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‘War for the Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Coco,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Win Big at VES Awards

'Star Wars' actor Mark Hamill makes surprise appearance as presenter at the Visual Effects Society’s annual event

Portending a possible Oscar win, “War for the Planet of the Apes,” pictured above, was named photoreal feature film winner at the 16th annual Visual Effects Society Awards on Tuesday evening, earning four honors.

Coco” continued its juggernaut winning streak and took the honor of top animated feature film; it also earned four awards. Awards stalwart “Games of Thrones” got the trophy for best photoreal episode and garnered five awards – the most wins of the night.

In the area of commercials, Samsung’s “Do What You Can’t; Ostrich” won top honors, scoring three awards. These top four contenders collectively garnered 16 of the 24 awards for outstanding visual effects at the packed-house event, which took place at the Beverly Hilton.

Jon Favreau and Marvel’s Kevin Feige Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

In individual honors, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, presented the VES Lifetime Achievement Award to producer-writer‐director Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book,” the upcoming “The Lion King”) and producer Jon Landau gave the Georges Méliès Award to Weta Digital visual effects maestro Joe Letteri, whose work spans “Avatar,” the “Lord of the Rings” franchise and the “Planet of the Apes” series.

Letteri’s introduction was accompanied by four videos of praise from actor Andy Serkis, who plays Cesar in the “Apes” trilogy, and industry pillars Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and James Cameron.

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In accepting his trophy, Favreau fully credited his collaborators: “You’re giving me an award for all the work that you did,” he said.

Speaking to a largely male crowd, VES executive director Eric Roth addressed the elephant in the room that occupies most awards season events these days. “We need more women in the industry, in visual effects, and in positions of power,” he said.

Awards presenters included fan favorite “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill, who made a surprise appearance; “Coco” director Lee Unkrich; “War for the Planet of the Apes” director Matt Reeves; composer Diane Warren; and actors Jaime Camil, Dan Stevens, Elizabeth Henstridge, Sydelle Noel, Katy Mixon and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias.

Mark Hamill David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Comedian Patton Oswalt served as VES Awards host for the 7th time to the more than 1,000 guests. The prizes recognize outstanding visual effects in film, animation, TV, commercials, videogames and special venues.

The full list of winners:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

War for the Planet of the Apes
Joe Letteri, Ryan Stafford, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joel Whist

 

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Dunkirk
Andrew Jackson, Mike Chambers, Andrew Lockley, Alison Wortman, Scott Fisher

 

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Coco
Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson, David Ryu, Michael K. O’Brien

 

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall
Joe Bauer’ Steve Kullback’ Chris Baird’ David Ramos, Sam Conway

 

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Black Sails; XXIX
Erik Henry, Terron Pratt, Yafei Wu, David Wahlberg, Paul Dimmer

 

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

Assassin’s Creed Origins
Raphael Lacoste, Patrick Limoges, Jean-Sebastien Guay, Ulrich Haar

 

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

Samsung; Do What You Can’t; Ostrich
Diarmid Harrison-Murray, Tomek Zietkiewicz, Amir Bazazi, Martino Madeddu

 

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

Avatar: Flight of Passage
Richard Baneham, Amy Jupiter, David Lester, Thrain Shadbolt

 

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

War for the Planet of the Apes; Caesar
Dennis Yoo, Ludovic Chailloleau, Douglas McHale, Tim Forbes

 

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

Coco; Hèctor
Emron Grover, Jonathan Hoffman, Michael Honsel, Guilherme Sauerbronn Jacinto

 

Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Drogon Loot Train Attack
Murray Stevenson, Jason Snyman, Jenn Taylor, Florian Friedmann

 

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

Samsung; Do What You Can’t; Ostrich
David Bryan, Maximilian Mallmann, Tim Van Hussen, Brendan Fagan

 

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Blade Runner 2049; Los Angeles
Chris McLaughlin, Rhys Salcombe, Seungjin Woo, Francesco Dell’Anna

 

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

Coco; City of the Dead
Michael Frederickson, Jamie Hecker, Jonathan Pytko, Dave Strick

 

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake
Daniel Villalba, Antonio Lado, José Luis Barreiro, Isaac de la Pompa

 

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Groot Dance/Opening Fight
James Baker, Steven Lo, Alvise Avati, Robert Stipp

 

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Headquarters
Alex Funke, Steven Saunders, Joaquin Loyzaga, Chris Menges

 

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

War for the Planet of the Apes
David Caeiro Cebrián, Johnathan Nixon, Chet Leavai, Gary Boyle

 

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

Coco
Kristopher Campbell, Stephen Gustafson, Dave Hale, Keith Klohn

 

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; The Dragon and the Wolf; Wall Destruction
Thomas Hullin, Dominik Kirouac, Sylvain Nouveau, Nathan Arbuckle

 

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

War for the Planet of the Apes
Christoph Salzmann, Robin Hollande,r Ben Warner, Beck Veitch

 

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode

Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Loot Train Attack
Dom Hellier, Thijs Noij, Edwin Holdsworth, Giacomo Matteucci

 

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial

Samsung; Do What You Can’t; Ostrich
Michael Gregory, Andrew Roberts, Gustavo Bellon, Rashabh Ramesh Butani

 

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

Hybrids
Florian Brauch, Romain Thirion, Matthieu Pujol, Kim Tailhades

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