2016 Oscars Challenge: [3] “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – Best Visual Effects

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould



If anything can tell you how far visual effects have come, all you have to do is watch the “Star Wars” series. From the originals of Episode 4 to Episode 6 and from the prequels of Episode 1 to Episode 3 to the latest in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” progressively these films become better and better. Despite their short-comings, the prequels were trying new things, and even though they were not always succeeding, they still pushed the VFX world somewhat forward. Now here we are in 2015-2016 and visual effects are so real, it is harder than ever to decipher what is visual effects and what is not.

From backdrops of downed Star Destroyers to laser blasts from X-Wings to epic light saber battles in the snow, these are moments that are ironed out to perfection with the help of visual effects. Not to mention, despite it’s age as far as the story goes, the Millennium Falcon has never looked better. Jumping into hyperdrive is basically the same as it’s always been, which goes to show how far ahead of their time the originals were and the practical effects and practical alien characters look more real than ever, which was another spot where George Lucas and his team had the right idea (until they changed things like Jabba The Hut in later cuts). Having the vision to carry out an effects driven film is no small task and one that is taken for granted in this day and age. That is until you watch videos like the one above that shows you a breakdown of the effects and how they were achieved.

What’s its competition? Like Best Original Score, I feel like if the Academy is looking to award “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for anything, this will be one of the major categories, because it does a brilliant job of moving everything forward, not to mention creating a new Death Star in the form of the planet Starkiller Base. Any competition will again come in the form of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which also has some amazing visual effects, both CGI and practical. Again, these big budget, action epics are a step above the rest just by sheer volume.

Previous nominations? This is the fourth Academy Award nomination for Roger Guyett. He was previously nominated for:

  • STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013)
    Nominee, Visual Effects
  • STAR TREK (2009)
    Nominee, Visual Effects
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (2004)
    Nominee, Visual Effects

This is the second Academy Award nomination for Patrick Tubach. He was previously nominated for:

  • STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013)
    Nominee, Visual Effects

This is the second Academy Award nomination for Neal Scanlan. He was previously nominated for:

  • BABE (1995)
    Winner, Visual Effects

This is the third Academy Award nomination for Chris Corbould. He was previously nominated for:

  • INCEPTION (2010)
    Winner, Visual Effects
  • THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
    Nominee, Visual Effects

exmachina-vfx madmaxfuryroad-vfx martian-vfx revenant-vfx


// Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams, & Bryan Burk // Directed by J.J. Abrams //
// Dated Viewed: Saturday, January 16th, 2016 // AMC CITYWALK 19 – IMAX 3D //  39 films – 44 days //

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