And the MTV VMA for Best Visual Effects goes to…

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The 32nd MTV Video Music Awards 2015 is gearing up for yet another magnificent star studded event, with controversy’s child Miley Cyrus playing host this time. The awards will be telecasted on 30 August, 2015 globally and has already started making news firstly with its host and then with the Nicki Minaj’s outrage at being overlooked for this year’s Best Music Video shortlist for ‘Anaconda’.

The MTV Video Music Award (VMA) was first held in 1984 as an alternative to the Grammy Awards and the Best Visual Effects category has been in existence since the inception. Last year this award was won by the band OK, Go for the song ‘The Writing’s on the Wall’ (Visual Effects: 1 stAveMachine). The VMA has managed to attract millions of youth as the winners are chosen via online votes which are casted at the MTV website.

We at take a closer look at the five nominees from this year in the Best Visual Effects category and give our take on who we believe will walk away with the top honors this year.

And the nominees are…

Telegraph Ave

Part of the ‘Because the Internet’ album, Telegraph Ave released in December 2013. The song has been performed by hip hop artist Donald Glover whose stage name is Childish Gambino and is an actor, writer, comedian and record producer.

The song ‘Telegraph Ave’ has a small 40 seconds visual effects clipping in the end of its video starting from 4:10 – 4:50. The monster/parasite in human was created at the Gloria FX visual effects company.

Gloria FX performed the VFX shots for the music video according to the approved designs for creating the monster/parasite in the protagonist. The tentacles were created using 3D editor: modeling, texturing, animation, rendering. Even the car being destroyed in the sequence was done similarly. Simulation of the destruction was carried out of the car, glass, dust, debris. The same work was done on the grout ropes lifting body cast.

Two Weeks

Two weeks is the first single from LP1 album by FKA Twigs (Tahliah Barnett). The song was digitally released on 24 June, 2014 and the album came out in August, 2014. FKA Twigs is known as a pop star that nails sex in her songs. In the song Twigs can be seen as a giant goddess who is feeding milk to her mini selves and are seen dancing around her. She’s also been nominated under ‘Artist to Watch’ for the song Pendulum and ‘Best Cinematography’ for Two Weeks.

In terms of the visual effects carried out by Gloria FX, there is a lot of rotoscopy that is used to create the miniatures in the 4 minute long video. All the dancers were filmed against a chroma screen; there was also simulation carried out for particles of milk flowing out of the fingers and all of this was inserted through compositing during the continuous edit.

Fucking Young/Death Camp

Part of the third studio album ‘Cherry Bomb’ which debuted at number 4 in the Billboard 200 of Tyler, The Creator, Fucking Young/ Death Camp released in April 2015. Tyler Okonma is an American rapper and record producer who has been criticized for being racist and using homophobic slurs like the words ‘faggot’ and ‘ gay’ too often in his songs.

The visual effects have been carried out by Gloria FX which has worked with many music artists like Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, among others. Among the shots that have used CG and VFX are the initial shots where the studio has created animated 3D eyes popping out of their sockets. Also using only 2-shot scene the video shows miniature people in the world of large flowers, there are also the normal wire clean-ups and chroma screen shots.

Bad Blood

Taylor Swift who’s got 9 nominations in the MTV’s VMA has also been nominated under the Best Visual Effects category along with Skrillex’s Where are U Now. Bad Blood which is part of the 1989 album has only two non VFX shots according to Ingenuity Studios who has done the VFX for both songs of Taylor Swift: ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Bad Blood’. Bad Blood has also been nominated for Video of the Year, Best Collaboration (with Kendrick Lamar), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Direction and Best Editing.

In terms of the visual effects for this video, Ingenuity Studio has really pushed the envelope to put together a visually riveting experience as it also shows in terms of the views that the video has garnered on the video streaming giant YouTube, clocking over 370 million and counting. There are a host of CG elements blended with live action; there are also matte paintings, rotoscopy, wire clean-ups and other elements that have been used to execute the final look.

Where Are U Now

‘Where Are U Now’ is the second single of Skrillex and Diplo which features the vocals of the sensational Canadian singer, Justin Bieber. The video has a staggering 30 million views in first two weeks of its release. The video features an animated graffiti and splashes of paint on and around Justin Bieber. The visual effects are done by Brewer and Gloria FX studio. The song has also been nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Editing along with Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’.

And the award goes to…


We personally believe that the winner will be Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’. The reason being twofold: one – the sheer number of visual effects shots that the video consists of is mindboggling with only a few on location shots actually there in the video and two – Swift has a massive following among both the male and female audience alike and the way that she has diversified into performing a lot more peppier tracks in the recent past has been widely accepted and loved by all.

So all we have to do now is await the final announcement on the night of 30 August as our prediction comes true!

Gloria FX speaks…

“To have nominations at the MTV VMA is a great success for my company. This has been my dream over the past few years and to have 4 nominations, out of the 5 in all being our projects is a big surprise for us. Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood is a very strong competitor and the budget for her project was also very large. In any case, I will wait for 30 August but these nominations are a victory in itself for me and my team”, revealed Gloria FX’s managing partner Max Colt.


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