Game of Thrones Wins 5 Visual Effects Society Awards for Battle of the Bastards

Meereen Battle 6x09 (8)

“Battle of the Bastards” has been responsible for most of the accolades received by this season of Game of Thrones: this episode alone won 6 Emmy Awards, including for Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Writing; and just last week Fabian Wagner and Miguel Sapochnik were recognized by the American Society of Cinematographers and the Directors Guild of America, respectively, for their work in this episode.

And this great run isn’t over. As we reported last month, the Visual Effects Society (VES) nominated Game of Thrones 11 times in 6 different categories. The HBO show received the most nominations, even more than top contenders like Doctor Strange and The Jungle Book. Now the results are in, and they are as good as they could ever be.

Despite the 11 nominations, Game of Thrones was competing against itself as well as other projects in most of the categories, so it could only ever hope to win 6 awards. And it almost did! The only award the show didn’t get was Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project, which it lost to The Jungle Book.

Otherwise, Game of Thrones swept the categories in which it was nominated: the eponymous battle of the bastards was awarded with Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode, beating out the city of Meereen in the same episode, the Land of Always Winter in “The Door”, as well as some sailing ships in an episode of Black Sails.

Thankfully, Daenerys Stormborn’s flight on Drogon over a fully realized city of Meereen wasn’t completely outshone by the battle for Winterfell. The amazing scene won not one but two awards: Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project and Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project. The creature who allowed us to see the whole city wasn’t forgotten either, as Drogon won Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode or Real-Time Project.

All of that written, did Battle of the Bastards also get the key VES award for a TV show? That would be Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode. The big one. Game of Thrones had some stiff competition in this area: Black Mirror‘s “Playtest”, Stranger Things‘ “Demogorgon”, The Expanse‘s “Salvage” and, of course, Westworld‘s “The Bicameral Mind.” In the end, Battle of the Bastards was victorious yet again!

The winners deserve to be individually congratulated, including VFX producer Steve Kullback and VFX supervisor Joe Bauer, each of whom have won five Emmy Awards. The other winners are Glenn Melenhorst, Matthew Rouleau, Sam Conway, James Kinnings, Michael Holzl, Matt Derksen, Joseph Hoback, Deak Ferrand, Dominic Daigle, François Croteau, Alexandru Banuta, Thomas Hullin, Dominik Kirouac, James Dong, Xavier Fourmond, Dominic Hellier, Morgan Jones, Thijs Noij, and Caleb Thompson.

17 responses

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    1. A credit to their CGI team. Somehow Thrones has better CGI than some films (looking at you Doomsday in Batman Vs Superman).

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    2. Congratulations to the whole team! I am glad Luka mentioned their names, we can also see them as very talented individuals.
      I always enjoy to watch how many layers are added on special effects process. It’s amazing!
      And, of course, Drogon is superb!

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    3. Boojam,

      Yeah, and I’ve certainly watched it many, many more times. It being considerably shorter is one reason, but it’s just so damn cool. Each time I can remember the feeling I had watching it that night it aired.

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    4. BOB was a great episode but for me the best of the season was ‘The Door’. It was so well written, well acted and executed – a stand out for me.

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    5. Kathy:
      BOB was a great episode but for me the best of the season was ‘The Door’.It was so well written, well acted and executed – a stand out for me.

      Kathy,

      I enjoyed ‘The Door’ very much as well. I pretty much enjoy any episode that features the White Walkers. Although, I didn’t really like the way they just pissed away Summer in that episode. I’d personally put ‘The Door’ as 3rd best episode of the season, behind WOW and BOTB.

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    6. When I first read the Meeren scene in the books, I wondered how would the producers recreate it in a credible way but still give TV viewers that same sense of astonishment. IMO, they achieved this without relying on CGI saturation epidemic in a theatre near you. The proliferation of special effects more often than not detracts from the great underlying stories.

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    7. I wrote a scene that supremely enhanced BoB and actually added a ton of tension to it. It would’ve given some of you guys a heart attack, but it would’ve been great drama. It was tremendous, in short.

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    8. GoT winning those awards goes pretty much without saying. This is EPIC television at its best. There’s never been anything like it! It even makes a lot of big budget movies pale in comparison.

      The producers, directors, CGI artists and all the other guys (and gals) in the team who bring GoT to life deserve all the awards they can get and hope they get many more after S7 airs 🙂

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    9. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      I wrote a scene that supremely enhanced BoB and actually added a ton of tension to it. It would’ve given some of you guys a heart attack, but it would’ve been great drama. It was tremendous, in short.

      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Did it go something like this?…

      LatrineDiggerBrian
      June 20, 2016 at 11:28 am
      Dee Stark,
      What if previous episode we see Baelish and the Knight’s of the Vale try and cross Moat Cailin, and we see that it’s deserted. Then as the battle rages on, the Knight’s of the Vale show up but the horses fall into hidden pits that’ve been dug around Winterfell. Bolton men dump oil into the holes and torch it. The North army is defeated and we cut to a room in Winterfell where all of the northern and Vale leaders: Jon, Tormund, Davos, Baelish, etc are strapped upside down to flay boards. Ramsey walks in with a shaken Sansa on his arm. Eventually they do get out of the situation because Sansa does something clever to undermine Ramsey.
      That’s tension baby. You were horrified even reading that, freaking out about Sansa probably.

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