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SYFY WIRE visual effects

'Jurassic World Dominion,' 'Beast' & more nominated for Visual Effects Society Awards

Universal Pictures goes toe-to-toe with James Cameron and Tom Cruise!

By Josh Weiss
(L-R, Top-Bot) Minions: The Rise Of Gru (2022), Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), Beast (2022); The Fabelmans (2022)

Universal Pictures could end up dino-stomping the competition at the 21st Annual Visual Effects Society Awards. The studio and its animated subsidiaries (DreamWorks and Illumination) racked up a litany of nominations for their achievement in VFX over the past year.

Jurassic World Dominion leads the pack with two nods for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature and Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature. The trilogy capper to Colin Trevorrow's prehistoric saga is up against some pretty stiff competition, including Avatar: The Way of WaterTop Gun: Maverick, The Batman, and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

"An exercise in restraint is what Colin wanted in this film," Dominion VFX Supervisor David Vickery explained to SYFY WIRE last year. "And I remember the first few meetings I had with him. Me and my producer … had broken down the script and we estimated how many visual effects shots we thought. [We were like] ‘There’s going to be 1,500 visual effects shots in this film.’ And Colin went, ‘What?! No! Jurassic films only have 1,000 shots,’ which, by modern standards, is a pretty low shot count. But it was really just Colin saying, ‘Rein it in, we don't need to be bigger and bigger every time. We're just going to be better.’"

And speaking of man-eating monsters, the lion from Beast is currently circling Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature. The apex predator needs to fend off Kiri (Avatar: The Way of Water), Honest John (Disney's Pinocchio), and Pig (Slumberland) to win.

The Fabelmans, Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical love letter to family and cinema, landed a nod for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature. Its competitors are Death on the Nile, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, The Gray Man, The Pale Blue Eye, and Thirteen Lives.

DreamWorks Animation finds itself vying for two prizes: Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature for The Bad Guys, and Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Illumination Entertainment, meanwhile, may very well take home a victory for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial for Minions: The Rise of Gru.

“We’re honored to keep shining a light on remarkable visual effects artistry and innovation,” VES Chair Lisa Cooke said in a statement. “In all of our nominees, we see best in class work that elevates the art of storytelling and exemplifies the spirit of adaptation and ingenuity — talents that have kept audiences engaged and uplifted, now, more than ever. The VES Awards is the only venue that showcases and honors these outstanding global artists across a wide range of disciplines, and we are extremely proud of all our nominees!”

The 21st Annual Visual Effects Society Awards will take place Wednesday, Feb. 15 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Click here for this year's entire list of nominees.

Want to check out the nominees for yourself? Beast and Minions: The Rise of Gru are currently streaming on Peacock.