Oscar-Contending Visual Effects Artists Mixed Digital and Physical Elements to Wow Moviegoers

Read on: Variety.

Today’s visual effects are so high-tech that it seems quaint that Oscar nominees are chosen through a process called the Bake-Off. This live event, staged at the Academy’s Beverly Hills theater, is as far from a cooking contest as you can get. The craf…

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Tops Nominations for Visual Effects Society Awards

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Avengers: Infinity War” leads all films in nominations for the Visual Effects Society’s 17th Annual VES Awards, which were announced on Tuesday.

The Marvel movie received six nominations, one more than “Ready Player One” and “Incredibles 2.”

In Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature, the VES category that corresponds most closely to the Oscars’ Best Visual Effects category, the nominees were “Avengers,” “Ready Player One,” “Christopher Robin,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “Welcome to Marwen.”

Also Read: How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into that ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending and ‘Endgame’?

“Incredibles 2” led all animated films, with “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” each receiving four nominations to trail “Incredibles” by one.

Other films with multiple nominations include “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” with three and “First Man” and “Aquaman” with two each.

Two of the 10 films that are on the Oscars short list in the Best Visual Effects category – “Black Panther” and “Mary Poppins” – did not receive any VES nominations. The omission may be particularly noteworthy for “Black Panther,” since one of the “Avengers” nominations is for the effects simulation in its creation of Wakanda, the fictional African country that first appeared in “Black Panther.”

In the television categories, “Lost in Space” led all shows with six nominations, while “Altered Carbon,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Cycles” received three and “The Deuce” and “The Man in the High Castle” received two.

Also Read: ‘Lost in Space’: What Happened to Earth and Why Are Humans Leaving?

Last year, VES’ Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature category was an exact match for the Oscars’ visual-effects nominees, though the winner was not the same: “War for the Planet of the Apes” took the VES Award, while “Blade Runner 2049” won the Oscar. It was the first time the two categories have matched exactly since the Oscars’ VFX category was expanded to five nominees in 2010.

Over the first 16 years of the VES Awards, almost 75 percent of the Oscar nominees have first been nominated in that category by the VES.

Winners will be announced at the VES Awards show on Feb. 5 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Also on that show, which will be hosted by Patton Oswalt, the VES Visionary Award will be presented to “Westworld” creator Jonathan Nolan, and the VES Award for Creative Excellence will go to “Game of Thrones” producers-writers-directors David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

For more information, including the names of individual nominees, go to the VES website.

The VES Awards nominees:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
“Welcome to Marwen”

Also Read: ‘Christopher Robin’: The Look of Winnie the Pooh Is a Blend of Original Book and 1960s Disney Art

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
“12 Strong”
“Bird Box”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Outlaw King”

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”
“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
“Altered Carbon”: “Out of the Past”
“Krypton”: “The Phantom Zone”
“Lost in Space”: “Danger, Will Robinson”
“The Terror”: “Go For Broke”
“Westworld”: “The Passenger”

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode
“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”: Pilot
“The Alienist”: “The Boy on the Bridge”
“The Deuce”: “We’re All Beasts”
“The First”: “Near and Far”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”: “June”

Also Read: ‘The Deuce’ Star Maggie Gyllenhaal Says Show Exposes Our ‘Broken, Misogynistic Culture’

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project
“Age of Sail”
“Cycles”
“Dr Grordbort’s Invaders”
“God of War”
“Marvel’s Spider-Man”

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
“Beyond Good & Evil 2”
John Lewis: “The Boy and the Piano”
McDonald’s: “#ReindeerReady”
U.S. Marine Corps: “A Nation’s Call”
Volkswagen: “Born Confident”

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
“Beautiful Hunan”: “Flight of the Phoenix”
“Childish Gambino’s Pharos”
“DreamWorks Theatre Presents Kung Fu Panda”
“Osheaga Music and Arts Festival”
“Pearl Quest”

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature
“Avengers: Infinity War”: Thanos
“Christopher Robin”: Tigger
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”: Indoraptor
“Ready Player One”: Art3mis

Also Read: ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Ready Player One’ Land on Oscars Shortlist in Visual Effects Race

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature
“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”: The Grinch
“Incredibles 2”: Helen Parr
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”: Ralphzilla
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”: Miles Morales

Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project
“Cycles”: Rae
“Lost in Space”: Humanoid
“Nightflyers: All That We Have Found”: Eris
“Spider-Man”: Doc Ock

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial
McDonald’s: Bobbi the Reindeer
“Overkill’s The Walking Dead”: Maya
Peta; “Best Friend”: Lucky
Volkswagen: “Born Confident”: Bam

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature
“Ant-Man and the Wasp”: Journey to the Quantum Realm
“Aquaman”: Atlantis
“Ready Player One”: The Shining, Overlook Hotel
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”: Vandor Planet

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”: Whoville
“Incredibles 2”: Parr House
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”: Social Media District
“Spider-Man; Into the Spider-Verse”: Graphic New York City

