Left to right: Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, Paul Lambert, J.D Schwalm
DNEG’s VFX supervisor Paul Lambert and DFX supervisor Tristan Myles were on-hand to accept the award for Best Visual Effects at the 91st Academy Awards ceremony last night. The award was bestowed for their in-camera FX work on Damien Chazelle’s First Man, and was collected alongside miniature effects supervisor Ian Hunter and special effects supervisor J.D. Schwalm.
This is the fifth Academy Award win for DNEG, and their fourth in the last five years. The studio has previously been recognised for its work on Blade Runner 2049, Ex Machina, Interstellar and Inception. It is also the third accolade for the company this month, as the team recently picked up two Visual Effects Society awards for their work on First Man and Netflix’s Altered Carbon.
DNEG CEO, Namit Malhotra, says: “It is a huge honour for the team’s work on First Man to be recognised with an Oscar. While our primary focus is always on supporting the amazing storytellers we work with through the creation of state-of-the-art effects, it’s fantastic for our global teams to be recognised by the industry for their creativity, hard work and dedication. We are massively grateful to the director, Damien Chazelle, for having the confidence in our teams and technology to push the boundaries of visual effects.”
As the lead VFX partner on First Man, DNEG delivered around 430 shots under the supervision of overall VFX supervisor Paul Lambert, who oversaw all the on-set VFX work as well as post-production.
“It’s such a great honour to have won this wonderful award. We did things a little bit differently in terms of the visual effects for First Man so being recognised by the Academy is all the more special. It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without our amazing cast and crew throughout the project, pre-production, the shoot and everybody in post. All of us led by the truly inspirational Damien Chazelle,” says Lambert.
The team used a unique blend of cutting-edge in-camera techniques, special effects, scale models, and never-before-seen footage from NASA’s archives to realise director Damien Chazelle’s vision for this biopic about legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong. One of the biggest challenges meant creating the most realistic and immersive in-camera FX, utilising the biggest LED screen ever built on a movie set.