(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Monday, February 23, 2004
VFX Awards for Return of the King, and Lucas Honoured

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Return of the King won "awards for models and miniatures, character animation for Gollum and performance by an actor (Sean Astin) in addition to best visual effects in a visual effects-driven motion picture" at last week's Visual Effects Society Awards. The lower-key awards night is still in its fledgling stage, this being its second annual awards ceremony, but the big event was George Lucas' Lifetime Achievement Award with homages coming from everyone:
The film industry's most talented digital effects artists also celebrated the iconoclastic career of director George Lucas, who received VES' inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from director James Cameron. Cameron cited Lucas' film industry-changing cinema innovations such as digital desktop editing, digital cinematography, digital exhibition and digital effects before presenting the career award to Industrial Light + Magic's head honcho. ... Lucas' lifetime achievement presentation was preceded by an array of short tribute films from fans and admirers including Steven Spielberg, Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, director Randal Kleiser ("Grease") and Flash Filmworks. ... In a computer-animated tribute that featured singing and dancing "Toy Story" characters, Steve Jobs noted that Lucas "threw seeds over his shoulder," one of which grew into Pixar Animation Studios. ... Kleiser, who attended USC Film School with Lucas, edited together a mixture of Lucas' previously unseen student films, like the surprisingly prim "Orgy Beach." One clip showed the young cinephile holding a placard that read "movies should be well made." Flash Filmworks intercut classic film footage from "Jurassic Park" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" with cheesy low-resolution effects like a stiff, transparent mummy doubling in for a liquid metal T-1000, indicating just how far the effects industry has advanced thanks to Lucas' work.
While Lucas' award may have been a little bit of a sycophantic affair, it would have been worth seeing for the award short film segments! With any luck they'll turn up as downloads somewhere soon.


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