Oscars Predictions 2016: Best Visual Effects

“Special effects are characters. Special effects are essential elements. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.” – Laurence Fishburne. We can’t stress this enough. Especially in the modern era of filmmaking where visual delight is necessary to captivate the audience. In this post we predict who will win the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.



Dean – Mad Max: Fury Road

CGI has had such an immense impact on cinema, that there are still moments when we marvel at the realism that technology has allowed us to achieve. But nothing says real quite like practical effects and while Star Wars (understandably) relies on CGI for a lot of its action scenes, there are films who don’t. Max Max is one such film.

I read that over 80% of the effects seen in Mad Max are real practical effects, stunts, make-up and sets. CGI was used very sparingly and only when really necessary – Charlize Theron has both arms in real life, guys. But to create this amazing post-apocalyptic world that looks very much like a world we could possibly live in one day is both scary and impressive. Despite some tough competition, this spectacle of a film has my vote for the Best Visual Effects award.

Stephen – Mad Max: Fury Road

Let’s face it, this was the year that everyone expected practical effects, or rather a seamless blend between CGI and practical effects. This will be a close race between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road. But in all honesty, Mad Max: Fury Road takes the cake in terms of blending CGI and practical effects seamlessly.

It’s beautifully shot, the action is not disorienting as the camera maintains focus, and there’s no way to tell what’s real and what’s made in a computer. At all.

Mad Max Fury Road More Explosions

Even though Ex Machina and Star Wars also blend CGI and practical effects amazingly, both of those films require a degree of suspension of disbelief going in, and this may be as a result of the subject matter. Space battles and aliens, as well as A.I. robots don’t exist and function in our known universe as they do in these films, whereas the vehicles, explosions and weapons (the crazy lightening sandstorm being the obvious exception) in Mad Max can be built and operate in the real world in 2016 in the same way that they appear in the film.

This is an obvious bias, but whether this degree of suspension of disbelief will factor into the raw judging of the visual effects of films in this category is anyone’s guess, but Mad Max has my vote either way – although Ex Machina is the dark horse I’d be rooting for.

Rey & BB-8 Star Wars the Force Awakens

Tendai – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Not much credit is given to the efforts put into creating the universe and inter galactic world that we can only dream of. But these guys have brought the universe to earth and if you watched it on IMAX, you were definitely in space. In 1978, the team swooped up the visual effects award, not to forget the characters that had to be digitally formed to make it seem we were in the future.

BB-8 stole the show and has become the “face” of this movie and no, that was not a soccer ball with an android on it. It was not that simple. Like its forefather R2-D2, BB-8 was a character that reminded me of Episode IV when we first saw androids being characters. If anything BB-8 should have been nominated for its supporting role.

All brought to life by the special effects team. Outstanding work by them!


What is your prediction for Best Visual Effects?

For more film ramblings, you can follow us on Twitter:

Stephen @thesnagel

Dean @deeno15

Tendai @1_platinum

Dean Ravell

Writer/director. Fascinated with all kinds of film and just wants to be part of the wonderful world of cinema.