The 19th Annual VES Awards, presented by the Visual Effects Society (VES), were handed out on Tuesday night, April 6, 2021, to celebrate the outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials and video games and the VFX supervisors, VFX producers and hands-on artists who bring this work to life.
The Visual Effects Society presented what could be this season’s virtual awards ceremony to beat in a fun online platform filled with VES members from all over the globe, chattering and cheering on the nominees and winners, showing the true camaraderie amongst the VFX field.
Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios’ Soul took home the most VES Awards of the night, essentially winning every single Animated category for five awards total. Lucasfilm‘s The Mandalorian, which received the most overall nominations, took home three VES Awards total, including “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode.”
It was a particularly good night for Netflix, as Oscar Visual Effects nominee, The Midnight Sky, and Project Power received two VES Awards apiece, while David Fincher‘s Mank also received one for “Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects.” Walt Disney Pictures‘s Mulan and The One and Only Ivan, both nominated at the Oscars for Achievement in Visual Effects, each received one.
Sacha Baron Cohen presented the VES Award for Creative Excellence to Rob Legato, ASC (Hugo, Titanic, Apollo 13, The Jungle Book), while actors Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau and many of the VFX artists (many from Weta Digital), all whom have worked with Director Peter Jackson, presented the VES Lifetime Achievement award to their long-time collaborator. (Check back on Wednesday for quotes from their acceptance speeches.
All of the night’s winners and the awards presenters are below.
Filmmaker Zack Snyder presented the final two categories of the night.
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
The Midnight Sky
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
The Mandalorian; The Marshal
Actor Danny DeVito presented two more Outstanding Visual Effects categories:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
Walmart; Famous Visitors
Chris “Badger” Knight
Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
Bill Watral Richard Bluff
Coincidentally, Soul director Pete Docter from Pixar was on-hand to present the next few categories:
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
The Crown; Gold Stick
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
Actor Demian Bichir presented the next few categories:
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project
Ghost of Tsushima
Actor Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) presented two animated character categories.
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature
Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project
The Mandalorian; The Jedi; The Child
The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan presented the next two animated character categories.
Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial
Arm & Hammer; Once Upon a Time; Tuxedo Tom
Tiago Dias Mota
Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature
The One and Only Ivan; Ivan
Andrea De Martis
Actress Jenna Elfman presented all three “Created Environment” categories:
Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature
Mulan; Imperial City
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
Soul; You Seminar
Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
The Mandalorian; The Believer; Morak Jungle
Marcus Scribner presented the “Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project” category.
Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project
The Midnight Sky; Aether
Chris Sullivan from This Is Us presented the next three categories for Outstanding Effects Simulations.
Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature
Yin Lai Jimmy Leung
Jonathan Edward Lyddon-Towl
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
Keith Daniel Klohn
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
Lovecraft Country; Strange Case; Chrysalis
The compositing awards were given out by Anson Mount from Star Trek: Discovery.
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature
Outstanding Compositing in an Episode
Lovecraft Country; Strange Case; Chrysalis
Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial
Burberry; Singin’ In the Rain
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
The Bourne Stuntacular
Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project
Fear the Walking Dead; Bury Her Next to Jasper’s Leg
Daniel J. Yates
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project (presented by Autodesk)
You can read interviews and watch all of the amazing student projects here.