The King of Oscar Night
Karen Moltenbrey
February 28, 2011

The King of Oscar Night

To no one’s surprise, “The King’s Speech” took home the Oscar gold last night, earning the statuette in four categories, including Best Picture. In a more heated race, “Inception” won for Best Visual Effects, beating “Alice in Wonderland,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” “Hereafter,” and “Iron Man 2.” Meanwhile, “Toy Story 3” bested the competition in the Animated Feature category, beating “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Illusionist.” In the Film Editing slot, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter won for their work on “The Social Network.” The work on “Inception” received the gold for Sound Editing (Richard King) and Sound Mixing (Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick). The award for Best Art Direction went to Robert Stromberg (production design) and Karen O'Hara (set decoration) for “Alice in Wonderland.” And, “The Lost Thing” was selected as the Best Animated Short Film. 

“Inception” dominated the Visual Effects Society’s awards recently, taking home all four awards in the categories in which it was nominated. Christopher Nolan's surreal, complex thriller, won for Outstanding Visual Effects on a Visual Effects-driven Motion Picture, Outstanding Created Environment in a Live-action Feature Motion Picture (for the Paris dreamscape sequence), Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Featured Motion Picture (for the hospital fortress destruction) and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture. At the VES Awards, “How to Train Your Dragon” was named Outstanding Effects Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture and Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture.

Double Negative provided all the visual effects for ”Inception,” including Limbo City, the Paris fold-over sequence, and the fortress explosion. One of DNeg's founding members, Paul Franklin, was the VFX supervisor on the film and was in attendance in the Kodak Theatre to receive the Oscar, along with fellow nominees DNeg VFX supervisor Peter Bebb and Andrew Lockley, as well as the film's SFX Supervisor, Chris Corbould.

The Oscar nod for DNeg comes after a long run of recognition for the VFX work on the film, including VES awards and the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects, which the same team received on February 13 in London.

Following the Oscar ceremony, DNeg's CEO, Matt Holben, said, "We can't ask for more from our artists than the fantastic work they produce, but we're incredibly proud of the Inception team for this outstanding achievement. Coming after the wins at the VES and BAFTA, this has made for a great start to the year and has really put Double Negative on the map!"


For a detailed look at the creation of the visual effects in “Inception,” see “In Your Dreams” in the August/September 2010 issue of CGW. To read about the cutting-edge animation crafted for “Toy Story 3,” see “More Toys Than Ever Before” in the July 2010 issue of CGW.
Here’s a list of the winners:

Best Picture: “The King’s Speech”
Best Actor: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Director: Tom Hooper, “The Kings Speech”
Best Original Song: “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”
Best Film Editing: “The Social Network,” Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter
Best Visual Effects: “Inception,” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley & Peter Bebb
Best Documentary Feature: “Inside Job”
Best Short Film (Live Action): “God of Love,” Luke Matheny
Best Documentary (Short Subject): “Strangers No More”
Best Costume Design: “Alice in Wonderland,” Colleen Atwood
Best Makeup: “The Wolfman,” Rick Baker & Dave Elsey
Best Sound Editing: “Inception,” Richard King
Best Sound Mixing: “Inception,” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo & Ed Novick
Best Original Score: “The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Foreign Language Film: “In a Better World,” Denmark
Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Toy Story 3”
Best Short Film (Animated): “The Lost Thing,” Shaun Tan & Andrew Ruhemann
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Best Cinematography: “Inception,” Wally Pfister
Best Art Direction: “Alice in Wonderland,” Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara