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Godzilla Wins His 1st Oscar for Best Visual Effects After 70 Years in the Movie Business

Godzilla Wins His 1st Oscar for Best Visual Effects After 70 Years in the Movie Business 675

Go off, king of the monsters! Godzilla has finally earned his first Oscar after 70 years in the movie industry.

At the 2024 Academy Awards on Sunday, March 10, Godzilla Minus One took home the trophy for Best Visual Effects, marking the first time that a movie in the franchise has ever won an Oscar. The nod was also the first nomination for any movie featuring Godzilla, who made his big-screen debut in 1954.

Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima accepted the award on stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, claiming victory over The Creator, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Napoleon and Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One.

While accepting their award, Yamazaki and his team carried tiny Godzilla replicas on stage and wore matching shoes with claws for heels. Their colleagues in the audience also waved Godzilla figures in celebration as the group gave their speech.


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Godzilla Minus One, which hit theaters in October 2023, is the 37th film in the franchise and stars Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Ando and Kuranosuke Sasaki. Set in the years after World War II, the film follows former kamikaze pilot Kōichi Shikishima (Kamiki) as he and his crew attempt to stop Godzilla from attacking Tokyo.

The film’s title refers to Japan hitting “zero” after WWII. The arrival of Godzilla in the film brings the country even lower to “minus one.”

Yamazaki, who served as the movie’s director, writer and visual effects supervisor, said last month that he was thrilled about Godzilla Minus One’s Oscar nomination. “I’ve seen [the Oscars] on TV for so many years, and I thought it was this unreachable place,” Yamazaki told The Hollywood Reporter. “To be able to share that same space even for a brief moment is very humbling.”

In another interview with the Academy’s A.frame blog, Yamazaki said it felt “unbelievable” to receive a nomination for Godzilla Minus One.

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“I’m still recovering from both the shock and the excitement,” he said in February. “I know it sounds very cliché, but we couldn’t even dream of it or imagine it; however, it’s true in this instance. We set out to make a very domestic film that would speak to a certain audience — or at least that was what we thought would happen — and how it has evolved throughout its tenure in the theaters is overwhelming. To receive a nomination for that work was not on anyone’s radar. We’re very thankful for everyone’s open-mindedness and the Academy for its consideration.”

While the movie didn’t score a Best Sound nod, Yamazaki credited his colleagues in that department for augmenting his visual effects with their work.

“The sound team did a fantastic job creating that atmosphere and the film’s ambiance,” he explained. “Take Godzilla’s roar, for example. We wanted to play it in a vast, open space, so we rented a baseball stadium and brought about 10 sound guys. We set up speakers and mics, used the baseball stadium’s own speakers, and played the original Godzilla roar. … The echo and the way the audio bounced created this sense of a massive creature roaring in a vast, open environment. That was fun and very interesting, showcasing Godzilla’s size and scale.”

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