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What went into ‘TENET’s ‘Best Visual Effects’ Oscar win

DNEG wins an Oscar for ‘Best Visual Effects’ for its work on the Christopher Nolan masterpiece TENET

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Acclaimed global visual effects (VFX) and animation company DNEG was recognised at the recently held 93rd Academy Awards, winning the Oscar for ‘Best Visual Effects’ for its stellar work on ‘TENET’, directed by Christopher Nolan.

DNEG CEO, Namit Malhotra, said, “Working with visionary filmmakers like Christopher Nolan elevates the work of every single department involved in the filmmaking process. That Chris and Warner Bros. have put their faith in our teams once again, to design the visual effects sequences for ‘TENET’, is an honour and a privilege. This award is testament to the creativity, dedication and hard work of our teams, and to the leadership of Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, David Lee and Scott Fisher. Following the BAFTA win earlier this month, I am incredibly proud that the team’s achievements have once again been recognised by our peers.”

Andrew Jackson commented, “It is an absolute honour to be recognised for the work on ‘TENET’. This award is for all the talented people who contributed to the effects in this film and that includes people not just from VFX and SFX but also from Stunts and the Art Department. I’d like to say a special thank you to all the teams who made the transition to working from home so easy and who continued to deliver such outstanding work on this remarkable film. This has been an extraordinary year and it is so good that the work has been recognised by the Academy, especially as this film was able to secure a rare theatrical release during these very difficult times.”

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DNEG VFX Supervisor Andrew Lockley added, “I feel very honoured and lucky to be receiving this award on behalf of the huge team of people that were behind the making of this movie. On this film more than most it has truly been a collaboration between many departments – special effects, visual effects and stunts – that have enabled us to pull off some genuinely unique movie moments. Thanks to everyone involved in making this possible and to Chris and Emma for giving us the opportunity to be involved in another of their adventures!”

Led by Overall VFX Supervisor Andrew Jackson and DNEG VFX Supervisor Andrew Lockley, the team successfully delivered highly complex sequences and conveyed the concepts of reverse entropy and time inversion. They also collaborated with the special effects team to create a seamless world for the characters to inhabit.

To give this project the vision and expertise required, Jackson consulted with world-renowned physicist and Nobel prize winner Kip Thorne, who had also worked on Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ and ensured the film was grounded in scientific theory. This enabled the team to shoot sequences that depicted the movement of objects through an inverted timeline – a solution that required an unprecedented level of pre-production VFX input to reduce the amount of VFX required in post-production.

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Continuing to push boundaries in the visual effects space, the accolade is the fifth Academy Award win for DNEG in the last seven years, and it’s sixth win in total. The company has previously been recognised by the Academy for its work on ‘First Man’, ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Ex Machina’, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Inception’. The award for ‘Tenet’ also sees the film add another top gong alongside its BAFTA win earlier this month.

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