The Oscar races are starting to shape up: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has already announced the ten animated shorts that have made the 2014 shortlist and the 20 qualifying animated features (they don’t vote on a shortlist for features because there aren’t enough submissions).
But the contenders in one Oscar category of interest to the animation community remain a total mystery: visual effects.
Sometime within the next couple weeks, the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee will release its ten-film shortlist for this category. After that list is announced, all members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch will have the opportunity to view 10-minute excerpts from the ten films, and then vote on the final five nominees.
While there’s not even a shortlist, we already have a pretty clear idea of the frontrunners in this year’s race. The category, in my view, essentially boils down to the following three films (in alphabetical order):
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
VFX company: Weta Digital
The remainder of the shortlist should be rounded out with some of the following films:
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- Transformers: Age of Extinction
- Exodus: Gods and Kings
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Captain America: Winter Soldier