Ben Kwok of Blacksmith Wins Best in Show At AICP Post Awards For Zillow's "The Journey"
A scene from Zillow's "The Journey"
Honors presented over a range of postproduction categories; Company 3 leads the way with four awards
  • NEW YORK
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Ben Kwok, visual effects supervisor at Blacksmith, won the Best in Show at the AICP Post Awards premiere, held virtually this evening (7/27). Kwok won for his masterful compositing and Flame work on “The Journey” for Zillow, in which a young girl is accompanied on frightening and fanciful travels to her new home by a pair of reassuring furry characters, who help smooth the way. Created by the New York office of FIG, the piece also won for Compositing & Visual Effects. 

The AICP Post Awards honor excellence in a range of postproduction crafts, including editing, color grading, audio mixing, sound design, visual effects, CGI, animation and design. They’re part of the AICP’s suite of juried competitions, which also includes the AICP Next Awards and the AICP Show. To view all the winners of the 2021 Post Awards, click here.

Kwok was one of a group of artists who scored two AICP Post Awards each. Also honored twice were editors Jessica Baclesse and Peter Wiedensmith of Joint Editorial, who won in the categories of Editorial: Existing Footage (added this year to honor work created under pandemic circumstances) and Editorial: Montage for Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us.” Spencer Susser of Blue-Tongue Films, the editor/director behind the Humane Society International’s “Save Ralph,” was singled out for Editorial: Cause Marketing/PSA and Best of West. And editor Will Town of Modern Post won in the categories of Editorial: Dialogue/Monologue/Spoken Word and Editorial: Fashion/Beauty for Vogue’s “I Love New York.”  

A number of companies were represented with multiple awards presented to their artists. Company 3 led this list, with its artists taking home four AICP Post Awards: colorist Sean Coleman won Color Grading: Under :60 for Turbo Tax’s “Auctioneer”; colorist Dave Hussey won Color Grading: :60 to :90 for Diet Coke’s “Drink What Ya Mama Gave Ya”; and colorist Tim Masick won Color Grading: Over 90 for Zara’s “Women/Spring Summer Campaign.” In addition, colorist Billy Gabor was singled out for Best of Southeast for Lenovo’s “Liftoff.”

Both Blacksmith and Modern Post were represented at the show with three awards presented to its artists. For Blacksmith, in addition to the two wins for Kwok, CGI leads Tuna Unalan and Olivier Varteressian were also honored in the CGI category for Zillow’s “The Journey.” At Modern Post, in addition to the two wins for Town, editor Graham Patterson won in the Editorial: Music Video category for Sufjan Steven’s “Sugar.”

In addition to FIG’s three wins for Zillow, the agencies Droga5 and Wieden+Kennedy were also affiliated with three winning pieces in the AICP Post Awards. Droga5 was honored in the Editorial: National Campaign for Amazon  (Ben Campbell, Cut+Run/The Quarry), in Editorial: Storytelling for Huggies (Trish Fuller and Stuart Reeves, Work Editorial) and Best of East for Facebook (Mikkel EG Nielsen, Rock Paper Scissors). Wieden + Kennedy was honored for Nike in Editorial: Existing Footage and Editorial: Montage (Jessica Baclesse and Wiedensmith, Joint Editorial) and for Turbo Tax in Color Grading: Under :60 (Coleman of Company 3). 

In addition, AMV BBDO and Vogue each worked on projects that won two Post Awards; the former for Libresse/Bodyform #wombstories in Audio Mix (Sam Ashwell and Jake Ashwell of 750MPH) and Graphic Design & Animation (Sharon Lock of Framestore), the latter for its “I Love New York” project in Editorial: Fashion/Beauty and Editorial: Dialogue/Monologue/Spoken Word (Town of Modern Post).

The 2021 AICP Post Awards also saluted the top winners of the 2019 Camp Kuleshov competition. (Camp Kuleshov was not held in 2020.) Top winners from across the participating AICP chapters who won in the categories of Editorial, Graphics and Sound Design went up against each other for the coveted “Lev Award,” named for the Russian film theorist Lev Kuleshov. The “Lev” winners each presented a 15-second acceptance speech during the show. They included Evan Goodell of Hero Post in Atlanta, who won in the Editorial category; Katie Schade of Optimus in Chicago, who won in the Graphics category; and Logan Vines of Another Country, also in Chicago, who won in the Sound Design category. 

The Post Awards featured graphics and titles created by Ingenuity and Cosmo Street, with a score by Robert Miller of RNDM ORDR. The Colonie created the sponsor tribute, which featured music by Noisefloor. 

Sponsors help make all of the AICP awards competitions and events possible. AICP Partners and Supporting Partners, who support all AICP events throughout the year, are: CAPS – A Cast & Crew Entertainment Company, Universal Studios and Wrapbook (Partners); and Film Offices of The Hawaiian Islands; Musicbed + Filmsupply; Sony Pictures Studios; and The TEAM Companies (Supporting Partners). 

