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View Full Version : The Golden Compass Wins 2007 Best Visual Effects Academy Award



evolross
02-24-2008, 10:50 PM
Is anyone else disappointed? I was totally gunning for Transformers, although I never saw The Golden Compass. It just seems like since LOR we are awash in period-esque fantasy movies... Narnia, The Golden Compass, Spiderwick, Mimzy, Eragon... Transformers for me was the breakout VFX movie of the year. Although I still would like to check out GC to see why they won the award.

I was at SIGGRAPH 07 and there wasn't a peep about The Golden Compass, all the feature seminars were from Ratatouille, Transformers, and Surf's Up. However, The Golden Compass hadn't been released yet, so that may have had something to do with it.

Red_Oddity
02-25-2008, 02:56 AM
Well, i did go see Golden Compass, and was expecting another LotR wanna bee, i was expecting another piece of junk like Narnia.
I was however very surprised to find that not only was it a lot better than Narnia (as a movie) but the VFX where superb, especially the creature effects (they where done scarily well and the creatures where there as part of the world and story, not as a tech showcase)

My only gripe is that they decided to show a cut down edit without the proper ending as in the book(the one that can be seen in the latest trailer no less), i won't spoil it for you though, as the books are a fun read are offcourse available cheaply through a republishing deal with New Line Cinema (get the omnibus, it goes for around 20 euros new price)

Does it deserve an oscar, you bet ya, does Transformers deserve an oscar, you bet ya aswell...

For a fun read, read Todd Vasiri's blog on his Oscar winning theory : http://fxrant.blogspot.com/

Mr Rid
02-25-2008, 03:17 AM
Others I know are complaining about Compass winning, but what's funny is they too have not seen it. I have not either as it came and went so fast.

I dont know what Pirates did that we didnt see in the first two movies already, so I dont know why give ILM another award.

I think Transformers and Compass may be a close match. To me Transformers was about intricate rigs with tons of little pieces all wriggling around on the robots. The interaction and compositing was superb and tricky since there was very little green screen. I read that most of the FX were done live with a few miniature buildings for demolition. DD did other digital pyro using the amazing techniques they developed on Flags of our Fathers. Some mocap was used for the bots, and the action animation was great but then it was mostly bipedal in nature vs Compass that had to animate dozens of different species of animal behavior (and no mocap) with fur and interaction with actors and snow and all that.

Cinefex says Transformers had 600+ shots. Compass had about 1400. My wife was a compositor on Compass and I have some idea how challenging the work was. CG Fur remains an incredibly difficult task to make convincing and the Golden Monkey was more elaborate than Aslan in Narnia. There were long all CG sequences and extensive digital arctic, city and interior environs. Compass was also a more artisticly stylized look rather than strict photorealism. Every person has an animal counterpart in each scene. The girl's 'daemon' regularly transforms into different animals, warping from monkey to ferret to bird, etc. The bear fight featured hundreds of CG bears. And there is a battle at the end that sounds like a massive compositing nightmare.

BeeVee
02-25-2008, 06:41 AM
The thing that decided me was that at least you got to see the vfx in Golden Compass. In Transformers, they were moving *everything* the whole time - so even if there were 600+ shots only two were sustainably visible.

He who still hasn't got over the motion sickness from that film to go see Cloverfield and start the ball rolling again

Steamthrower
02-25-2008, 06:49 AM
He who still hasn't got over the motion sickness from that film to go see Cloverfield and start the ball rolling again

You stole that line from Dave Jerrard.

cresshead
02-25-2008, 06:53 AM
i'll wait for the dvd...

can't stick cinema's thesedays...there's no pause button!:D

evolross
02-25-2008, 07:48 AM
<All the stuff Rid said...>
Thanks for the input, I'll definitely check out The Golden Compass, just for the CG though. Same with Transformers, outside of the CG, it was pretty cheesy.

Marvin Miller
02-25-2008, 09:53 AM
I think the award for The Golden Compass was well deserved. I saw the film back in December and most of the time I just saw the animals as characters, not visual effects.

Transformers deserved it as well, but at least it won big at the VES awards. From all I've been told the rigs on Transformers were a blast to work with.

gatz
02-25-2008, 11:55 AM
The only category I was invested in was best song. I really was glad to see Falling Slowly from Once wipe all of the Disney entries. Particularly since their lawyers tried to get it disqualified.

rg

Red_Oddity
02-25-2008, 12:21 PM
Just watch the FXGuide TV episode 20 , it has an interview with some of the guys that worked on Transofrmers : http://www.fxguide.com/fxguidetv.html
Also , the special features on the Transformers HD-DVD are a blast to watch (Bay may be a mediocre director, but in his way he is brilliant, not to mention his SFX crew)

And Mr Rid, kudos to missus Rid for the excellent work on Golden Compass (yes, that end battle really must have been a nightmare, but it did look amazing)

Signal to Noise
02-26-2008, 08:29 AM
You guys should take a look at the great thread on CGTalk (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=59&t=600074)about this subject.

