Spidey, Potter, Aviator Lead VES Noms

As Southern California is uncharacteristically besieged with rain, mudslides and mountain snowstorms, 20th Century Fox’s big-budget climatological disaster flick, The Day After Tomorrow, has been named in contention for one of the top kudos in the Visual Effects Society’s third annual VES Awards. Day will be duking it out with Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Sony’s Spider-Man 2 in the category Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture.

New Line’s second and third Lord of the Rings features dominated the 2003 and 2004 VES Awards, but with no denizens of Middle-earth or Weta Digital lurking about this year, it’s anybody’s game. However, Spider-Man 2 seems to be the frontrunner with six total nominations. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and The Aviator trail closely behind with five nods each.

Nominees were chosen by a panel of over 60 visual effects professionals (all VES members) who viewed hundreds of entry submissions during an all-day event at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center over the weekend. The process will continue with "The Big Reveal." Scheduled for Jan. 22, the annual event is VES’ answer to the Motion Picture Academy’s visual effects "Bake-Off," where nominees demonstrate the secrets behind their nominated works. The event, to be held at the Skirball Cultural Center, is open and free to all VES members and is also open to the public at $20 per ticket. Tickets are available by calling the VES office at 310-822-9181 or may also be purchased at the door.

For the first time in the VES Awards’ three-year history, final viewing and voting will take place online via the VES website from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12. This will allow VES members worldwide to view encrypted clips of the nominees’ work and vote in a safe, secure online environment.

Winners will be announced at the 3rd Annual VES Awards gala on Feb. 16 at the Hollywood Palladium. Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis will receive the VES Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented to him by Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks.

For a complete list of noms, go to visualeffectssociety.com. Highlights of the nominated categories include:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture

The Day After Tomorrow

Karen Goulekas, Mike Chambers, Greg Strause, Remo Balcells

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Roger Guyett, Tim Burke, Theresa Corrao, Emma Norton

Spider-Man 2

John Dykstra, Lydia Bottegoni, Anthony LaMolinara, Scott Stokdyk

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture

The Aviator

Rob Legato, Ron Ames, Matthew Gratzner, Pete Travers

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Louis Morin, Mark Dornfeld


Nick Davies, Chas Jarrett, Jon Thum, Gary Brozenich

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or a Special


Sirio Quintavalle, Jo Nodwell, Alec Knox, Neil Glaseby


Peter Ware, Eric Grenaudier, Jared Jones, Earl Paraszcynec

Virtual History – The Secret Plot to Kill Hitler

Jim Radford, Tom Phillips, Simon Thomas, Loraine Cooper

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series

Stargate Atlantis

John Gajdecki, Bruce Woloshyn, Jinnie Pak, Tara Conley

Stargate SG-1

James Tichenor, Shannon Gurney, Craig Van Den Biggelaar, Bruce Woloshyn

Star Trek Enterprise, Storm Front Part 2

Ronald Moore, Daniel Curry, David Takemura

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

British Telecom: Network

David Lombardi, Richard Mann, Eric Durst, Kevin Prendiville

Citroen ‘Alive With Technology’

Trevor Cawood, Neill Blomkamp, Simon Van de Lagemaat, Winston Helgason

Johnnie Walker ‘Tree’

William Bartlett, Murray Butler, Jake Mengers, Andy Boyd

Best Single Visual Effect of the Year

The Aviator, “Hell’s Angels”

Rob Legato, Ron Ames, David Seger, Peter Travers

The Day After Tomorrow, SL040 – Tidal Wave

Karen Goulekas, Mike Chambers, Chris Horvath, Matthew Butler

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Bill George, David Andrews, Sandra Scott, Dorne Huebler

Spider-Man 2

John Dykstra, Lydia Bottegoni, Dan Abrams, John Monos

Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in a Live-Action Motion Picture

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Michael Eames, David Lomax, Felix Balbas, Pablo Grillo

Hellboy Samael Character

Dovi Anderson, Todd Labonte, Sven Jensen, Paul Thuriot

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Rick O’Connor, Martin Murphy, Indira Guerrieri, Sam Breach

Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture

The Incredibles

Craig T. Nelson, Bill Wise, Bill Sheffler, Bolhem Bouchiba

The Polar Express

Michael Jeter, David Schaub, Renato Dos Anjos, Roger Vizard

Shark Tale

Renee Zellweger, Ken Duncan

Shrek 2

Antonio Banderas, Raman Hui

Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program

Battlestar Galactica – Episode 101

Dustin Adiar, Mark Shimer, Jesse Toves, Sean Jackson

Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital

William de Bosch Kemper, Brian Harder, Patrick Kalyn, Scott Paquin

Outstanding Visuals in a Video Game

007 Everything or Nothing

David Carson, Jay Riddle, Habib Zargarpour

Half-Life 2

Viktor Antonov, Randy Lundeen, Gary McTaggart, Bill Fletcher

The Lord of the Rings

Mark Skaggs, Richard Taylor II, Matt Britton, Nate Hubbard

The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age

Stephen Gray, Margaret Foley-Mauvais