The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the seven films remaining in contention for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 81st Academy Awards. Expected contenders include THE DARK KNIGHT, IRON MAN and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, along with surprises like AUSTRALIA and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
VFX houses Digital Domain, Double Negative and Framestore all got multiple nods.
The films are listed below in alphabetical order:
* AUSTRALIA (Framestore, Rising Sun Pictures, Animal Logic, Hydraulx, Photo VFX, Complete Post, Digital Pictures Iloura, Evil Eye Pictures, Fuel VFX, The LaB Sydney, Lola Visual Effects and Postmodern)
* THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (Digital Domain, Lola/Hydraulx, Asylum, Matte World Digital, Drac Studios, Evil Eye Pictures, Gentle Giant Studios, Ollin Studio and Special Effects Atlantic)
* THE DARK KNIGHT (Double Negative, Framestore, Animal Makers, BUF, Escape Studios, Gentle Giant Studios, Mediscene and New Deal Studios)
* HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY (Double Negative, Baseblack, Cinesite, FB-FX, Filmefex Studio, Ghost ApS, Hatch Production, Lip Sync Post, Rushes Post Production, The Senate Visual Effects and Spectral Motion)
* IRON MAN (Industrial Light & Magic, The Orphanage, Stan Winston Studio, Tata Elixsi Visual Computing Lab, Pixel Liberation Front, The Embassy, New Deal Studios, Prologue Films, CafeFX, Giant Studios, Lola VFX and Lund Background Pictures)
* JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (Meteor Studios, Hybride, Frantic Films, Mokko, Rodeo FX, Gentle Giant Studios, Persistence of Vision Ent. and Realities Studio)
* THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (Digital Domain, Rhythm & Hues, CafeFX, Gentle Giant Studios, Giant Studios, Rainmaker and Special Effects Atlantic)
Omissions include THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN, CLOVERFIELD, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, HANCOCK, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, QUANTUM OF SOLACE and THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES.
On Jan. 15, all members of the Visual Effects branch will be invited to view 15 minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.
The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced Jan. 22, 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented Feb. 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.