By Carolyn Giardina
The visual effects teams for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers were the big winners at the inaugural Visual Effects Society Awards (VES), a defining moment for the society as it launched what will be an annual event.
The Two Towers collected eight trophies, including best character animation in a live action motion picture and best performance by an actor in an effects film, at an event that attracted a capacity crowd of 230. Much talk about how we think of digital characters stemmed from the CG Gollum, based on the extraordinary performance of actor Andy Serkis. The film’s Dean Wright noted Gollum’s success was a combination of the work of Serkis, the character animation team, and teams that worked on aspects such as lighting. But he hopes audiences think of Gollum not as a digital creation but as an actor; and Serkis’ role, as a great performance by an actor.
During the evening, attendees also took some time to reflect. Jim Morris, VES chair and president of Lucas Digital, and VES executive director Tom Atkin noted that the creation of an awards program has been a goal since VES’ inception. It was fitting to see VES honorary members Douglas Trumbull and Peter Ellenshaw among the presenters.
The award itself bears an unforgettable image from special effects pioneer Georges Melies’ 1902 film A Trip to the Moon, featuring a rocket ship landing in the eye of the ‘man in the moon.’ Morris noted that this selection pays homage to the history of visual effects.
The winners of VES Awards were: [LIST]