With the Oscars coming in less than a week, the time is nigh for Oscar-related thinkpieces and videos, both of the nostalgic variety and the “look at this organization’s continued history of racism” variety. While there’s been plenty of discussion around diversity at the Academy Awards, a lot of heated debate and raised voices, maybe it’s a good time for us to take a moment and catch our breath, and I can think of nothing better to help us do that than this handy supercut of every “Best Visual Effects” Oscar winner.
The video shows clips from every single film to win the Oscar for best special effects, and watching it is a really interesting experience. This comes in large part because it illustrates how far special effects technology has come, but also how what was considered breathtaking just a few short years ago can seem almost humdrum to our modern eyes. The thing to bear in mind when watching videos like this, and indeed watching any older movie special effects, is that we shouldn’t judge an effect for visual by its fidelity or realism. No, when looking at effects what we need to consider is the work that went into them, the creativity and passion that was needed to bring that visual to the screen. Willis O’Brien’s work on the original King Kong may look somewhat hokey now, but the amount of blood, sweat and tears that O’Brien put into those effects remains legendary. Even if the film looks dated today, there’s still astonishing amount of craft and ingenuity on display in each frame. That’s what good special effects are all about, more so than visual fidelity.
The video also illustrates that Oscar snubs are still nothing new. Forbidden Planet didn’t get the best VFX Oscar? Really, Academy? Really?
You can watch the video below, and let us know what your favorite movie effect is in the comments.