“Secrets of Dumbledore” Scoops Two Visual Effects Society Awards Nominations

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore required notable effort from its VFX team to develop the visually stunning experience expected by fans. Given the seamless sequences, flawless transformations, and breathtaking creatures that bring magic to the already enchanting film, we don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that they succeeded. And it would appear that we aren’t the only ones that hold this opinion.

In December, the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise appeared on an Academy Awards short list for Visual Effects. This month, the Visual Effects Society officially announced its nominees for the 21st annual VES Awards, and Secrets of Dumbledore appears twice. The Visual Effects Society members made their selections carefully, attending 27 different in-person and virtual nomination meetings worldwide in preparation for the event. VES chair Lisa Cooke shed some light on the qualities shared by this year’s nominees.

We’re honored to keep shining a light on remarkable visual effects artistry and innovation. In all of our nominees, we see best[-]in[-]class work that elevates the art of storytelling and exemplifies the spirit of adaptation and ingenuity — talents that have kept audiences engaged and uplifted, now, more than ever. The VES Awards is the only venue that showcases and honors these outstanding global artists across a wide range of disciplines, and we are extremely proud of all our nominees!



Secrets of Dumbledore is up for an award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature. The team members specifically recognized are Benjamin Loch, Christian Mänz, Stephane Naze, Alistair Williams, and Olly Young. The other nominees in this category include Avatar: The Way of WaterThe Batman (starring Percival Graves actor Colin Farrell, Leta Lestrange actor Zoë Kravitz, and Cedric Diggory actor Robert Pattinson), Jurassic World: Dominion, and Top Gun: Maverick.

The film’s second nomination is in the Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature category. While its competition for this award (Avatar: The Way of Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) is nominated for specific scenes, the entirety of Secrets of Dumbledore earned the film its place on the list of nominees. The VFX members being honored in this nomination include Toyokazu Hirai, Jesse Parker Holmes, Rob Richardson, and Grayden Solman.

Other projects featuring alumni and crew members were well represented on the list of nominees. The Batman also gained a nomination for Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project for its rain-soaked car chase and a nomination for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in a Feature category for its rainy freeway chase.

Andor, which stars Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley), is nominated for Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project. The environment in question is Ferrix, where Shaw’s character resides. Death on the Nile, which Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) both directs and stars in, is a nominee for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature. The Fabelmans, scored by John Williams, is nominated in this category as well, as is Thirteen Lives, starring Colin Farrell, and The Pale Blue Eye, where fans can find Toby Jones (Dobby), Simon McBurney (Kreature), Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley), and Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew).

House of the Dragon, in which Rhys Ifans (Xenophilius Lovegood) stars, scored two nominations: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode for “The Black Queen” and Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in an Episode for the “Dance of Dragons” scene.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power took the lead in the broadcast field with a whopping seven nominations. The popular fantasy series featuring Peter Mullan (Corban Yaxley) was nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode for “Udûn.” The episode scored the show two additional nominations in the Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project category as well as one nomination for Outstanding Compositing & Lighting in an Episode. Rings of Power is also up for Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project, where it received two nominations, and Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal Project, where it was nominated for the Middle-earth storm scene.

Finally, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio earned five nominations in all, making it the top animated contender this year. The film, starring David Bradley (Argus Filch) and Ron Perlman (Gnarlak), and musically styled by Alexandre Desplat, is up for Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature. It received two nominations for Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature: one for Pinocchio and one for Bradley’s character, Geppetto. The rendering of the stomach of the sea monster earned the film a spot on the Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature category list. It is also up for the newly instated Emerging Technology Award for its 3D-printed metal armature.

The awards will be presented on February 15. Will you be watching? Let us know in the comments below.


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