January 26, 2009--The Visual Effects Society (VES) has announced the nominees for the 7th Annual VES Awards ceremony recognizing outstanding visual effects in over a dozen categories of film, animation, television, commercials and video games. Nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project are the giant screen films Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (MacGillivray Freeman Films) for its main title sequence, and U2 3D (National Geographic, 3ality Digital Entertainment) for selected shots in that film. The awards will be presented at the ceremony to be held on February 21, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Grand Canyon Adventure nomination was made in recognition of the film’s main title sequence, a 2-minute sequence of animated 3D water bubbles interacting with live action shots filmed in 15/70mm.
“Grand Canyon Adventure is a film about water, and I wanted a visually stunning opening sequence that would convey the joy of the 3D giant screen experience and literally create a splash for the audience,” said director Greg MacGillivray. “Our yearlong collaboration with Alan and his team was a dream come true. The brilliant special effects they created show just how magical the 3D giant screen film experience can be.”
“Watching film audiences practically jumping out of their seats to touch the 3D bubbles is one of the great rewards of my work on this film,” said Alan Markowitz. “We set out to produce a visceral audience reaction with this sequence, and we are getting it in spades.”
Grand Canyon Adventure also won the 2008 GSCA Best Cinematography Award and the 2008 GSCA Special Achievement in Filmmaking Award for the same opening title sequence nominated for the VES award.
U2 3D, produced by 3ality Digital and distributed by National Geographic Entertainment, premiered in January 2008 as the first-ever live-action digital 3D film. Marrying innovative digital 3D imagery and multi-channel surround sound with the excitement of a live U2 concert--shot in South America during the final leg of their Vertigo tour--it creates an immersive theatrical experience unlike any 3D or concert film that has come before. With what became the largest collection of 3D camera technology ever used on a single project, the film’s production crew joined up with U2’s globe-trotting caravan for a month and shot the huge outdoor stadium shows (not seen in North America) at cities in four countries including Mexico City, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In addition to this nomination, U2 3D was recognized as Best Musical Film at the Los Premios MTV Latin America Video Music Awards; received the Pioneer Award (Film & Television) from the 2008 3D Film and Interactive Film Festival; and Best Film Produced Non-Exclusively for Giant Screen Theaters from the Giant Screen Cinema Association. The film was the best reviewed concert film of 2008 and the fourth best reviewed film overall according to RottenTomatoes.com annual review round-up.
In 2008 National Geographic received the award in this same category for its production Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.