The excellent Blade Runner 2049 was a modest winner at Sunday’s 90th annual Academy Awards, winning Oscars for cinematography (Roger Deakins first win after 14 nominations) and Visual Effects after receiving five nominations (it lost to Dunkirk in Sound Mixing and Editing, and The Shape of Water in Production Design).
But did you know one of the teams behind the Blade Runner sequel’s Oscar-winning visual effects is based in Prague?
Universal Production Partners, which is based in the Prague 10 district of Vršovice, has quickly risen over the past decade to become one of the industry’s leading visual effects houses.
Last year, UPP worked on both Wonder Woman and Blade Runner 2049; their next feature is the upcoming blockbuster Rampage, starring Dwayne Johnson.
Now, they can claim an Oscar for their work. On social media, the Prague team celebrated their historic win.
“Wow! Big congratulations to John Nelson and of course Viktor Müller and the whole UPP VFX team! So proud to celebrate the historical share on the Oscar Award! We did it!” UPP posted to Facebook.
“More than 70 specialists under the leadership of VFX Supervisor Viktor Muller prepared more than 200 VFX shots. Thank you John to mention us, you can’t imagine, how much we appreciate it!”
If you listen closely, you can hear Blade Runner 2049’s Visual Effects supervisor John Nelson rattle off the names of UPP and supervisor Viktor Müller during his quick speech:
On Blade Runner 2049, UPP’s digital effects work included scenes involving the gallery of replicants (pictured above) and the climactic underwater fight, among many others.
This showreel from UPP presents some of the company’s work on the film, which included digitally mapping the faces of Ryan Gosling and David Bautista onto stuntmen during the opening fight scene: