With a surprise guest hosting spot by Mark Hamill, you might think that Star Wars: The Last Jedi was one of the big winners of the Visual Effects Society Awards. However, the critical darling went home empty-handed thanks to the dominance of a select few genre films that pushed the limits of current visual technology.
In what may very well portend the result of the Visual Effect Oscar, War for the Planet of the Apes earned Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature—the top feature film award at the event—along with Outstanding Animated Character, Outstanding Effects Simulations, Outstanding Compositing.
Much praise was heaped upon Andy Serkis’ portrayal of the ape leader Caesar, with equal praise given to the tech teams bringing this creature to life.
The only winner more successful than the latest Apes film was Game of Thrones, which took home five awards for its forays beyond the wall and for its dragons attacking loot trains.
Blade Runner 2049 took home two awards for its environments and settings, while the animated Disney film Coco won every award it was up for (because in addition to being an unstoppable awards beast, its competition in the category is of The Boss Baby ilk).
Rounding out the winners and earning one of the most fun awards ever was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Its Groot Dance/Opening Fight won Outstanding Virtual Cinematography, which is not only an amazing thing that exists, but well-earned recognition of a credits sequence to end all credit sequences.
However, with the dominance the Planet of the Apes film has shown at these awards, man’s time may truly be over -- at least at the Academy Awards.