The Visual Effects category honors the year's best special effects and was introduced as a competitive category in 1963. Since 2007 the process for choosing nominees has involved a long list of 15 potential nominees which is then voted down to 7 which is in turn voted down to 3. Since its inception the category has honored many of the top grossing films of all time, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, E.T., Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Titanic and all three Lord of the Rings films.
This year's nominees:
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, Andy Jones, Avatar: This is the 5th nomination for Letteri, who has 3 previous wins for his work on King Kong, LOTR: The Return of the King and LOTR: The Two Towers; this is the 2nd nomination for Rosenbaum who has 1 previous win for Forrest Gump; this is the 2nd nomination for Jones, and the 1st nomination for Baneham. The team has already won the BAFTA and received a nomination from the Visual Effects Society.
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros, Matt Aitken, District 9: This is the 1st Oscar nomination for all four. They also received a BAFTA nomination.
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanaugh, Burt Dalton, Star Trek: This is the 2nd nomination for Guyett, Earl and Dalton, and the 1st nomination for Kavanaugh. Dalton has won previously for his work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The team received BAFTA and Visual Effects Society nominations.