3 Mar 2014

Weta in line for Oscar

4:25 pm on 3 March 2014

Wellington special effects company Weta Digital could bring home their sixth Academy Award, with a nomination for the Best Visual Effects award for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony, known as the Oscars, is taking place in Los Angeles on Monday.

Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Claydon and Eric Reynolds make up the team nominated for the award.

Hobbit movies helped tourism.

A scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Photo: WARNER BROS

Weta Digital won the award in 2010 for Avatar, King Kong in 2006, and for all three films in the the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

A win on Monday could mean a fifth Oscar for Letteri, who was part of the teams that took home awards for Avatar, King Kong, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Joe Letteri has been working in special effects for more than 20 years, and was a senior technical director in the 2003 blockbuster, Jurassic Park.

Eric Saindon is a special effects supervisor and has been working with New Zealand director Peter Jackson for 14 years.

David Claydon worked as a visual effects supervisor across the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the first Hobbit film, The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey.

Eric Reynolds is an animation supervisor at Weta Digital. His past work includes films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Avatar, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'.

Weta Digital production staff gathered to watch the ceremony at a private viewing party in Wellington.

The other nominees in the Best Visual Effects category are Gravity, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, and Star Trek Into Darkness.