“Avatar” has an Oscar nomination — now it’s tied with “Top Gun,” “All Quiet,” “The Batman” and “Wakanda Forever.”
We’ll be updating all of our Oscar predictions throughout the season, so stay tuned to IndieWire for the latest news on the 2023 Oscar race. The nomination round of voting will take place between January 12 and January 17, 2023, with the official Oscar nominations announced on January 24, 2023. The final vote will take place between March 2 and 7, 2023. Finally the 95. Oscar Award The telecast will air on Sunday, March 12th and live on ABC at 8:00 PM ET/ 5:00 PM PT.
Check out our initial thoughts on what to expect at the 95th Academy Awards.
State of the species
“Avatar: The Way of Water,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Batman,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were nominated for best visual effects Oscars on Tuesday. After a record-tying 14 Visual Effects Society nominations (the 21st annual VES Awards will take place on February 15 at the Beverly Hilton), the innovative “Avatar” is a surefire shot at an Oscar. But the surprise entry of ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, with its remarkable supporting work on the World War I battlefield, adds a nice twist to the field of entries, which has also worked with the high-flying ‘Top Gun’. after an unusually protracted stealth campaign.
Among the most overlooked contenders were “Jurassic World: Dominion” and its array of innovative CG and animatronic dinos, and “Nope,” which boasted a fanciful origami Jean Jacket alien, creative cloud formations and Hoyte van Hoytema’s brilliant CG enhancement . a combination of infrared and large format day-night filming.
There’s a reason “Avatar” is a forbidden favorite. Led by Wētā FX and four-time Academy Award-winning Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri, the ocean-centric sequel took groundbreaking underwater performance capture to a new level with a rebuilt global simulation toolset (including an FX water and fire system called Loki). photorealism and a game-changing muscle-based facial animation system called APFS (Anatomically Plausible Facial System).
Interestingly, Wētā’s work on “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (helmed by the studio’s VFX supervisor Chris White) also centers primarily around water. The highlight was bringing the culture of the underwater Talokan to life through expansive CG environments with vibrant populations, gardens, marketplaces, temples, sports fields and aqueduct transport links. Director Ryan Coogler wanted realistic water with lots of disturbance, so Wētā took special care to make the underwater scenes as realistic as the ones above. The entire VFX team was led by Geoffrey Baumann, Head of Production at Marvel Studios.
“The Batman” also featured the work of Wētā (produced by Dan Lemmon), who used his virtual production skills to complete the rainy Batmobile freeway chase with Penguin (Colin Farrell). Apart from re-creating cinematographer Greig Fraser’s in-camera lighting effects using virtual cinematography (including digitally reproducing the silicone spheres added to the filters), timing, composition and CG action sequences were developed. Additionally, ILM (led by VFX Supervisor Russell Earl) set up a pop-up StageCraft LED volume to add unfinished skylines to the reimagined Gothic-inspired Gotham.
Joseph Kosinki’s high-flying “Maverick” featured some of the best VFX of the season, alongside stunning, hands-on in-camera flying sequences (achieved using the innovative Sony Rialto Camera Extension System, helmed by cinematographer Claudio Miranda). The work was primarily done by Method – now part of Framestore – and production was overseen by Ryan Tudhope, and included 2,400 shots with lots of compositing (including cockpit interiors), matte painting, environment and sky replacement, plate upscaling and cleanup, and full CG airplanes after takeoff and during dogfights – especially those involving CG gunshots and explosions.
Edward Berger’s anti-war epic All Quiet on the Western Front (overlooked by VES) is an immersive POV film that takes us through long tracking shots across the battlefields and trenches of WWI. VFX Production Supervisor Frank Petzold took a naturalistic approach through the Oscar-nominated cinematography of James Friend, with the goal of relying on as many photographic elements as possible in the composition. CG simulations were reserved for augmentation, and explosions were handled by the SFX team and shot at the former airport with the Red Camera, then seamlessly composited. Smoke and tanks were treated as characters. The former had different attributes per color (the yellow from the mustard gas was mysterious), while the tanks looked like gigantic creatures of war and were handled in CG animation.
Below is a list of the candidates in order of probability of victory:
“Avatar: The Path of Water” (20th century/Disney)
“Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount)
“Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
“The Batman” (Warner Bros.)
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Disney/Marvel)
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