King Kong and Harry Potter Among Theme Park Attractions Nominated in 9th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards


Awards season is in full swing with the recent announcement of the Golden Globes, and the Director’s Guild Awards both honoring achievement in film for 2010. Another “geek-Friendly” awards have also been announced naming special achievements in Visual Effects, and this one doesn’t stop just at the achievements in your favorite films at the theater, this one also recognizes that special achievement in “Special Venue Projects”. Put simply, theme park attractions.

The Visual Effects Society recently announced their 9th Annual VES Award Nominees, and two of the four nominees this year are very familiar.

“We are extremely proud to recognize these artists and their work with these nominations,“ said Jeffrey A. Okun, Chair of the Visual Effects Society. “The art of visual effects has become the art of storytelling in a new and compelling way and we congratulate these artists for the finest work in our field this year.”

And who are the nominees?

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

City of Ruins

Marcin Kobylecki Piotr Sliwowski Michal Gryn Damian Nenow

King Kong 360 3D

Matt Aitken Kevin Sherwood Eric Reynolds R. Christopher White

Flight of the Dragon

Brent Young Dina Benadon Charlotte Huggins Michael “Oz” Smith

VFX Producer VFX Producer VFX Supervisor VFX Supervisor

VFX Supervisor VFX Producer Animation Supervisor CG Supervisor

Overall VFX Supervisor Overall VFX Producer Overall Project Producer Technical Director

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Richard Mann Adam Howard Matt Hendershot James Strauss

VFX Producer Visual Effects Supervisor CG Supervisor Animation Supervisor

It’s no surprise that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s signature attraction Forbidden Journey was nominated. It has been one of the most anticipated attractions possibly of all times. The other Universal nominated attraction was Hollywood’s King Kong 360, which marked the return of the King of all Apes to the park after a fire destroyed him and several other pieces in the Universal backlot a few years back.

This is a feather in the cap of Universal who has received all kinds of praise, and more importantly increased attendance since the debut of the boy wizard in June of last year. Reports have the park up in the 3rd quarter of last year up 36% from 2009. The attraction is also the fastest in park history to get to a million visitors, and the entire area has had tons to celebrate from the increased attendance all the way to the millionth Butterbeer sold just last week.

At this time we are a little unsure of what or where the “City of Ruins” or “Flight of the Dragon” is, but our guess is that they are some type of 3D simulations elsewhere in the world, as these awards seem to deal mostly with the digital and film aspect of visual effects. More as we hear it.

For the complete list of nominees, including the awards Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are up for, visit the official site.