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Lucasfilm Nabs Six Oscar Nominations

Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound were nominated for six Academy Awards this morning. For the third year in a row, ILM pulled in two of the three vfx nomination spots with TRANSFORMERS and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END. Skywalker Sound also dominated the sound nominations taking three of the five slots in Sound Editing for their work on THERE WILL BE BLOOD, TRANSFORMERS and RATATOUILLE, which also received another nomination in the Sound Mixing category.

For ILM, the Visual Effects Supervisor for TRANSFORMERS was Scott Farrar, who was previously nominated three times for his work on THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and BACKDRAFt. In 1996, he won the Oscar for his work on COCOON. For ILM Animation Supervisor Scott Benza and Associate Visual Effects Supervisor Russell Earl, the nominations are their first.

Meanwhile, AT WORLD'S END is the third film in the PIRATES trilogy, which has been nominated all three times. ILM's John Knoll and Hal Hickel each took home their first Oscar last year for the second installment of the Pirates franchise, DEAD MAN'S CHEST. This is the fifth nomination for Visual Effects Supervisor Knoll and the third for Animation Supervisor Hickel.

"We are thrilled and honored to have our work recognized by the Academy," stated Chrissie England, president of ILM. "The artistic and technical challenges represented in these two films were as great as any we have faced to date. From the onset we knew these projects were going to be complicated, to say the least. But through a lot of hard work and dedication, the TRANSFORMERS and PIRATES crews have once again broken new ground in our industry and this acknowledgement from our peers is a true honor."

"AT WORLD'S END was one of the most challenging films of my career," explained Knoll, "Realistic water has always been difficult to accomplish in computer graphics due to its inherent complexity. I think our team made great strides in this area, combining artistry and clever problem solving to deliver believable fluid simulations on such a large scale. This coupled with the next generation of digital character performance made for an exciting ride."

"Every year the competition gets more intense, which I think is good," commented Farrar. "It forces us to keep raising the bar and I feel TRANSFORMERS did just that. I'm very proud of what our team achieved on this show and think that it is some of the most photorealistic work we have ever done. You actually believe that 30-foot-tall robots exist."

Meanwhile, two-time Oscar winner Randy Thom of Skywalker Sound received his 13th and 14th nominations for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing on the animated RATATOUILLE. Also on RATATOUILLE, two time Oscar winner Michael Semanick picked up his fifth nomination for Sound Mixing, while Oscar winner Michael Silvers picked up his fourth nomination for Sound Editing.

"I am very excited that Skywalker Sound has once again been recognized by the Academy for its outstanding work," said Glenn Kiser, VPand GM of Skywalker Sound. "The diverse and artistic work in the soundtracks for RATATOUILLE, THERE WILL BE BLOOD and TRANSFORMERS is truly inspiring."

"Once again I am proud to be honored by the Academy for RATATOUILLE," stated Thom, director of Sound Design for Skywalker Sound. "Working with Brad Bird is always an exciting adventure, and these nominations are just icing on the cake."

Skywalker alum and two-time Oscar winner Ethan Van der Ryn picked up his third nomination for Sound Editing on TRANSFORMERS.

ILM has now been nominated for 38 Academy Awards since its founding in 1975 and is the recipient of 15 Oscars in the visual effects category. Skywalker Sound is the recipient of 48 nominations and 19 Oscars.

Industrial Light & Magic is a Lucasfilm Ltd. company serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects. ILM has been awarded 15 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and has received 20 Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards.

Skywalker Sound is a Lucasfilm Ltd. company serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for audio post-production. Skywalker Sound has been honored with 18 Academy Awards for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing.

Lucasfilm Ltd., headquartered in San Francisco, California, was founded by George Lucas in 1971, and is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company. In addition to its feature and TV production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for videogame console systems and PC; as well as Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties. Additionally, Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses.