(Source: features.cgsociety.org)             Between now and February 24, 12 visual effects professionals will be anxiously awaiting the moment that someone on stage at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood (assuming the writers’ strike has ended) opens an envelope to say, “And the Oscar goes to…”. These 12 Oscar nominees practiced their art on three films – four nominees for each – that the visual effects branch singled out during a process that began last fall.

The executive branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences first picked 15 films, narrowed those to seven, and then members of the branch picked the three nominees at the annual “bake-off.” At the bake-off, the potential nominees presented a reel with 15 minutes of their work and answered questions from the audience who voted for the nominees.

The winning films – “The Golden Compass,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” and “Transformers” – now go to the entire Academy, where actors, scriptwriters, directors, producers, makeup artists, and so forth, vote for who takes home the golden statue.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the three multi-award winning visual effects supervisors for the films – Scott Farrar for “Transformers,” Mike Fink for “The Golden Compass,” and John Knoll for “Pirates” – all started their careers in the 80’s. Farrar and Knoll both work at Industrial Light & Magic; Fink is independent.

Farrar stepped into visual effects as a photographic effects cameraman on “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” released in 1979. In 1985, he won an Oscar for his supervision of the visual effects in “Cocoon.” This is his fifth Oscar nomination; he’s also received four BAFTA nominations.

Fink was VFX supervisor first for “War Games” in 1983 followed by “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” in 1984. This is his second Oscar nomination – he received a nomination for “Batman Returns” in 1992. It’s his third BAFTA nomination.

Knoll began working at Industrial Light & Magic in 1986 as an animation camera operator on “The Golden Child” and moved onto the digital side as a computer graphics designer on “The Abyss” in 1989. This is his sixth Oscar nomination and fourth BAFTA nomination. He won an Oscar in 2007 for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”

We asked these fx luminaries why they think these three films received Oscar nominations and to talk a little about their own films.

More:   CGsociety.org

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