Lots of bitterness. It's funny yet sad what awards will do to people.

IgnusFast
02-27-2008, 10:11 PM
I liked all of the movies involved, but I was glad to see The Golden Compass win the award.

Stooch
02-28-2008, 12:07 AM
i didnt see any of the movies... oops. kind of embarrased.. oh well.

Iain
02-28-2008, 08:20 AM
I'm glad it won. There was quite a lot to admire, retro-futuristic scenery, creature work etc.
Transformers was a bit of a one trick pony (regardless of how well they did the one trick). And it was such a bad film.

CAClark
02-28-2008, 08:25 AM
I personally think Transformers should have won, but i don't resent Compass the honour having said that.

Cheers!

JamesCurtis
02-28-2008, 10:50 AM
I thought the CG fx were great, but I was somewhat dissapointed in the movie itself. It led you to believe there was another [even bigger] battle coming, and then the movie ended!! Maybe in Golden Compass 2?

Stooch
02-28-2008, 03:36 PM
my first (and last) reaction to transformers was, why the $#@% ?

seriously. just think about it. they are car shaped robots.... why?

it was a stupid, STUPID saturday morning cartoon for kids! why spend all that money? WHY! oh god whyyyyyy.

what happens to the people inside the car when it transforms? thats what i wanted to see.

anyway ill rent it only for the purposes of gloating over my 1080p resolution and possibly dosing off with my hand on my junk.

IgnusFast
02-28-2008, 04:26 PM
Um, eeewwww.

During the one transformation with passengers that I remember, Bumblebee ejected them at the beginning of the transformation.

I still think it's a big, stupid, highly entertaining movie. And the effects really are excellent, for the most part -- the bus-crash scene (unfortunately shown in the previews) is one of my favorites in recent times.

evolross
02-28-2008, 04:51 PM
it was a stupid, STUPID saturday morning cartoon for kids! why spend all that money? WHY! oh god whyyyyyy.
Because it's one of the most successful toy franchises in history with a built-in base of thousands of drooling fan boys ready to spend $10 several times over at the cinema.

The movie was an overwhelming financial success. So above all, the money is why.

Mr Rid
02-28-2008, 05:37 PM
I thought the CG fx were great, but I was somewhat dissapointed in the movie itself. It led you to believe there was another [even bigger] battle coming, and then the movie ended!! Maybe in Golden Compass 2?

A trilogy was assumed, but after the poor domestic box office it sux that there may not be anymore. It did however do very well overseas http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2007/DARKM.php Perhaps will recoup enough after video to warrant a sequel. GC was an insane budget (highest ever, just behind Spidey 3). Of course, elements developed on the first one could be re-used, but it would be tough to finance a sequel of comparative quality where the budget would have to be brought way down. They have to make a decision soon because Dakota Richards is going to grow up fast.

Red_Oddity
02-29-2008, 08:45 AM
I'm always a bit sceptical when they say movies where a flop, often the movie makes more than double overseas and makes even more when DVD sales kick in, but for some reason only US box office counts when calling movies a succes or flop.

JBT27
03-02-2008, 01:12 PM
I never really know what criteria are used to judge what wins and what doesn't.

I saw both Transformers and GC - the use of vfx in Transformers to move along the lack of story was very impressive - I was quite entertained with some of it, much to my surprise and in-between cringing alot.

Much as the creatures in GC were very impressive, the lack-lustre interpretation of the book was a real downer for me and I just ended up bored. For some reason I found the final battle completely forgettable - technically great for sure - but dull. I was very happy to hear there will be no rush into a sequel.....I dread to think what the same team would have done to 'The Subtle Knife', never mind 'The Amber Spyglass'.

Personal opinion of course :)

Julian.

Dexter2999
03-02-2008, 01:41 PM
I actually did see this movie in the theater. I thought all of the individual components (acting, wardrobe, effects, etc.) were wonderful. However, the big problem was that the movie had too much ground to cover for the amount of time. The pacing was rushed. The story was a really good book and it is put together in such a way that it isn't really feasible to cut parts out. So, they stayed true to the story and tried to squeeze it all in and unfortunately the movie seemed rushed. A good story is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. This one was more like an elevator ride to the top.

Iain
03-02-2008, 03:36 PM
I dread to think what the same team would have done to 'The Subtle Knife', never mind 'The Amber Spyglass'.



Quoted for agreement. The Subtle Knife is in my top 10 books of all time. It doesn't really lend itself to the blockbuster treatment (but I'd still go and see it).