Hollywood, Calif. - Framestore CFC's visual effects work was honored at the 80th Annual Academy Awards, which took place on 24th February 2008 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
The award for Visual Effects went to The Golden Compass, for which Framestore CFC provided key digital VFX work, including the huge and heroic polar bear, Iorek (voiced by Sir Ian McKellen), his evil arch-enemy, Ragnar, a host of supporting bears, and the icy CG environments in which they live.
The award was accepted on behalf of the Framestore CFC team by nominee Ben Morris (VFX supervisor), one of the four recipients of the award.
Said Morris after the ceremony, "When Chris Weitz and Mike Fink (director and VFX supervisor) said that they regarded Iorek as a true co-star and expected an accordingly strong performance from him, we knew we'd got our work cut out for us. That we achieved this -- and to Oscar level -- is the greatest thrill imaginable. We're all completely knocked out."
The visual effects in The Golden Compass have already been recognized at this year's BAFTAs, where the film won the award for Achievement in Visual Effects. This rare double victory came in a year where the competition was particularly tough, with the film beating out both Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for the prize. In addition, both of those films were serviced entirely by American visual effects companies, making The Golden Compass's victory just that little bit sweeter.
William Sargent, Joint CEO of Framestore CFC, said afterwards, "This is a great result for Ben Morris and his team, for Framestore CFC, and for the UK film industry, in the face of stiff international competition. To be placed front and center in the world of VFX like this is a marvelous acknowledgement of how far we've come. Now all we've got to do is to top it!"
The other winning nominees on The Golden Compass team were Bill Westenhofer (Rhythm & Hues), Trevor Wood (special effects supervisor), and Michael Fink (VFX supervisor).