VFX supervisor Paul Lambert, DFX supervisor Tristan Myles, miniature effects supervisor Ian Hunter and special effects supervisor J.D. Schwalm receive Academy Awards for their contributions to director Damien Chazelle’s historical biopic.
LONDON -- Acclaimed global visual effects, animation and stereo conversion company DNEG was recognized for the second consecutive year at the 91st Academy Awards Sunday night for its work on director Damien Chazelle’s First Man for Universal.
DNEG’s VFX supervisor Paul Lambert and DFX supervisor Tristan Myles were on hand to accept the award for Best Visual Effects for their in-camera FX work on First Man, alongside miniature effects supervisor Ian Hunter and special effects supervisor J.D. Schwalm.
This is the fifth Academy Award win for DNEG, and the fourth in the last five years. DNEG has previously been recognized for its work on Blade Runner 2049, Ex Machina, Interstellar and Inception.
It is also the third accolade for the company this month; the team recently picked up two Visual Effects Society awards for their work on First Man and Netflix series Altered Carbon.
“It is a huge honor for the team’s work on ‘First Man’ to be recognized with an Oscar,” DNEG CEO Namit Malhotra said of the award. “While our primary focus is always on supporting the amazing storytellers we work with through the creation of state-of-the-art effects, it’s fantastic for our global teams to be recognized by the industry for their creativity, hard work and dedication. We are massively grateful to the director, Damien Chazelle, for having the confidence in our teams and technology to push the boundaries of visual effects.”
As the lead VFX partner on First Man, DNEG delivered around 430 VFX shots under the supervision of overall VFX supervisor Paul Lambert, who oversaw all the on-set VFX work as well as the VFX process in post-production.
The team used a unique blend of cutting-edge in-camera techniques, special effects, scale models, and never-before-seen footage from NASA’s archives to enable director Damien Chazelle to realize his creative vision for this biopic about legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong. One of the VFX team’s biggest challenges was to create the most realistic and immersive in-camera FX, utilizing the biggest LED screen ever built on a movie set.
“It’s such a great honor to have won this wonderful award. We did things a little bit differently in terms of the visual effects for First Man so being recognized by the Academy is all the more special. It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without our amazing cast and crew throughout the project -- pre-production, the shoot and everybody in post -- all of us led by the truly inspirational Damien Chazelle,” Lambert commented while accepting the award. “Huge thanks to the producers of the movie: Marty Bowen; Wyck Godfrey; Isaac Klausner and Adam Merims; Universal VFX Heads Jennifer Bell and Bill Tlusty; my VFX Producer Kevin Elam; and a big shout out to Michelle Eisenreich and all my people at DNEG Vancouver. We seem to have done it for the second year running!”
Projects currently in production at DNEG include the feature films Avengers: Endgame, Hobbs and Shaw and Wonder Woman 1984, and TV shows The New Pope, Catch-22 and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.