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It's easy in award season to feel exhausted by the endless onslaught of ceremonies declaring their honors as the most important, their speeches the most inspirational, their stars the biggest and brightest. Well, the announcement of nominees for the International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society’s annual Creative Arts Awards are not likely to help your all-things-award fatigue. But hey, the Oscars is ignoring one of cinema's biggest trends, so someone had to give 3D its due.
On January 28th at Warner Bros studios, International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society’s will do just that with an award ceremony that offers a whopping 21 categories, celebrating everything from the best 3D in live-action narratives, animated adventures, short films, documentaries, live events, and themed attractions as well as the best 3D moments and best use of 2D to 3D conversion. New to the Creative Arts Award this year is an additional honor for programs made in 4K resolution.
While this wide range of awards leaves the opportunity for many films and 3D technicians to garner a bit of acclaim, the big names this year are the Creative Awards' contenders for Best Live-Action 3D Feature: Gravity, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Star Trek Into Darkness. All of the above were box office hits, thanks in part to the bumped up ticket price of 3D. Of course, as glitzy as Gatsby's parties are, and as fiery as Smaug's entrance to The Hobbit trilogy is, it's insane to think that any film other than Gravity will take home this honor. Above all others, this was not only a narrative that took 3D to new heights, but also one that demanded 3D for the full theatrical experience.
The second biggest category for the Creative Arts Awards is that for Best Animated 3D Feature. Its nominees are Frozen, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University and Turbo. You might note that three out of five of these films are also nominated for the Academy Awards' Best Animated Feature honor. The Oscar-nominated Ernest & Celestine and The Wind Rises were of course ineligible for the CAA nomination, being 2D releases. But that gave Monsters University and Turbo a chance to get in the game.
Considering the wide critical praise and absolutely adoring fans Frozen has earned--along with record-breaking box office totals --the Disney princess tale seems to be the clear frontrunner for the CAA honor. However, THR reports that Pixar will walk away a winner regardless of how Monsters University fares, as Pixar Animation Studios will be given the Society’s Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for creative excellence in 3D storytelling.
Also getting a special honor at the ceremony will be Steve Schklair, founder and CEO of 3ality Technica, whose 3D camera systems have been utilized on four of the above nominees, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Great Gatsby, and Oz the Great and Powerful. For the profound mark Schklair's company has made on the emerging 3D industry, he will be given the Century Award.
For our own breakdowns of how the 3D of all these films stack up, check out our column 3D Or Not To 3D.