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
“Cycles”: The House
“Lost in Space”: Pilot: Impact Area
“The Deuce”: 42nd St
“The Handmaid’s Tale”: “June”: Fenway Park
“The Man in the High Castle”: Reichsmarschall Ceremony

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project
“Aquaman”: Third Act Battle
“Echo”: Time Displacement
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”: Gyrosphere Escape
“Ready Player One”: New York Race
“Welcome to Marwen”: Town of Marwen

Also Read: ‘Welcome to Marwen’ Film Review: Robert Zemeckis Shrinks a True Story’s Impact to Doll Size

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project
“Avengers: Infinity War”: Nidavellir Forge Megastructure
“Incredibles 2”: Underminer Vehicle
“Mortal Engines”: London
“Ready Player One”: DeLorean DMC-12
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”: Millennium Falcon

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature
“Avengers: Infinity War”: Titan
“Avengers: Infinity War”: Wakanda
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“Venom”

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”: Snow, Clouds and Smoke
“Incredibles 2”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”: Virus Infection & Destruction
“Smallfoot”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project
“Altered Carbon”
“Lost in Space”: “Jupiter is Falling”
“Lost in Space”: “The Get Away”
“The Man in the High Castle”: Statue of Liberty Destruction

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature
“Avengers: Infinity War”: Titan
“First Man”
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
“Welcome to Marwen”

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode
“Altered Carbon”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”: “June”
“Lost in Space”: “Impact”: Crash Site Rescue
“Silicon Valley”: “Artificial Emotional Intelligence”: Fiona

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial
Apple: “Unlock”
Apple: “Welcome Home”
Genesis: “G90 Facelift”
John Lewis: “The Boy and the Piano”

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
“Chocolate Man”
“Proxima-b”
“Ratatoskr”
“Terra Nova”

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French Theatrical Admissions Drop in 2018, but Box Office Holds Steady

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‘Solo’ Writer Reveals Four Scenes Conceived by Phil Lord & Chris Miller That Made the Final Cut

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Since “Solo: A Star Wars Story” hit theaters in May, fans have wondered how much of the creative input of ousted directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller made it into Ron Howard’s final cut. According to co-writer Jon Kasdan, the answer is… quite a bit.

To mark the film’s digital release, Kasdan posted a list of fun facts on Twitter about its development and production, noting four scenes that Lord & Miller — who left the project midway through production due to creative differences and were replaced with Howard — added to the project.

Creative touches by the duo can be seen from the very beginning of the film, as they came up with the landspeeder chase through the Empire-dominated planet of Corellia. Not only did Kasdan agree that opening the movie with the chase would give it an exciting start, but it would also demonstrate how skilled Han Solo was as a pilot even from an early age.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Crumbled at the Box Office

The meeting of Han and Chewbacca as seen in the film was also largely crafted by Lord & Miller, whom Kasdan credits for the part where Han convinces Chewie to help him by speaking his language in a broken accent.

Lord & Miller also worked with Kasdan to develop Lando’s droid companion L3, with Kasdan noting the polarizing nature of the character “in these extremely divisive and politically charged times.” Kasdan says L3 was born from Miller noting the anti-droid prejudice of the bartender at the Mos Eisley Cantina in the first “Star Wars” film, especially considering droids are the least violent race in the galaxy.

The two also dreamed up the detail to have Han and Qi’ra kiss in Lando’s cape closet onboard the Millennium Falcon, serving as a parallel to Han’s later relationship with Leia in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Also Read: Does This ‘Solo’ Deleted Scene Give Us a New Glimpse at Lord and Miller’s Version?

“We liked the idea of seeing Han in a similar situation, with a similar type of banter, but a very different partner, one who maybe teaches him a thing or two,” wrote Kasdan. “The relationship between Han and Qi’ra was never intended to be concluded at the end of this movie. It’s a story I hope we get to tell more of someday ’cause I like their diverging paths.”

Of course, there is no guarantee that Kasdan will get that chance, as “Solo” was the biggest box office disappointment of this past summer. Grossing just $392.9 million globally against a production budget said to have ballooned to $250 million, it’s the lowest grossing film in the 41-year history of “Star Wars.”

But Kasdan is still holding out hope.

Also Read: Yes, That Was THAT Dead Villain in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ – Here’s What it Means

“To be honest, I think the challenge has much more to do with the foreign box office than the U.S.,” Kasdan concluded. “Personally I think there are great ‘Star Wars’ movies to be made that don’t need to cost quite so much.”

“Hopefully, that will be the trend in the years to come […] Given the way Hollywood, and the culture at large, seem to run from anything labeled a disappointment, the odds seem like they’re against it happening anytime soon. But I suppose Han wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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Does This ‘Solo’ Deleted Scene Give Us a New Glimpse at Lord and Miller’s Version?

