2009 Oscars – Best Visual Effects

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2009 Oscars - Best VFX

The nominations for the 2009 Oscars for Best Visual Effects have been narrowed down to three films. The seven semi-finalists included:

  • Australia
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  • Iron Man
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Interestingly, The Day After Tomorrow was excluded from the list, along with The Incredible Hulk – two films I would probably have included, had it have been up to me. Also interesting was the decision to include Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. I’m glad the film has recieved credit for its visual effects, given that I spent a good few months of my life working on it, but to be honest, I’m not sure the effects can possibly compete with the likes of The Dark Knight, Benjamin Button and others.

In fact, in my humble opinion, many of the effects were quite terrible. Given that we spent a great deal of time making sure the effects we contributed were perfect, seeing some of the effects contributed by other companies I was quite amazed at what they actually got away with! I noticed some poor keying, unmatching defocuses and bad continuity between some shots. In contrast, I was blown away by some of the effects in The Day After Tomorrow – the shot of the semi-trailer being disintegrated by the swarm of ‘bugs’ blew me away!

Anyway, here are the top three films selected for the Oscar’s Best Visual Effects for 2009:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight

Iron Man
Iron Man

If I were a betting man, i’d say you’d be hard pressed to go past Benjamin Button. I think the 3D head replacements were absolutely amazing and were very well composited. I remember thinking to myself “wow, that makeup is fantastic…”. Only later, after reading Cinefex did I realise that the head of old (or is that young?) Benjamin Button had been completely replaced with a fully CG head. Amazing stuff!

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