Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Button" Buttons Up The Oscar

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron

Hearty congratulations go out to the visual effects teams behind "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 81st Academy Awards. Here's Eric Barba's acceptance speech:

Oh my God. On behalf of myself, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron, I'd like to thank the Academy for this incredible honor. I'd also like to thank Edson Williams and his team at Lola Visual Effects and Nathan McGuinness and his team at Asylum as well as all the other visual effects teams that worked so hard on this film. I'd like to thank our amazing team at Digital Domain, my mentor Ed Ulbrich, my wonderful producer Lisa Beroud, the woman who is my biggest supporter, my wife Roma, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, for trusting that we could actually pull this off. Brad Pitt for an amazing performance. And of course David Fincher for giving us all the opportunity to work on this film. To my kids, Cole and Nicolette, I'd just like to say, "Work hard, do good work and never give up." Thank you.

This was a rare year in which all three nominees were worthy of Oscar, in my opinion. And it was extra special to see my friend Craig Barron holding that statuette on the stage of the Kodak Theater. Way to go, Craig!

I even updated the Academy Awards section of Visual Effects Headquarters. How about that?

Update: Here is the backstage Thank-You cam, where Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron were allowed to make their thank-you's.

...and there are the four winners, answering questions from the press backstage.


TylerMirage said...

Congratulations to Digital Domain! First Academy Award (nomination or award) since "I, Robot" in 2004!

I can't wait to see DD next projects, and especially the next DD films to get Oscar nominations!

I still would've rather had "Iron Man" take this award (that was rightfully "Transformers"s), but...at least ILM got a nomination.

Ben said...

I concur, at first I was skeptical of Benjamin Button but after learning what all went into it I agree that it was a good choice to win even though I as well would have prefered Ironman its definitely better than the Dark Night winning

TylerMirage said...

It will be interesting to see what Digital Domain can cook up to show-up THIS work!

If anyone knows, was Digital Domain the only company on this feature to receive the award? Or was Asylum and Lola VFX also recipients?

It was also nice to see a film nominated that wasn't just because of giant "in-your-face" VFX like monsters, big action sequences, etc. (Although I DO like THOSE kinds of films and their VFX, too)

Ben said...

I can't say 100% but it looks like Digital Domain was the sole recipient of the Oscar for Visual Effects (their first win in 10 years!). Now for a question similar to Tyler's, does anyone know what DD is working on next?

Todd said...

TylerMirage said... If anyone knows, was Digital Domain the only company on this feature to receive the award? Or was Asylum and Lola VFX also recipients?

In the strict eyes of the Academy, individuals win the awards, not facilities. So technically, none of the vendors actually won an Oscar - the winners were Barba, Preeg, Dalton and Barron. Those four individual's names are determined by the producers of the film, and are submitted to the Academy for Oscar consideration. -todd

TylerMirage said...

Well, sir, (Ben)

Digital Domain is working on

-"Star Trek" (a little bit)
-"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (a little bit)
-"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"
-"Tron 2"

And to Todd, I'm not arguing with you, (and yes, I realize that indivdual's win the awards ;) ), so, but companies are also considered to have won the awards.
"Digital Domain wins the Acacdemy Award for "The Curious Case"...in 2008".

The awards sections of the company's sites have the awards listed because, according to them, their employees or company itself have won the award.

I still go by 'which company has won the award'.

Once again, I'm not trying to argue with you. :)

Ben said...

2012 looks epicly awesome :) . . . as does pretty much everything else on that list (although I have to say I am a little skeptical about G.I. Joe)

TylerMirage said...

Skeptical about the film itself, or skeptical about the VFX?

The VFX has a realistic video-game feel to it that makes it LOOK cool (much like "Star Wars: Episode III "Revenge of the Sith", but lacks the 'turly-realistic quality' that films like "The Dark Knight" or "Transformers" had where the VFX felt real.

TylerMirage said...

"The VFX HAVE..." and
"...'TRULY realistic quality'..."