Seven movies have made the short list of the Academy Visual Effects branch. They will vote for the final three nominated films on January 21 at the annual bake-off, where 15-minute reels of each film are screened for the VFX voters. I'm always at Sundance for this; I'd love to go one day.
The films are:
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
The three nominees will be announced on February 2, and the winner (Avatar, hello) on March 7. What will the nominees be? Avatar, Revenge of the Fallen, 2012? It's competitive! Star Trek could get in there. And Half-Blood Prince was magnificent, but will probably be taken for granted. I'm glad District 9 was appreciated for its seamless CG character animation within a live-action environment: what Jackson, Blomkamp & Co. did on a modest budget is competitive with the monster budgets of the other VFX. But it probably won't make the final three.