‘Indiana Jones 5’ Release Date Pushed, ‘Solo’ Writer Jonathan Kasdan Working on New Draft

5 Reasons Why ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Crumbled at the Box Office

Does This ‘Solo’ Deleted Scene Give Us a New Glimpse at Lord and Miller’s Version?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Some spoilers for the very beginning of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” ahead)

It’s tough to guess how much of the finished version of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” was shot by directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller before they got the boot in the summer of 2017, and how much was shot by their replacement, Ron Howard. Some reports say that Howard, who came in before they had finished shooting, re-shot 70 percent of what Lord and Miller had already done. But given that they were filming for nearly four months before Howard, it’s conceivable that the resulting film is entirely his.

Those of us who weren’t involved in production will likely never have a solid answer. But with that in mind, there’s one deleted scene that was included on the home video release for “Solo” — it’s out on digital now, and physical media hits on Sept. 25 — that may give us a clue about how different Lord and Miller’s version might have been.

The reason that the scene in question set off alarm bells when we watched it is that not only does it not fit anywhere in the narrative of the finished movie, but it actually appears to be an alternate version of the scene on Corellia at the beginning of the movie where Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) tells Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) that it’s time to bail on their life of servitude to Lady Proxima and get off planet.

Also Read: Yes, That Was THAT Dead Villain in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ – Here’s What it Means

But it’s not just a differently shot version of the same scene. It’s an entirely different scene, setting the events of the film in motion in a way that might indicate that a key component of the film was completely absent from Lord and Miller’s version of the movie.

So in the finished version of “Solo,” it begins with Han telling Qi’ra that he stole some coaxium that they can sell to get out, but Proxima’s people grab him before they can actually even start running. Then Han is taken in front of Proxima, who has a large crowd of people gathered in her chamber.

The deleted scene presents these events very differently. Han tells Qi’ra that they need to run because some job he did for “mother” went badly and they need to get out before Proxima punishes him for it — it sounds like he thinks she’ll kill him. It’s extremely notable that the coaxium is not a part of this version of the scene. We can’t help but wonder if maybe “Solo” at some point during production didn’t feature coaxium at all.

Also Read: 8 Extremely Obscure ‘Star Wars’ References in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

There are a couple major similarities in the two scenes. Han is wearing the same clothes in both of them, and in utters variations of the same line in each. In the finished film it’s, “You always said one day we’re gonna get out of here. This is it.” In the deleted scene it’s, “You said it yourself, one day we’re gonna get out of here, right? It’s today.”

Like in the finished version, Proxima’s people corner Han before they can do anything. At the very end of the deleted scene we go again to Proxima’s den, but this time there is no crowd of people there, just some guys playing with what looks like Proxima’s children in the water. And then it cuts.

There’s a few possible explanations for the differences here. The first is that an earlier version of the movie emphasized how bad life under Lady Proxima was for Han and Qi’ra by having them go through this scenario multiple times. Han’s outfit could be explained by the fact that he’s poor and only has that one set of clothes.

Also Read: 22 Times ‘Solo’ Recycled Moments From the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

Second, this deleted scene could be Lord and Miller’s version of the opening bit. Which would be extremely interesting, given the absence of the coaxium. Could all the stuff in “Solo” about coaxium have been added in Ron Howard’s reshoots? That would be a huge change that would explain a lot of things, but we’ll come back to that possibility in a moment.

The third possibility is that this deleted scene is actually Ron Howard’s version and they kept the Lord and Miller version of the scene in the movie.

Lastly, it is conceivable, if not likely given how much they had to do, that Howard shot both the finished scene and this deleted scene.

Also Read: ‘Solo’ Is Failing Because Disney Has No Vision for the ‘Star Wars’ Franchise (Commentary)

My guess, as the headline on this story suggests, that this deleted scene belonged to Lord and Miller. It is just a guess, though — all of this amounts to little more than an academic exercise without any further evidence. And we likely will never have any evidence one way or another on this.

But since this deleted scene doesn’t include the coaxium that is so integral to the plot in the finished movie, there are a ton of ramifications to the idea that it was completely absent from Lord and Miller’s version. It could also explain why filming under Howard took longer than was planned — when he was brought on board, the idea was he would do the last four weeks of principal photography as well as an extra five weeks of reshoots. But they ended up shooting for 14 more weeks, not nine. So if they had to rework the entire plot to incorporate coaxium, that would take some significant effort.

This is, again, all guesswork, so take it with a grain of salt. Whatever the answer, it’s fascinating that Disney would included a deleted scene with the home video release of “Solo” that could send us down this rabbit hole. .

Related stories from TheWrap:

Yes, That Was THAT Dead Villain in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ – Here’s What it Means

‘Solo’ Limps to $148 Million in 10 Days – Less Than ‘Rogue One’ Opening Weekend

8 Extremely Obscure ‘Star Wars’ References in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

‘Solo’ Is Failing Because Disney Has No Vision for the ‘Star Wars’ Franchise (Commentary)

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