION PICTURE

The Dark Knight
Chris Corbould, Peter Notley, Ian Lowe

The Dark Knight – Garbage Truck Crash Mechanical Effects
Scott Beverly, Robert Spurlock, Jon Warren, Brian Kelly Hahn

Defiance – Special Effects
Neil Corbould, Steve Warner, Anne Maria Walters, Alan Young

OUTSTANDING EFFECTS IN A STUDENT PROJECT

Hangar Number Five – Robot Attack
Nathan Matsuda

La Main Des Maitres – Revolution
Adrien Cayus Toupet, Clement Delatre, Vivien Looky Chauvet

Our Wonderful Nature
Tomer Eshed, Dennis Rettkowski, Tomer Eshed, Dennis Rettkowski

Plastic – Transformation Sequence
Sandy Widyanata, Courtney Wise

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