Two Vancouverites working in the local special effects industry were likely beyond elated when they heard the news they had received Academy Award nominations for the “Best Visual Effects” category.
Pitt Meadows resident Cameron Waldbauer, a member of Coquitlam’s Objects Inc. special effects, is among a group of supervisors nominated for their digital effects work in X-Men: Days of Future Past – the sequel to the original X-Men trilogy and the more recent X-Men: First Class film.
The other local to receive a nomination is Nicolas Aithadi, one of four people in the team nominated for their work for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy.
Aithadi works for Yaletown’s MPC Vancouver and this will be his second Academy Award nomination as he was previously nominated for 2010’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
In recent years, the Academy has nominated MPC Film team members around the world for their visual effects work in The Lone Ranger, Prometheus, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2. Supervisor Richard Stammers at MPC London was also nominated this year for his British team’s work in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
While nominations have been plentiful for MPC Film, the Vancouver location was responsible for bringing home the company’s first and only Oscar. MPC Vancouver’s Guillaume Rocheron won a 2013 “Best Visual Effects” Academy Award for his vision and leadership in creating the dramatic storm and sinking scenes in the 2012 Ang Lee film Life of Pi.
Only one Vancouverite will bring home an Oscar next month as both Waldbauer and Aithadi are vying for the same title. They are also competing against three other nominated films that used a high level of visual effects: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Interstellar.
Even if one or both Vancouverites return from Hollywood without a coveted golden idol, they will be far from being empty handed; win or lose, every single nominee will still receive a “Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag.”
The goodie bag has been an Oscar tradition for more than a decade, with nominees and winners receiving sponsored gifts totalling tens of thousands of dollars in value. Last year’s gift bag had a value of $85,000 containing luxury items such as a $6,850 Rocky Mountaineer train trip from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, $2,000 five-night stay in Hawaii, $15,000 trip to Japan, $5,000 laser hair removal package, $16,000 hair transplant procedure and $2,700 “O-shot” procedure that ‘rejuvenates and enhances’ the genital tissue of a woman.
The 87th Academy Awards is scheduled for Sunday, February 22. It will be televised live on ABC and CTV beginning at 4 p.m. PST. For the full list of this year’s nominees, click here.
MPC X-Men: Days of Future Past visual effects
Guardians of the Galaxy VFX showreel
Feature Image: Marvel Studios