Nominated from DNEG are overall VFX Supervisor Andrew Whitehurst, 2D Supervisor Paul Norris (who is now DNEG TV VFX Supervisor and busy working on Marvel’s Agent Carter), CG lead Mark Ardington (the man responsible for the pioneering rigging technique that combined Ava’s CG body components and Alicia Vikander’s real world movements) and Visual Effects Supervisor Sara Bennett of Milk Visual Effects. Sara is in fact only the third ever female to receive a nomination in the Best VFX category and the first ever female VFX Supervisor. This is each member of the team’s first Academy nomination, though DNEG continues to stand out to the Academy after winning last year with Interstellar and for Inception in 2010.
Andrew Whitehurst, who recently picked up the Best Achievement in Craft Award for Ex Machina at the British Independent Film Awards, said of the nomination; “It was an unexpected but delightful moment to find out that we had been nominated. I had actually gone out for lunch and not watched the announcements as I really thought we didn’t stand a chance.
The whole crew have been so excited, as they should be, that their terrific work has been recognised. It’s unusual for such a small indie project to get such recognition so I think it surprised us all. The crew throughout the production was small but perfectly formed. I couldn’t ask for a more creative, conscientious and hard working group of people to work with and I think their love, dedication and skill is evident in every frame.
After the success of Interstellar it does show that the Academy is really liking interesting VFX work done in the service of story on interesting films and it’s to DNEG’s credit that they continue to get involved with such challenging, but exciting, projects”.
Ex Machina will go up against Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the awards, which will be televised live on Sunday 28th February. Ex Machina is also nominated for best Original Screenplay.
A big congratulations to the team and everyone at DNEG!
Check out why they were nominated in this VFX Breakdown Featurette: