'Avatar' Oscars: Sequel wins Oscar for best visual effects

'Avatar' Oscar nominations include best picture

ByGeorge Pennacchio OTRC logo
Monday, March 13, 2023
'Avatar: The Way of Water' wins Oscar for Visual Effects
'Avatar: The Way of Water' wins Oscar for Visual Effects

LOS ANGELES -- "Avatar: The Way of Water" took home the Oscar for best visual effects Sunday night.

"Avatar" beat out "All Quiet on the Western Front," "The Batman" and "Top Gun: Maverick."

The film already had a lot to celebrate: It is the third highest-grossing movie of all time.

The James Cameron sequel has earned more than $2.2 billion worldwide.

The film headed into the Oscars on Sunday with four nominations, including best picture.

There are also four talented artists nominated for the film's visual and special effects. Of course, they got a lot of help along the way.

You know that saying, "It takes a village," and it took them years to get that village built!

"We build all the tech because we want to see this movie, right? There's no other way we're going to see this movie unless we figure out how to make it work. So that's really what it's all about," said Joe Letteri.

Letteri, a four-time Oscar winner, and his three fellow Oscar-nominated colleagues on the "Avatar" film love what they do -- creating visual effects that create awe for audiences.

"I mean, it's long hours. It always is working on a film. You have to enjoy it," said Eric Saindon.

SEE MORE: 'Avatar: The Way of Water' artists make visual movie magic, earn Oscar nominations along the way

"It's very enjoyable to be challenged every day and really push the boundaries," said Richie Baneham. "It's strange. It's long hours, it's long weeks, long years, but the truth is, when you see the result up on screen and you feel you've taken the actor's performance, protected it, shepherded it to the screen and get it to ring true, it just washes away."

While these guys are the ones in charge of the visual effects, they had plenty of help. The credits for visual effects on this movie list 953 people!

Daniel Barrett may be one of the supervisors, but he's also a father of three children, who happen to be his biggest fans.

"I think that was one of my proudest things is to take them and have them see the film, see dad's name up there after all of their support, you know, it was hard work," said Barrett.

In the end, the work has paid off for these four technical wizards - all working with Cameron.

"That's our job is to make sure Jim gets exactly what he wants on screen," said Letteri.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of 20th Century Studios and this ABC station.

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