The 2021 AICP Awards Sponsors include Aspen Travel, AwardCore, BMGPM and BMG Bespoke, The Colonie, Color Lab, Cosmo Street, Heard City, Hello World, International Digital Centre – IDC, Istros Media, Ingenuity, Kodak, Little Black Book, Noisefloor, RNDM ORDER, The ROOTS, S’well, SHOOT Magazine | SHOOT Online,  Source | SHOTS | Slate and Whitehouse Post.

AICP Post Awards Winners 

Editorial: Automotive
Carla Luffe
Forsman & Bodenfors
MJZ
Volvo
“The Parents”

Editorial: Cause Marketing/PSA
Spencer Susser
Blue-Tongue Films
Humane Society International
“Save Ralph”

Compositing & Visual Effects
Ben Kwok
Blacksmith
FIG
Epoch Films
Zillow
“The Journey”

Graphic Design & Animation
Sharon Lock
Framestore
AMV BBDO
Chelsea Pictures
Libresse
“#wombstories”

Color Grading: Music Video
Matthew Schwab
Flawless Post
Parkwood Entertainment
Beyoncé
“Brown Skin Girl”

Color Grading: Over :90
Tim Masick
Company 3
Baron & Baron
Seeker Productions + One Thirty Eight Productions
Zara
“Woman | Spring Summer 2021 Campaign”

Color Grading: Under :60
Sean Coleman
Company 3
Wieden+Kennedy
Biscuit Filmworks
Turbo Tax
“Auctioneer”

Color Grading: :60 To :90
Dave Hussey
Company 3
Anomaly
Caviar + Grayskull
Diet Coke
“Drink What Ya Mama Gave Ya”

Editorial: Comedy
Grant Gustafson
Cutters
Highdive
MJZ
Rocket Mortgage
“Certain is Better”

Editorial: Dialogue/Monologue/Spoken Word
Will Town
Modern Post
One Thirty Eight Productions
Vogue
“I Love New York”

Editorial: Montage
Jessica Baclesse, Peter Wiedensmith
Joint Editorial
Wieden+Kennedy
Pulse Films
Nike
“You Can’t Stop Us”

Character Design & Animation
Tim Allen
Blinkink
The Gate
Childline
“Nobody is Normal”

CGI
Tuna Unalan, Olivier Varteressian
Blacksmith
FIG
Epoch Films
Zillow
“The Journey”

Type Design & Title Animation
Omar Aqil, Wallen Diaz, Michelle D’Urbano, SMECCEA, Nini Sum, Kota Yamaji
Brand New School
Adobe
“MAX Conference Identity”

Sound Design
Alex Bingham, Alberto Mielgo, Patch Rowland,  Andy Stewart
Machine London
DDB Paris
Pinkman.tv
UBISOFT
“Watch Dogs: Legion - Tipping Point”

Audio Mix
Sam Ashwell,  Jake Ashwell
750MPH
AMV BBDO
Chelsea Pictures
Libresse
“#wombstories”

Editorial: Regional
Micah Scarpelli
Uppercut
22Squared
Park Pictures
AdventHealth
“The Sound of Healing”

Best of East:  Docu-Style
Mikkel EG Nielsen
Rock Paper Scissors
Droga5
Epoch Films
Facebook
“Born In Quarantine”

Best of Midwest:  Cause Marketing/PSA
Craig Lewandowski
Utopic
Sandro Films
Truth Hope and Just Initiative
“Mothers”

Best of Southeast:  Color Grading: Over :90
Billy Gabor
Company 3
Zeno Group
Nom de Guerre Films
Lenovo
“Liftoff”

Best of Southwest:  Sound Design
Matt Cimino
Lucky Post
The Richards Group
Hammer Productions
RAM
“2021 Ram 1500 TRX Desert Dream”

Best of West:  Cause Marketing/PSA
Spencer Susser
Blue-Tongue Films
Humane Society International
“Save Ralph”

Editorial: Docu-Style
Dave Warren
Nomad Editing
Great Guns
Black Lives Matter
“Mama”

Editorial: Fashion/Beauty
Will Town
Modern Post
Vogue
One Thirty Eight Productions
Vogue
“I Love New York”

Editorial: Music Video
Graham Patterson
Modern Post
Mythologie Pictures
Sufjan Stevens
“Sugar”

Editorial: National Campaign
Ben Campbell
Cut+Run / The Quarry
Droga5
Biscuit Filmworks
Amazon
“Amazon Alexa”

Editorial: Existing Footage
Jessica Baclesse, Peter Wiedensmith
Joint Editorial
Wieden+Kennedy
Pulse Films
Nike
“You Can’t Stop Us”

Editorial: Storytelling
Trish Fuller, Stewart Reeves
Work Editorial
Droga5
SMUGGLER
Huggies
“Welcome to the World, Baby”

Best of Show: Compositing & Visual Effects
Ben Kwok
Blacksmith
FIG
Epoch Films
Zillow
“The Journey”

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