A local special effects artist has been nominated for an Oscar for his work in the movie The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Cameron Waldbauer of Pitt Meadows learned of his nomination on Thursday.
This is the second nomination for Waldbauer who was nominated last year for the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past.
“It’s amazing for Vancouver,” said Waldbauer about the industry.
“To have four people here nominated for Oscars in one year, that just doesn’t happen that often.
“And to have that as a result of the quality of technician that you can find to make your films in Vancouver speaks volumes of the city,” he said.
Waldbauer, who has worked in the industry for 22 years, is a practical special effects supervisor and was nominated with a team of three other people.
Their job was to recreate the harsh environment of 1823 Montana and South Dacota’s uncharted wilderness that DiCaprio’s character, frontiersman Hugh Glass, endures in the movie.
“It was doing the smoke, doing the snow, doing the rain. Doing the blizzard scene where we’re blowing snow past people. You know, every campfire and torch. All that gritty environmental stuff that helps to tell the story of how difficult the journey was for everyone,” explained Waldbauer.
It was also one of the harshest environments that Waldbauer has worked in as part of a film crew.
The Revenant was shot at 12 locations in Canada, the United States and Argentina.
In Canada, most of the filming took place at remote locations throughout Kananaskis Country in the Rockies, west of Calgary, Ab.
“Dealing with temperatures ranging from – 40 C and plus 15 when we are trying to keep snow on the ground, was an environmental challenge for sure,” said Waldbauer.
Waldbauer loves to do what others can’t.
“The horse falling off the cliff was one of the bigger (rigs). We had Leo (DiCaprio) on a mechanical horse leading up to (the cliff) and then we came back to the stunt guy on the horse going off the side.
“Visual effects took that over and extended it down so he fell off an 80- foot cliff instead of the 30-foot rig we built,” said Waldbauer.
He likes the team’s chances of taking home an Oscar this year, if people like the look of the film.
They are up against some stiff competition, he acknowledges, from visual effects teams who worked on the movies Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
But, Waldbauer says, The Revenant is in a different group because you are not supposed to know there are any visual effects in the movie.
“Our film is supposed to be invisible. It’s supposed to be showing reality and not anything outside of that. So I think we have a good chance.”
The 88th Academy Awards takes place on Feb. 28.