Button, WALL’E Dominate VES Awards

The night belonged to a robot, a backwards-aging Brad Pitt and the nation’s second president at the 7th annual Visual Effects Society Awards.

WALL’E, the Pixar-Disney animated film, took all the animation awards, including outstanding animated character, outstanding effects animation and outstanding animation in an animated motion picture. The results give the film momentum going into Sunday’s Academy Awards, after being shut out last month at the Annie Awards.

On the visual effects side, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won four awards, including best single visual effect of the year and outstanding visual effects in an effects-driven feature.

The Dark Knight won three awards while Changeling won two. Iron Man, which had the most nominations with five, was shut out.

On the TV side, the HBO miniseries John Adams won three awards, with other top honors going to Battlestar Galactica and Fringe.

The awards were presented during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. Presenters included Iron Man director Jon Favreau, Watchmen production designer Alex McDowell, comic Jeff Garlin, actress Tia Carrere and actor Andy Serkis.

Special awards were presented to Phil Tippett, who received the George Melies Award for Pioneering and Artistic Excellence, presented by Dennis Muren; and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, who received a lifetime achievement award presented by Button director David Fincher.

A student award was presented for the first time, introduced by a video clip from director Steven Spielberg.

OUTSTANDING VISUAL EFFECTS IN A VISUAL EFFECTS DRIVEN MOTION PICTURE

The Chronicles of Narnia ‘ Prince Caspian

Wendy Rogers, Dean Wright, Andrew Fowler, Greg Butler

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

Roadside Romeo ‘ Scene 16 ‘ Chu Le Naa Song

Pankaj Khandpur, Sherry Bharda, Shirirang Sathaye, Suhael Merchant

Waltz with Bashir ‘ War Reporter and Orange Grove

Yoni Goodman, Yael Nahlieli

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: Battlestar Galactica Season Four – BSG Space Battle

Gary Hutzel, Michael Gibson, Doug Drexler, Kyle Toucher

Terminator: The 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: U2 3D – Selected Shots

Peter Anderson, Jon Shapiro, David Franks, Jeremy Nicolaides

OUTSTANDING REAL TIME VISUALS IN A VIDEO GAME

WINNER: 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

WINNER: World of Warcraft – Wrath of The Lich King – Intro Cinematic

Jeff Chamberlain, Phillip Hillenbrand

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED CHARACTER IN A LIVE ACTION MOTION PICTURE

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: WALL’E – Effects In WALL’E

Jason Johnston, Keith Daniel Klohn, Enrique Vila, Bill Watral

OUTSTANDING MATTE PAINTINGS IN A FEATURE MOTION PICTURE

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: 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

WINNER: The Dark Knight

Chris Corbould, Peter Notley, Ian Lowe

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

WINNER: Plastic – Transformation Sequence

Sandy Widyanata, Courtney Wise