“Big Hero 6” was the clear favorite at the Visual Effects Society awards Wednesday night with a sweep of the five categories in which it was nominated.
The Walt Disney Co. release was honored for outstanding animation in an animated feature motion picture, outstanding models, created environment, effects simulation and performance for an animated character – specifically for Baymax, the large, white inflatable robot built by protagonist Hiro Hamada.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” took the best honors for live-action films, including outstanding visual effects in a visual effect-driven motion picture. That award is considered the equivalent of the Best Visual Effects category at the Academy Awards.
The Sherman Oaks professional society presents awards in 23 categories, including work done for characters and environments in live-action and animated films, television series, commercials and video games. The awards show took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and film winners often go on to receive Academy Awards.
Other winners include cable series “Game of Thrones” and “American Horror Story,” feature films “Birdman” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and video game “Call of Duty.”
Society Executive Director Eric Roth greeted the crowd of more than 1,000 attendees with a call for more respect for visual effects artists whose work with computer-generated images has become a major part of studio blockbusters.
“The true stars in Hollywood are in visual effects, and we believe it’s time the rest of the world gets that message,” Roth said.
Director and producer J.J. Abrams was presented with the group’s Visionary Award for his body of work that includes two Star Trek films, “Cloverfield,” and television series “Lost” and “Alias.” Abrams also directed the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Abrams, 48, thanked his parents, filmmaking colleagues, effects supervisors, and the artists who “make the impossible entirely real.”
“Your members are among my cinematic heroes,” he said.